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What Type of Anesthesia is Available for a Mini-facelift or S-lift?

why do some doctors do mini or s-lifts with local and others more asleep anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 35

Mini Facelifts are done under local anesthesia and are much safer than general.

Mini facelifts are now done under local tumescent anesthesia and are almost painless with the great techniques of administering the local now a days.  Cost is roughly $6-8500 and recovery is so much easier as well.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD


Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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I prefer to do my face lifts with local anesthesia and...

I prefer to do my face lifts with local anesthesia and oral sedation.

Instead of sending heavy medication into the IV line to keep you asleep or sedated throughout the procedure, tumescent anesthesia uses only local anesthesia injected into the face to control pain, and Valium pills to relax you. The term "tumescent" (meaning swollen or puffy) comes from the appearance of the area immediately after injection, before the medicine is absorbed into the surrounding tissues. The medicine that is injected is a solution of saline (salt-water), epinephrine, and Lidocaine. Saline helps to separate the tissues, making the dissection less traumatic for the face. Epinephrine causes the tiny blood vessels in the area to constrict, minimizing bleeding and bruising. Lidocaine numbs the area to provide pain control, similar to what the dentist uses before filling a cavity in a tooth.

The procedure is performed without heavy medication and without a long post-operative recovery. Most patients are comfortably and safely on their way home about an hour after surgery. Since most of the medication used with tumescent anesthesia in The Awake Facelift is eliminated from the body within a few hours, there is no "hangover" effect such as is often experienced after general anesthesia. This also translates to less post operative nausea and vomiting.

Having the patient awake throughout the procedure enables the surgeon to maximize the aesthetic result with the least risk of complications. Nerve function can be continually assessed during surgery by having the patient raise the eyebrows, smile, or perform other facial expressions. Checking nerve function is critical to avoiding the rare complication of facial nerve damage, but this important precaution is impossible using general anesthesia or heavy sedation.

In some cases, patients might not be good candidates for the Awake Facelift, such as if they are tolerant to anesthetics (have a hard time getting numbed up at the dentist), take a lot of pain medications regularly, are very anxious or nervous, or have contributing medical concerns such as cardiac history. These patients are better suited for IV sedation.

Jonathan Hoenig, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Mini lift anesthesia

The type of anesthesia used for a mini-lift procedure is usually based on surgeon preference and patient desire.  Some patients desire to be completely asleep, while other want to be fully awake.  All types of anesthesia are very safe.  If cost is a factor, local anesthesia with or without oral sedation is cheaper than general anesthesia because the Anesthesiologist's fees are removed from the equation.

Clyde Mathison, MD
Knoxville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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Mini lift vs. Ulthera

Mini lifts are performed under local, conscious, and general anesthesia. Another option which is idea is the Ultherapy lift for the neck and face that has minimal downtime and requires no anesthesia.

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Dr. Karamanoukian

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
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Anesthesia for facial surgery

I do for my patients what I would want for my family or myself, a board-certified anesthesiologist provides anesthesia care. In my surgery center, a board-certified anesthesiologist remains at the bedside of the patient throughout their surgical procedure.  Patients are safest, most comfortable, and it makes it much easier for me to provide the best result possible


Beyond the issue of the person who is administering your anesthesia, the type of anesthesia really depends on what ‘facelift’ you are talking about, and what risk factors you may have for different forms of anesthesia.
A mini-facelift generally takes one to two hours and can be performed in many patients under relatively light IV sedation. The only unpleasant portion of the procedure in terms of pain is the injection of local anesthesia at the very beginning. So the IV sedation is deeper initially for local anesthetic injection, and then once the entire surgical area is numb then the IV sedation can be lightened.
A full facial rejuvenation surgical procedure (structural fat grafting, High-SMAS face and necklift, browlift, blepharoplasties, etc) may take seven to eight hours to complete. These procedures can also be performed in many patients under prolonged IV sedation, which is referred to by anesthesiologists as MAC (monitored anesthesia care) anesthesia. To have a long surgery under IV sedation, you ideally should be under the care of an experienced anesthesiologist.
By far the most important consideration from an anesthesia perspective is management (i.e. control of) a patient’s airway. If you can’t reliably provide oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide elimination, then you cannot conduct surgery safely. So experienced, board-certified anesthesiologists insist on some adequate and appropriate means of airway protection. For long IV sedation cases it is customary to pass a nasal airway (once a patient is sedated, of course) which goes in one side of the nose and into the back of the throat and helps to keep a sedated patient’s nasal airway open. It is removed before you wake up.
Some patients will experience airway obstruction when sedated and laying in supine (on your back) position. If your snore heavily, and especially if you have sleep apnea, you are likely to be one of these patients. This in one of the reasons that a good anesthesiologist asks you so many questions before they perform your anesthesia: aspects of your history provide the anesthesia MD significant insight into what to expect and what to be particularly concerned about while you are under anesthesia.
This is important to know: general anesthesia for elective cosmetic surgery, particularly longer cases, is an absolutely reasonable choice. In some patients it is the safest form of anesthesia – as your airway is completely.This is deeper level of anesthesia than IV sedation, and it requires a flexible, soft plastic tiube (either an endotracheal tube or laryngeal mask airway) to keep your airway open as the muscles that keep the airway open when you are awake will be relaxed. If you snore heavily or have sleep apnea, the safest form of anesthesia for you is general anesthesia with an ET tube or LMA.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
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Anesthesia facial plastic surgery

 Every surgeon has the prefer way to perform surgery.  Is not  a matter of safety  is more a matter of personal preference that you should  discuss  with your surgeon.  I persoallly prefer sedation and local anesthesia

anesthesia for a mini lift

 There are 3 types of anesthesia available for a facelift or a mini lift. These are local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. In our practice, we use  board certified physician anesthesiologists for patient safety and comfort and perform our facelifts under general anesthesia. For many examples, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Anesthesia for Facelift

I perform the Rejuvelift. It is a full lift which improves the lower third of the face and neck. I do this procedure in my office under local anesthesia with mild oral sedation (Valium). Without the use of a deeper sedation or complete general anesthesia, the recovery is quicker and easier and the patient can leave the office as soon as the procedure is completed. There is really no office recovery needed. A "mini lift" or an "S lift" can be done in the same fashion but may not see the same dramatic results that often don't last as long.

Mini Facelift Anesthesia

Mini Facelifts can be performed with a variety of anesthesia techniques.  In my practice, I typically perform the procedures using IV sedation or Oral Sedation with local tumescent anesthesia.  Both are very satisfactory, although I find that patients are most comfortable with IV sedation initially until all the local anesthesia is injected into the face and neck.  Once the local anesthesia effect is achieved, IV sedation is usually decreased to a very low level for sedation.  I do not feel that the use of either technique effects the overall outcome of the procedure.  Good Luck!

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Anesthesia Choices for Mini-lifts


Anesthesia Choices for Facial Aesthetic Surgery such as a mini-lift depend on several factors.
First off, I do not think the type of anesthesia influences either the recovery time or the amount of bruising. Although it is possible to do all of these procedures under local anesthesia - your comfort is the most important concern. You will have to lie still for hours and you will be aware in many cases of injections. For procedures more than 3-4 hours I would recommend IV sedation or a general anesthesia. For local anesthesia cases I usually give Ativan or Valium before hand and most sleep for most of the cases without the need for an IV in healthy patients.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.