Hi. I'm Dr. Michael Epstein, and I'd like to answer a question that was posed to me on RealSelf. This particular patient asked the question, "Can rhinoplasty surgery be performed under local anesthesia?"

The quick answer is yes, it can be. I can tell you, in my practice, I typically perform these under a deep sedation. The patient is essentially breathing on their own. They're not paralyzed. They're not hooked up to a breathing machine. That is a more traditional type of general anesthetic, and that is perfectly acceptable to do the operation under that type of anesthesia.

Local anesthesia has the particular challenge of the patient, they're going to feel most of the administered local anesthesia, you know, the injections and the pads of local anesthetic that are inserted into the nose. And that can be quite uncomfortable. Once that's in place, it is possible to do the surgery, but I think it takes a special type of patient that would be willing to sit through that type of surgery under local anesthesia.

I have done many little tiny revisions of rhinoplasties through the years under local anesthesia, but they're very limited in scope in terms of what I'm doing to the nose at that time.

To complete an entire rhinoplasty, I think it would be better, and probably safer for the patient, to have a board-certified anesthesiologist in the room that's going to be there monitoring the patient and keeping them comfortable throughout the procedure.

Can Rhinoplasty Be Performed Under Local Anesthesia?

Dr. Michael Epstein answers a question from a RealSelf user regarding if they can have a rhinoplasty done under local anesthesia. He answers the question, but also poses a few words of warning for this method.