Bloodless plastic surgery is an impressive and increasingly popular aspect of plastic surgery and medicine in general. Bloodless surgeries aim to minimize the amount of bleeding a patient experiences as part of their procedure by using more precise methods and carefully placed incisions. By causing little to no bleeding, the surgeon can deliver the aesthetic results the patient wants while also reducing healing time, bruising, and internal scarring. But can an awake facelift be a bloodless procedure?
Can an Awake Facelift Be a Bloodless Procedure?
Bloodless procedures are part of a branch of procedures that focuses on preserving patient tissue structures while still completing a complex and transformative surgery. A skilled surgeon can use such surgical methods to cover a wider range of patient goals, from rhinoplasty to eyelid surgery, making this option ideal for facial cosmetic surgery, including an awake facelift.
In tandem, awake plastic surgery is a complementary branch of plastic surgery where the patient is placed under only local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. Avoiding use of general anesthesia reduces the overall risk to the patient, as this traditional means of sedation can put patients at risk for memory loss or even mortality.
Awake and bloodless types of procedures have begun to become more popular among patients over the years for a variety of reasons, some of which will be described below.
If you’re considering receiving awake facelift treatment, then consider perusing the following information on whether an awake facelift can be a bloodless procedure.
The Awake Facelift Experience
In an awake facelift, a patient is given local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, which means that they do not lose consciousness as the procedure is enacted.
Awake facelifts have begun to gain traction recently due to their efficient and effective nature, which results in a shorter recovery period while achieving the same level of results.
Fortunately, awake facelifts can indeed be performed as bloodless operations when an experienced and specialized surgeon performs the procedure. In the right hands, this methodology can result in some highly impressive final results in the synthesis of the techniques.
Why Avoid General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia may occasionally be necessary for patients undergoing intensive, invasive surgeries that will involve hours of painful incisions into areas of the vital organs.
However, in situations where general anesthesia is unnecessary, there are several advantages to avoiding its use, many of which center around patient health and safety. This is because it can carry with it numerous inhibiting elements.
One of the core issues with general anesthesia is how it can result in memory loss. In cases where a procedure goes over two hours (which is most surgeries), patients can experience not only the unconsciousness of the procedure but a loss of other memories due to the nature of the substances used. Caring for the patient thus demands ensuring they are not put at risk of losing memories.
Certain patients are often unable to qualify for surgeries requiring general anesthesia since the anesthetic itself can be detrimental to patients suffering from certain chronic health conditions. Some of these include things like:
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Problems
- Sleep Apnea
- And other common health conditions
Awake procedures also typically involve a decreased use of drugs in both the surgical process and the recovery period. Since most drugs carry with them potential side effects, using them less has the potential for a simpler, more comfortable, and swifter recovery period.
General anesthesia is also one of the more costly elements of surgery, meaning that avoiding its use can result in a reduced cost to this aspect of the procedure.
Bloodless Surgery Basics
Bloodless surgery is an innovative technique based on the scientific reality that the body is composed of layers of tissue.
A bloodless surgery takes advantage of this fact by utilizing the layers of the body and tissue that glide and separate easily. Since the patient is awake, the surgeon makes every effort to minimize trauma to the tissues, working to ensure a comfortable, painless experience.
The layers of tissue are found utilizing an innovative method where fluid is injected into the subtle layers of tissue of the epidermis. Since liquid will always settle in the area of least resistance, the surgeon can follow the path of liquid in the surgical path along the gliding plane.
This results in a surgical procedure with less tissue damage and disruption to the blood vessels. In other words, since the blood vessels are spared, there can be little to no bleeding with each precise incision.
Bloodless surgeries have begun to become more popular across surgical practices as alternatives develop. Some bloodless methodologies include things like:
- Biological products
- Lab technologies
As the practice evolves, it is entirely possible that more bloodless options will emerge for patients interested in exploring this promising branch of surgical practice.
