Facelift and Neck Lift Under Local Anesthesia
Are you looking for a skilled Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon that offers facelifts under local anesthesia? Many patients in considering facelifting procedures fear the use of general anesthesia. For many patients getting a facelift under general anesthesia or IV sedation is a major deterrent to getting facelifting procedures.
There is no scientific debate or doubt that performing a face-lift or a neck-lift under local anesthesia only is safer. Dr. Luis Vasconez and his associates performed and published a significant study in 2012 proving the efficacy and safety of performing a face-lift and neck-lift without general anesthesia or IV sedation. The study was done at the University of Alabama in Birmingham where Dr. Anastasatos had the privilege to be trained by Dr. Vasconez.
Many times, patients will request that they have a facelift or other plastic surgery procedures under IV sedation instead of general anesthesia. They make the assumption that IV sedation is safer. However, that is not necessarily true. The same or similar anesthesia medications are used in IV sedation as in general anesthesia. Furthermore, it is more challenging for the anesthesiologist to monitor and keep the patient sedated safely for many hours. It “stresses” the anesthesiologists to do a long operation under IV sedation. A face-lift and neck-lift in expertly skilled hands can take 4-6 hours. Anesthesiologists prefer general anesthesia to IV sedation for such lengthy operations.
The post-operative problems with IV sedation relate to the use of the anesthetic agent propofol and narcotic medications. Propofol is a hypnotic. Such IV medications are associated with nausea and vomiting post-operatively.
Does performing a facelift and neck lift under local anesthesia only compromise the result? Absolutely not!
Does performing a facelift under local anesthesia compromise patient safety in any way? No! The procedure is still performed at an accredited facility or a first-class hospital. There is no compromise in safety.
In the past facelifts and plastic surgery procedures in local anesthesia had poor acceptance from the patients. The reasons were the following:
- Patients were scared to be awake in the operating room.
- Injection of the local anesthetic was painful.
- Adrenaline in high levels causes fear and in turn hypertension.
- Patients could say “The worst experience in my life”.
So, what has changed that now makes getting a facelift under local anesthesia a great option?
The most important thing that has changed is the injection technique. Not all plastic surgeons are skilled or comfortable doing a plastic surgery procedure under local anesthesia. It requires extra skill, extra training, and extra patience. Moreover, it requires plastic surgeons to wish to expand their expertise and learn something new.
Dr. Anastasatos utilizes the techniques he learned from his mentor Dr. Luis Vasconez in performing face-lifts and neck-lifts under local anesthesia. With this technique, patients feel an initial “mosquito bite”. There is limited or no pain for the remaining of injections. The blood pressure and the heart rate of the patients remain stable throughout the whole operation.
Performing a face-lift and neck-lift under local anesthesia only expands the spectrum of patients who can get these facelifting procedures. Patients with hypertension and diabetes can also get these operations with increased safety as well as heavier patients with thick necks.
Merits to avoiding general anesthesia with face-lifting procedures are:
- Safer to do it under local anesthesia.
- Patients do not have to be dehydrated overnight and can have breakfast in the morning of the day of their operation.
- The post-operative nausea and vomiting from the general anesthesia agents and narcotics are avoided.
- Recovery is immediate and the tiredness associated with general anesthesia cases is avoided.
From a surgical standpoint, the likelihood of a post-operative hematoma after a facelift significantly diminishes. Post-operative hematomas after a facelift and a neck-lift procedure occur in the post-operative recovery room. They are mostly due to the hemodynamic changes that occur due to general anesthesia. This risk is completely avoided with good local anesthesia techniques.
Last but not least, performing a face-lift and neck-lift procedure under local anesthesia significantly reduces the risk of a post-operative blood clot.
The cost of performing a face-lift and/or neck-lift under local anesthesia only is comparable to that done with general anesthesia or IV sedation. Although the vital signs of the patient are closely monitored under a face-lift with local anesthesia only, an anesthesiologist is not typically needed. There are some savings due to that. However, a facelift under local anesthesia requires some extra time in the operating room in order to properly, and comfortably (for the patient) inject the local anesthetic. The extra time in the operating room costs extra.