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Anesthesia Alternative for Lidocaine in Facelift Procedure?

I had allergy testing with preservative free lidocaine to rule out methylparaben sensitivity. I developed red papules and itching at the injection areas. No life threatening reactions just the rash for several days.

Now my plastic surgeon will not do a Facelift unless I use general anesthesia which I don't want to use. Is there any other local anesthesia that could be substituted for lidocaine? Is a topical skin reaction to PRESERVATIVE FREE lidocaine dangerous?

Doctor Answers (9)

Marcaine or general anesthesia


There are many alternatives to lidocaine on the market that can be safely used. The most common alternative in my practice is Marcaine, also called bupivicaine. If you wanted to avoid all anesthestic injections, you also could have your facelift done under general anesthesia and your doctor could inject a dilute solution of epinephrine to accomplish the bleeding control that is an important reason for the injections. If no anesthetic injections are done though, you will probably experience more discomfort in the first day or two.

Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Yes there are alternatives to lidocaine anesthesia.


 You can be tested the same way with Marcaine. The surgeon probably feels you will be more comfortable with general anesthesia at the same time which is the way most surgeons do this.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

A general anesthetic is the way to go with your facelift


Your surgeon is giving you great advice. While Lidocaine allergies are very rare there is no sense in risking a major dangerous reaction when you can avoid it with a general anesthetic. In fact almost all my face lifts are now done under general anesthesia because I find it easier on the patient and on me. With today's modern anesthesia the risks are so rare that i would not hesitate.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Lidocaine alternative for Facelift procedure


Most likely not, but the issue you present is one of your safety. You can ONLY be operated upon in a hospital setting. The risk of a severe allergic reaction is too high. That is why your plastic surgeon is offering to do your surgery under general anesthesia with most likely epinephrine soaks to decrease the bleeding. See other plastic surgeons in your area to get a consensus of the type of care you will be needing. Regards.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Lidocaine allergy


I always do my facelifts under general anesthesia but use local anesthesia in addition to allow the anesthesiologist to keep the amount of general anesthesia to a minimum. There are many alternatives to lidocaine but I think that Gen is the way to go for a facelift.  The patient is comfortable and I can focus on the surgery and the outcome.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Local Anesthetic Choices


Marcaine, also called bupivicaine is a different type of local anesthetic (an ester) and lasts longer than lidocaine (an amide) so that it is unlikely you would also be allergic to this medication. However skin testing might be wise before hand in your case. One of the reasons to do this procedure under general of IV sedation is that an anesthesiologist would be present that could take care of any allergic reactions you may have during the procedure. It would seem that your plastic surgeon has your best interests in mind when he made this decision.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Lidocaine Allergy


First of all, test for allergies to other local anesthetics. Unless you have significant medical problems which have not been mentioned, a very light general anesthetic is very safe. There are many different techniques and levels of general anesthesia. Investigate your alternatives.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.