How Comfortable Are These Local Anesthetic Facelifts?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’ve heard of facelifts being done under just local anesthesia. How safe and comfortable is that approach for this kind of surgery? It is appealing to me but it makes me nervous being awake.

A: There is little question that limited or mini-facelifts are very popular today and are widely advertised. Many surgeons and companies have even named their own versions of these mini-facelifts. Their premise is based on being performed under local anesthesia for a quick recovery and usually a lower cost. While there is merit to this approach, the key is whether a more limited facelift result will meet a patient’s expectations based on their degree of neck and jowl sagging beforehand. While eliminating the risks, cost and recovery from anesthesia is appealing, that can be a poor trade-off if the ‘problem is bigger than the solution’. Such mini-facelifts are best used in younger patients who have early signs of facial aging or in older patients, while really needing a fuller facelift, simply doesn’t have the time, resources or desire to completely address the extent of their aging issues.

Local anesthetic facelifts can be made fairly comfortable through the use of oral or IV sedation drugs. The wonders of modern pharmacology allow one to reach a pleasant and relaxed state of mind so local anesthesia can be adequately injected for the facelift procedure.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana