Are facelift hematomas usually repaired under local or general anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 33

Facelift Hematomas

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Facelift hematoma is a rare complication from facelift surgery. The vast majority of facelift hematomas can be treated under local anesthesia. Very rare cases would require intervention under general anesthesia. However, this can come down to your surgeon's preference.  

Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Are Facelift Hematomas Repaired Under General or Local Anesthesia

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Small ones would be done under local, but an active, enlarging hematoma would require general anesthesia and control of any bleeding points.

Facelift hematomas

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I dont know I cant remember having one  which required more than insertion of a suction. I imagine the big ones will require anesthesia and a hunt for the bleeder

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Are facelift hematomas usually repaired under local or general anesthesia?

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A facelift hematoma is usually treated under local and/or sedation.
Thank you for your question.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

FaceLift Hematoma

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Most commonly, it can be done in office or a surgicenter with local anesthesia. In some cases, general Anesthesia is required. 

It is usually low pain.

Dr Bonaparte

Management of facelift hematomas

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will vary by the surgeon and their comfort with attempting control in the office or returning to the OR where there is much more help and equipment such as suction to help with management.  In my practice, I counsel patients on attempting control in the office and if impossible, the wound will be packed and they will be admitted urgently to the hospital.  If the surgery center is open, they may choose that rather than accept the risk of the hospital where costs are considerably more.

Facelift Complications

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Hematomas come in all shapes and sizes and therefore are treated accordingly. Small ones may be handled under local anesthesia, very large ones usually require general anesthesia. 


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Whether a facelift hematoma is treated in the office under local or in a surgical suite under general anesthesia depends upon the severity of the hematoma and the surgeon's facility.  Although rare, my preferred treatment for any hematoma involves at least intravenous sedation or general anesthesia since it is much more comfortable and safe for the patient. Moreover, my surgical facility is adjacent to my office making it ultra convenient for everyone.


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Although hematoma's are rare after surgery, they can happen. Depending on the size of the hematoma, your surgeon will determine whether it can be taken care of under local or general anesthesia. 

Facelift Hematoma

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I think that other answers to your question are accurate so I'll add a few facts that I've found in my experience of doing facelifts.
Excellent blood pressure control before and after your surgical procedure is very important to preventing hematomas.
Avoidance of blood thinning medications (your doctor will give you a list) is mandatory.
The use of fibrin glue is not a guarantee against hematomas however IMO fibrin glue makes swelling and bruising much less and has helped me to nearly eliminate hematomas.   
The risks are higher for males and lower for patients undergoing a second facelift.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 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.