Can a Face Lift Be Given Under Local Anestesia?

Doctor Answers 29

Facelift Commonly Done With Local Anesthesia


Thank you for your question. Yes it is possible to do a Facelift with Local Anesthesia. Usually some form of sedation or "twilight sleep" is provided for your comfort but you remain awake and breathing on your own. Recovery can be quicker when local anesthesia is used.

Facelift Under Local Anesthesia

If you are in good health then a facelift and necklift can be performed safely by either local anesthesia with oral sedation, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia in my practice. The oral sedation with local anesthesia relaxes the patient and often they sleep during a good portion of the surgery and forget the details of it afterwards. The key is for you to feel most comfortable. Many patients select local anesthesia with sedation as they are afraid of General Anesthesia, whereas other patients are afraid of being aware or feeling the injections at the beginning of the procedure.
General anesthesia is safer than many patients think, but if you are uncomfortable with the idea of being fully knocked out then your facelift can be performed with local anesthesia with IV sedation. Your doctor will check thoroughly to be certain that general anesthesia is safe for you. In any case, you are safest in the hands of a Board Certified Anesthesiologist. The most important decision you can make is deciding on the most qualified plastic surgeon (see link below) whose job it is to guide you on decisions such as the ones you are considering.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Facelift Under Local Anesthesia?

Yes, depending on the extent of surgery and other complementary procedures. Smaller skin lifts are fairly easy to perform under local. However, most individuals have better results with SMAS facelifts such as the short flap rhytidectomy. Additionally, most patients choose to have IV sedation or general anesthesia.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Safety and comfort

It is a matter of safety, comfort and how much work needs to be done. Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation or a general anesthesia under the supervision of an anesthesiologist is the most comfortable and safest way to do it. Many patients choose straight local anesthesia or local anesthesia with just an oral sedative for cost reasons. We have seen many patients over the years who had a straight local anesthesia elsewhere and complained about how negative an experience it was. If all you need is a minilft, local is possible; but the cost of a good anesthesia is not as much as you might think. Happy to consider whatever seems appropriate for your face.

Stuart H. Bentkover, MD
Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


Yes, a facelift can be done under local anesthesia with oral sedation safely and efficiently while not sacrificing the quality of the result. The Lifestyle Lift company has the most experience nationwide with this procedure. Look at the website and choose a Lifestyle Lift Center near your location.

Malcolm D. Paul, M.D.

Malcolm D. Paul, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Can a Face Lift Be Given Under Local Anesthesia?

Local anesthesia can be appropriate for certain patients with certain issues. One issue is neck stiffness, which can limit the turning of the head and results. Another is the degree of muscle tightening and extensiveness of fat removal in the submental area. Another is the duration of the procedure.

Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of facelifts, necklifts facelift revisions, and facial procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 484 reviews

Can a Face Lift Be Given Under Local Anestesia?

Yes I typically do facelifts, necklifts and muscle tightening with or without a chin implants under local.  Patients seem to recover faster and can smile and move their neck during the procedure which I feel helps me to  evaluate their face.  Make sure you go to a Plastic surgeon who does a lot of facelifts under local and ask about what they mean by "local".  Sometimes surgeons do local with IV sedation, which really is not local.   

Constance M. Barone, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Face Lifts Under Local Anesthesia

Mini face lifts can be performed under local anesthesia.  It is recommended to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon so that your options can be discussed.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Facelift Under Local

Most soft tissue surgeries can be performed under local anesthesia.  The question is would you want to?  Most facelift surgery is performed under local with IV sedation or at least with a little oral sedation.  This makes the injections of local anesthesia more comfortable and in many cases the patient doesn't remember the procedure at all.  While it is somewhat appealing to try to avoid anesthesia, it is important to remember that anesthesia is very safe and with IV sedation the wake up is quick and smooth.  Better to be comfortable if there is very little down-side. 

Edward Buckingham, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Face lift with local anesthesia

Thank you for asking about having a face lift with local anesthesia, for a SMAS face lift,

  1. Straight local anesthesia can be used for a thin woman with a thin face,
  2. Anesthesia with light oral sedation can also be used for a face lift,
  3. Intravenous sedation ('twilight') sleep is riskier than general anesthesia,
  4. General anesthesia is of the best. I require it for male face lifts because of the greater risk of bleeding and longer surgical times. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.