What Are the Side Effects of Local Anesthesia During Blepharoplasty?

Will the injections be painful? Will the eyelids be swollen and puffy with the volume of anesthesia in them? If so, how can the surgeon still see their shape and problems accurately and not overcorrect?

Doctor Answers 12

Local anesthesia is safe and reliable during blepharoplasty.

I do the majority of my upper eyelid blepharoplasties under local anesthesia.  It is safe, cost effective and very well tolerated by my patients.  The markings for skin removal and fat removal are all made before any local is injected so there is no worry of over resection.  As long as the local is injected slowly there should be very little discomfort.  The local anesthesia aids in minimizing bleeding and in post op discomfort.  There are no long term side effects to using local in eyelid surgery.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Local anesthetic for blepharoplasty

Local anesthetic is used whether you are awake or asleep for your blepharoplasty. It aids with your comfort and reduces the bleeding during surgery and bruising afterwards. The injections sting a bit if you are having your procedure performed while awake, but then things are quickly numb. Before any local is injected your surgeon will mark the excess skin and incision sites, and therefore the distortion created by the local anesthetic will not affect the accuracy and therefore result of the procedure.

Shannon O'Brien, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

What Are the Side Effects of Local Anesthesia During Blepharoplasty?

     A very minimal volume is necessary to provide anesthesia to the eyelids.  The first injection can be performed with a very small needle, and the remainder of the injections should not be felt.  The ability to perform the surgery with the minimal volume of infiltration is not hindered.   There are no long term side effects of local anesthesia during blepharoplasty.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Its the same

Almost all surgeons use local anesthesia during eyelid procedures. The difference in your case will be if you have any sedation for the injection portion of the procedure. If not you will feel some mild discomfort during the numbing process. There are no long term effects from the injection and all of us know to make our surgical marks before we inject.

Benjamin C. Marcus, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

No long term problems or short term

the doctor will only use a small amount of local. it is extremely unlikely that this would cause you any problems.

david berman md

plastic surgeon, northern VA

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Blepharoplasty under local anesthesia

 We usually do not recommend  blepharoplasty under local anesthesia due to comfort level of the patient when the injections need to be made. Preoperatively, the incisions are drawn out on the upper eyelids and notes made as to how much fat removal on the lower lids.  Fat removal on upper or lower lids is quite painful  even under local anesthesia, and for that reason we usually perform a blepharoplasty under general anesthesia.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

No long-term side effects from local anesthesia after blepharoplasty.

Upper eyelid surgery can often times be performed with local anesthesia only. There are no long-term side effects.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Local Anesthetic and Upper Blepharoplasty (eyelid rejuvenation)

Upper blepharoplasty to rejuvenate the appearance of the eyelids is one of the safest cosmetic surgery procedures performed, and one with great patient satisfaction. Often performed under local anesthetic alone, your question is a good one.  Most anesthetics injected cause a subtle reduction in blood flow to reduce bruising and bleeding during the procedure. They also provide a dense numbness to the area being worked on for about 2 hours, then their effects gradually wear off. Only 1-2 cc are typically injected per eyelid, so a reasonably small amount is effective.  There is some swelling associated with the injection of any fluid into the skin, and local anesthetic is no exception. Since the eyelid skin is the thinnest skin in the body, the swelling from 1-2cc of local anesthetic will be noticed.

Regarding your question about how we can perform the procedure with the swelling present, we MARK your eyelids BEFORE we inject the anesthetic. This way, we know exactly how much skin and/or fat to excise.   

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

What Are the Side Effects of Local Anesthesia During Blepharoplasty?

The amount of local anesthesia used for blepharoplasty is very small about 1-2 cc. Distortion does not affect the overall picture and preoperative markings are the most important factor. Surgeons who do perform these operation are experienced and familiar with their trade.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Local anesthesia during blepharoplasty

Eyelid surgery can be performed under different types of anesthesia, from general anesthesia to local anesthesia.  I prefer to perform the surgery under IV sedation with local anesthesia.  There is a small amount of pain from the injections but it is tolerable.  The volume of the local anesthetic injected does alter the appearance of the eyelids and this is why the eyelids are marked prior to the injection.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.