Is it safe to get a facelift under local anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 37

Facelift under local

Yes, it is safe to get a facelift under local anesthesia.  However, doing so often limits the surgery so, operations under local are usually shorter and simpler than those done under general anesthesia.  If you are looking for a more complete/thorough correction, a full facelift with adjunctive procedures may be better and general anesthesia may be more appropriate.  However, many mini facelifts, or simple skin lifts or mini smas lifts are done under local and are quite safe.

Best wishes,

Christopher C. Chang, MD

Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Is it safe to get a facelift under local anesthesia

All surgical #procedures carry some degree of #risk. The suitability of your procedures and any specific risks may be determined during you #consultation. However, based on this evaluation, your board certified plastic surgeons will create a custom surgical plan, detailing specific techniques and recommendations to meet your goals. If you are not a #candidate, your surgeon can make other suggestions to address your concerns and objectives Also, another element to a #satisfying result of your procedures are realistic #expectations.

Lite-lift™ is a modified facelift that can be performed in the office with a local anesthetic and improve signs of aging around the neck, jawbone and lower face. These procedures are not "Thread-lifts" or "String-lifts". We do not use the "barbed" sutures employed in these other lifting operations. The Lite-lift™ uses longer lasting techniques that are discussed below. Because the incisions are limited, there is less bruising, swelling and healing time for most patients. Many patients can be back to work in one to two weeks looking rested and more youthful.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews


Thank you for your question. Many cosmetic surgeries can be done under different forms of sedation. This can include twilight sedation, local anesthetic or even just a topical numbing agent, but it depends on the procedure. Keep in mind that the goal is to ensure your safety at all times and to be certain that you are comfortable during your procedure. I suggest that you consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to learn more about the procedure. 

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Yes, it is perfectly safe.

A facelift under local anesthesia is fairly common and quite safe. It's also the way I prefer to perform a facelift at my practice. Compared to an approach that places the patient under general anesthesia, it has some advantages. There is less bleeding during surgery, which also leads to less bruising afterward and a more rapid recovery. Local anesthetic also enables the surgeon to keep the overall cost of the procedure lower. Still, it ultimately comes down to what you are comfortable with. I recommend raising your anesthesia concerns during a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.


Dear Needaliftnow,

It is safe to get a facelift under local anaesthesia with a board certified or suitably trained plastic surgeon.  The option to get the surgery done under local anaesthesia does depend to some degree on the extent surgery planned and the exact technical details that are planned by the surgeon.  In my practice we generally perform a light general anaesthetic as very frequently eyelid surgery, fat transfer and other surgeries are done at the same time. 


Dr Nettle

Facelift under local anesthesia

It is generally safe to undergo a mini facelift under local anesthesia. However, a traditional facelift should be done under general anesthesia to ensure patient safety. It is often difficult for the patient to lay comfortably on a surgical gurney for 3-4 hours.  The longer and more complicated the procedure is, the more likely general anesthesia will need to be used. If you are considering a facelift, consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon will give you the opportunity to discuss your facelift options and decide which degree of facelift will benefit you.

All the best,

Dr. Jonathan Berman

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Facelift under local anesthesia

Thank you for your question. It is possible to perform a facelift (from simple to deep plane) under local anesthesia. Usually there is a component of oral or light IV anesthesia. Without any sedation, it is still possible but becomes more challenging for the patient to sit still for that period of time. The local anesthetic injections can be uncomfortable and the positioning can cause some back pain if the procedure goes past 2-3 hours. So yes it is possible but for the appropriately selected patient. Good luck.

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Facelift: local anesthesia

In the right hands, a variety of facelifts(not just mini lifts) can performed safely, comfortably and effectively under local anesthesia. Make sure that you research your surgeon and feel comfortable with their experience in doing a wide variety of surgeries under local anesthesia.  

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Facelift under local anesthesia and oral sedation

Thanks for posting your question. I have performed thousands of facelifts, neck lifts, mini lifts, blephs, lasers and chin implants all under local anesthesia and oral sedation. Administered properly, patients are comfortable and have an easier recovery. There is an art and science to this local anesthesia technique to acquire a high level of patient comfort. There is a certain skill involved with facelifts under local anesthesia so ask about your surgeons experience with the procedure. Some surgeons only perform mini lifts in their office. A true face and neck lift will involve liposuction, excision of the SMAS muscle layer and a platysmaplasty and in skilled hands can be done under local.   The risks, both short term and long term, of general anesthesia are eliminated. Please consult with several board certified surgeons experienced in facelifting and also in local anesthesia techniques. Ultimately there is no right or wrong way to have anesthesia for a facelift. You and your surgeon will decide what methods are best for you.

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Facelifts under local

it may be safe, but the surgeon may not be able to successfully finesse an extensive facelift under local anesthesia even with heavy sedation, so that corners are " cut " or less than desirable suturing technics are used. very heavy sedation without an anesthesiologist in attendance has it own serious risks as well.

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.