I Want to Have a Neck Lift but Afraid of Anesthesia. How Dangerous Is It?

I've had anesthesia before for neccesary reasons but i'm scared of it for non-neccesary procedures. How dangerous is it?

Doctor Answers 8

Neck lift with Iv sedation

We use IV sedation anesthesia, which is a very safe and effective method of anesthesia for facial plastic surgery and rhinoplasty. IV sedation anesthesia is extremely safe compared to the standard general anesthesia techniques used today. The main advantages of IV sedation anesthesia are: (i) it does not require putting a breathing tube in the throat, (ii) it does not require a breathing machine, (iii) the recovery is much faster, (iv) there is much less "hang-over" from anesthesia, (v) and there is much less nausea. All these elements translate into greater comfort and safety. We have used this technique of anesthesia in several thousand plastic surgery procedures without any anesthetic complications.

During IV sedation anesthesia a small flexible IV (intravenous) needle is placed into one of the veins of the back of the hand. Through this IV line, relaxing medication is given to make you fall sleep. The amount of medication given is adjusted to the specific needs of each person. After you are sleeping, some numbing medicine is also placed in the skin to numb the area that is being operated on. The beauty of IV sedation anesthesia is that during the procedure you are unaware of anything going on and cannot hear anything, yet you are still breathing on your own.

When the procedure is finished, the relaxing medication is discontinued and you begin to wake up. Because the medications used in IV sedation anesthesia clear the system rather quickly, most of our patients are able to go home in less than 30 minutes after the procedure is completed.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Anesthesia During Neck Lift

It is completely understandable that you are afraid of the implications of anesthesia during your neck lift. In fact, this is a very common concern among patients considering any type of surgery. Rest assured, however, that the risks that accompany anesthesia are rare so long as you provide your doctor with a full report of your medical history and of any medications you are taking. Also, in many cases, a prominent plastic surgeon will work alongside a certified anesthesiologist who is present to administer the anesthesia and to monitor your body’s reaction throughout the entire surgery. Try not to work yourself up over the possibility of complication, as anesthesia is primarily intended to ease the discomfort associated with your surgery and a neck lift could provide you with great aesthetic results. Also, you could consider the use of just local anesthesia if that appeals to you. Discuss this option with your facial plastic surgeon.

Yael Halaas, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

I Want to Have a Neck Lift but Afraid of Anesthesia. How Dangerous Is It?

Neck lift surgery does require some form of anaesthesia, there are three principal types of anaesthesia - local, sedative anaesthesia and general anaesthesia.
Local anaesthesia involves injecting numbing medicine at the area to be operated on. The face is a sensitive are of the face, and local anaesthesia along is not usually sufficient for neck lift surgery.
Sedative anaesthesia also known as twilight anaesthesia means an anaesthesiologist gives you some medications that make you sleep during the surgery. Dr. De Silva offers sedation anaesthesia for neck lift surgery, which ensures a comfortable experience, as patients have a rapid recovery and go home approximately thirty minutes after the surgery with an escort or chaperone. Patients generally prefer sedation to general anaesthesia as there is less nausea, sickness and tiredness after sedation anaesthesia
General anaesthesia means that the patient is completely unconscious, requires a breathing tube and the recovery is slower taking a minimum of 4-6 hours. For neck lift surgery, general anaesthesia is safe, effective and commonly used. In some patients general anaesthesia may not be the best option if you have existing medical conditions.

Anesthesia Risk for Necklift

Great question, because it is one of the most frequently asked by patients in my practice.  Anesthesia was developed as a means of pain control (analgesia), anxiety management (anxiolysis), and a prevention of memories of the event (amnesia).  In my practice, a necklift is performed under intravenous sedation, allowing for rapid onset and rapid offset of the effects of anesthesia, with little or no nausea (no postoperative nausea for the last 3.5 years).  For healthy patients, IV sedation is extremely safe, and my patients (even those who are nervous about anesthesia) really appreciate it.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Neck Lift with Local Anesthesia with Light IV Sedation

At my practice in New York, all cosmetic surgery (including neck lift surgery) is performed under Local Anesthesia with light IV sedation. To help people have as safe and pleasant an experience as possible during a cosmetic procedure, sedation or “twilight” anesthesia helps people who come to our practice recover quickly and often “not remember” the surgery. On the other hand, General anesthesia refers to a method of anesthesia where the person having surgery is temporarily paralyzed and placed on a respirator with a tube in their throat to allow them to breathe. In fact many complications such as aspiration (when an object or liquid is inhaled into the respiratory tract), damage to teeth and lips, nausea and vomiting, malignant hyperthermia (a life-threatening reaction to anesthesia) and blood clots to lungs (also known as PE or pulmonary embolus) occur with some frequency.  Even when general anesthesia is “uncomplicated”, 30% of people report having nausea and vomiting and need to recover longer because they feel “worn out”.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Neck lifts are not relatively dangerous. You can have minimally invasive anesthesia if you would like

You don't need general anesthesia for a neck lift. You could just have intravenous anesthesia and even sometimes oral sedation.  Oral sedation is a little extreme because you will be more aware but it is done quite a lot over the country. Intravenous, or IV, sedation is my choice.  It is safer than general with much less risk. 

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Safety of General Anesthesia

Thank you for the question.

Assuming you're in good health (and/or obtain medical clearance from your internist  for the procedure)  and are working with board certified surgeon and anesthesiologist,  the risks  of general  anesthesia  our relatively small. Please make sure the procedures done in a fully accredited facility as well.

Having tolerated anesthesia in the past is also a good indication that you will  likely do very well.

I hope this helps.

Is a neck lift dangerous?

All surgical procedures carry some risks, though low. If you are a healthy and active patient with no significant medical issues you likely will be a good candidate. If you are over 50 I would recommend you get preoperative clearance by your primary MD. If you are over 40 with some medical issues then see one.  Consider less aggressive in office procedures under local anesthetic if you are really worried. Good luck.

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.