Rhinoplasty Without Using Anesthesia

I was considering doing a Rhinoplasty but worried about anesthesia. Is there any other way of doing this procedure and avoiding going under anesthesia? Possibly numbing the nose?

Doctor Answers 14

Anesthesia During Rhinoplasty

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Unfortunately, there is no way to perform a nose job without some form of
anesthesia. You shouldn’t, however, be worried about the administration of
anesthesia, as long as your doctor works alongside a specialist
anesthesiologist. Anesthesia is meant to ease discomfort and nerves
associated with the surgery; you will essentially be put to sleep and will wake
up without any recollection of the surgery you have just undergone.

Rhinoplasty and anesthesia options

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Rhinoplasty is a very difficult operation. There are multiple reasons why you want to have this done under a general anesthesia. Conscious awareness of the surgery is a real issue during rhinoplasty and it is extremely important to not have any recollection of the procedure. The nose has many different nerves that innervate the nose for sensation and it is nearly impossible to numb up. Attempting to numb the nose is also impossible under local anesthesia because of the severe pain associated with the injections. We have performed thousands of rhinoplasty surgeries under local anesthesia, IV sedation, and general anesthesia, and now prefer to perform them exclusively under general anesthesia by a board-certified physician anesthesiologist. This is the absolute best, safest, and most comfortable way to undergo the procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty without Anesthesia

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Local anesthesia is always used during rhinoplasty.  Intravenous medication or the delivery of anesthetic gases are normally also administered. When I was in training 35 years age, we did most of our rhinoplasties using just local anesthesia. Things have changed dramatically since that time. Discuss your options with an experienced surgeon so you have a pleasant experience, taking advantage of state-of-the-art anesthetic techniques.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Rhinoplasty without anesthesia under local

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Yes, it can be done with a local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. I always give my patients the choice. Years ago, most preferred the local anesthetic way but now it seems like they prefer to be under a general anesthetic, having the MD anesthesiologist breathing for them.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Rhinoplasty Surgery with Local Anesthesia

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One has many options for anesthesia for their rhinoplasty surgery. Most, if not all, patients and surgeons choose either twilight (sedation) or general anesthesia. Straight local anesthesia is not comfortable for both patient and surgeon. However, minor nasal procedures or touch-ups are routinely performed in the office with local anesthesia alone. Only after a comprehensive evaluation by a rhinoplasty surgeon can he/she determine appropriate options for you.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Rhinoplasty without using anesthesia

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Bad idea not to have anesthesia if having a rhinoplasty. I would not even consider doing your operation too many risks.


Rhinoplasty under local anesthesia

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The rhinoplasty procedure itself can be performed under local, intravenous or general anesthesia. It is very patient dependent. Some patients have a higher tolerance for discomfort than others. The biggest problem with performing a rhinoplasty under local anesthesia is the noise or bone sounds during the procedure. Limited rhinoplasties are more easily performed under local anesthesia but it certainly can be done that way if you desire. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews


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Using local anesthesia only for a rhinoplasty would be very uncomfortable. Anesthesia is very safe, I would definitely recommend it.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Why have pain?

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I do lots of noses -- almost all are done under sedation and local anesthesia - some docs only do them under general. Although I could do it under local only, why do you want to have pain? Anesthesia is VERY safe today.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Anesthesia for Rhinoplasty

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The question about straight local for Rhinoplasty anesthesia has two parts, in my opinion: CAN you and SHOULD you...

Straight local without any additional sedatives can be used for simpler Rhinoplasty procedures. However, it is not a particularly pleasant experience if you are completely aware of what is happening and you will retain a vivid memory of the experience. This raises the question of whether you SHOULD do straight local. Also, if you are uncomfortable and moving as a result, it can effect the precision of the operation.

Generally, twilight anesthesia is much better for both the patient and the physician, since it interferes with memory of the experience and also gives a much higher level of comfort. If you are young and healthy, then there should be no significant added risk to having intravenous sedation to compliment the local.

Best of luck

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 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.