Chin Implant - General Anesthesia?

I am having a chin implant with no other procedures. The surgeon gave me the option to do in his office with a local anesthesia or go to a surgery center and be knocked out. Are there any pros/cons to either scenario other than price? More swelling? More pain afterwards? I understand everyones pain tolerance is different but is it unbearable to do while awake?

Doctor Answers (11)

General or local anesthesia for chin implant

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In our practice, patients can choose between general or local anesthesia.  Majority of patients choose local anesthesia so they can drive home after the procedure.  Getting the chin numb is the hardest part of the procedure, not the actual procedure itself.  Once the chin is numb the implant is inserted over the mandible of the chin.  Some patients do not want to feel anything whatsoever and choose the option of having it done under general anesthesia.  There is always a fee for general anesthesia since we have board certified physician anesthesiologists present when necessary for patient’s comfort and safety.


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

If you can tolerate a moderate dental procedure, you'll likely tolerate local anesthesia

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While general anesthesia is preferable when performing surgery of longer duration or that is more invasive, chin augmentation alone is a great procedure to perform under local anesthesia or under conscious sedation ("twilight anesthesia").  The most uncomfortable part of the procedure will be the injection of the local anesthetic, but that discomfort will only last a few minutes at most.  The method of anesthesia would not be expected to affect the outcome or healing process, or post-procedure discomfort.  Good luck with you decision!

Maxwell Furr, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Chin implant and choice of anesthesia

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In my opinion, a chin implant can be done under local anesthesia, iv sedation or general anesthesia. Obviously, the costs are more to do under general anesthesia with iv sedation somewhere in the interim. It really boils down to whether you want the risks of general anesthesia or not as well as the costs. The outcomes including swelling, recovery, etc. from the procedure itself should be similar. The procedure itself is not very painful and can be easily blocked with lidocaine similar to a dental procedure.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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Chin Implant - General Anesthesia?

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A chin implant can be placed under local anesthesia with IV sedation (twilight anesthesia) or general anesthesia. Many surgeons have become accustomed to doing all procedures under GA despite the fact that almost all facial cosmetic surgery can be performed under IV sedation. The advantages of IV sedation include a much faster recovery, less sore throat and lower risk of post-operative nausea and vomiting. It is important to note that all surgeons have their own approach to facial plastic surgery. In many cases, the limitation is not the surgeon but the availability of a board-certified anesthesiologist experienced in providing IV sedation. For this reason, if you have found a good, trustworthy surgeon I wouldn't let the choice of anesthesia dissuade you from proceeding. GA is safe. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Chin implant - General Anesthesia

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Hello, it would be preferable to have a chin augmentation done under local and IV sedation. It will be much more comfortable for you and for your surgeon. Good luck to you.

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Chin Implant Local or General Anesthesia?

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This is a great question and one that my patients and I wrestle with often.  Numbing this area is quite easy as I do all my chin implants intraorally (incision inside the mouth).  These are easy nerves to numb and it is truly not more than a dental procedure. 

That being said, some people freak out in an operating room under local.  Obviously, you recover quicker from local anesthetic than general anesthetic, but there is potentially more anxiety depending on your personality.  The swelling, in my experience, is directly related to whether the implant is anchored well or not.  I screw all my implants into place with a titanium screw.  Because the implant is stabilized, it doesn't move and there is much less swelling, and truly quicker recovery.  If I had the choice of one or the other, I would take local anesthetic any day, but in fact, the choice is yours.

S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Anesthesia choices for Chin Implant

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I have my own personal surgical center and provide three choices of anesthesia general, local and local with IV sedation. For Chin Augmentation by itself your usual choices would be local or local with IV sedation. i typically choose the later for my patients since I have an anesthesiologist that works with me full time he would start an IV give you some short acting medications so you do not feel the xylocaine or local shots that numb the area. The procedure is very short typically thirty to forty minutes maximum and you then go to recovery and relax for an hour before your ride picks you up. Having an accredited operating facility allows you to give your patients the choice with a minimal increase in fees. I hope this is helpful to you. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Chin implant anesthesia

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The chin is an area of the face that is very easily numbed. I'm sure you have been to the dentist before for a cavity, had lidocaine for the tooth, and your chin gets numb. Its the same technique. With roughly two lidocaine injections the chin is numb and comfortable. I routinely perform chin augmentation under local anesthesia. The whole procedure takes about 30-45 minutes start to finish. Hope this was helpful

Louis M. DeJoseph, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Anesthesia Choices for Chin Implant

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You have three good choices: Local Anesthesia with or without oral sedation, IV sedation or general anesthesia. Most of the Chin implants that I do are in the office with an oral medication to make you sleepy (Ativan or Valium) and then local anesthesia. Many patients have no memory of the injections. For those that are overly anxious or would feel more comfortable with one of the other choices, I would not hesitate to use one of the other approaches

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

General anesthesia for a chin implant?

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If general anesthesia means using an endotracheal breathing tube to maintain the desired level of anesthesia, I think it is a bit of overkill and puts the surgeon at some inconvenience working under the chin. I prefer intravenous sedation before the local anesthesia which if maintained, blocks out all memory of the procedure. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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.