Fewer Risks Involved
Plenty of research has come forth that suggests that avoiding blood transfusions can result in fewer infections and allergic reactions, a faster recovery, and shorter stays in medical facilities.
There is also a marked decrease in complications in the post-surgical period, as well as a decrease in exposure to blood-borne viruses and infections.
There are also many people who decide not to have blood transfusions for religious, medical, or personal reasons. People like this deserve options for effective treatment and so make excellent candidates to consider bloodless surgery.
Operating With Hemodynamics in Mind
Hemodynamics is a term that refers to the study of blood as it moves through the body and the blood vessels. Not damaging and not losing blood flow in any situation is absolutely vital, and this includes the realm of surgery.
Maintaining a healthy hemodynamic system in the body is a major element of health in general. As we age, minimizing the amount of blood loss in general in the body can help to allow the maintenance of healthy tissue.
Maintaining healthy blood flow can only lead to numerous health benefits; deficiencies in proper function are one of the leading causes of disease and illness in the general population.
For example, people with diabetes suffer from poor blood supply and narrowing of blood vessels, which is one of the reasons that they suffer from increased levels of scarring and higher levels of infection.
Shortening the Recovery Time
One of the major advantages of a bloodless surgery is that due to the fact that there is no blood loss induced during the surgery, which means that the patient is not fatigued from that blood loss. Avoiding the usual blood loss of surgery also places much less strain on the heart and lungs.
By keeping the surgical process within the planes of the skin that do not have major blood vessels, the surgeon can minimize many of the elements of surgery that have come to define what patients consider to be elements of the recovery process.
This includes things like the bruising that is produced in traditional surgery, which is the result of blood vessels being damaged or burst due to the invasive nature of affecting the layers of the body where those vessels are located.
Damaging blood vessels produce inflammation, which can impede the body’s ability to heal quickly from some of the other stressful elements of surgery.
Eliminating Internal Scarring
By using more precise techniques that take the body’s natural structures into account, a surgeon performing an awake facelift can avoid a little-known downside to traditional methods: internal scarring. Internal scarring occurs when tissues are not parted with precision, and when those scars heal, they can lead to a less refined result overall.
A Clearer Surgical Vision
Bloodless surgery also has the added benefit of allowing the surgeon to clearly perceive the details of the face without the obstruction and messiness of blood.
This can help the surgeon achieve a higher level of precision as they proceed through the surgeries, which can lead to higher levels of aesthetic satisfaction for the patients.
This is because the surgeon can observe every detail of the surgical platform of the face as they perform the operation. This proves a significant advantage in the long run for both physician and patient.
Some of the specific advantages of the bloodless facelift on the side of the physicians include
Reduced Scarring and Refined Results
Facelift surgery is a delicate process, with the results on clear display for anyone walking by. With this in mind, any method to increase its precision and efficacy proves worth pursuing.
In a facelift procedure, much of postoperative scarring occurs due to tension applied to the retaining ligaments that tie together the structural foundation of the face.
When the surgeon can avoid pulling the tissues of the face, tension lessens in that area, and subsequently, the area can heal with minimal scarring.
In addition, the lessened level of inflammation allows the doctor to operate in a more precise manner since they will not be working around the inflammation in order to make surgical decisions.
This oftentimes results in a more natural-looking final appearance from the surgery, which many patients find preferable.
But Can an Awake Facelift Meet These Requirements?
While many surgeons will not have the experience to perform an awake facelift as a bloodless procedure, the right ones can. Successful awake procedures require years of training and a dedication on the part of the physician to provide patient-centric results that go beyond the baseline of what is acceptable. At Dr. Kenneth Kim’s practice, he performs awake procedures exclusively, refusing to put patients at risk with general anesthesia.
Discussing Your Options
If you find yourself interested in receiving an awake facelift procedure and think that the bloodless option might work well for your specific need set, then you can discuss the specifics of your situation with your physician in detail in a pre-surgical consultation.
Your physician will have a set of guidelines and advice to help you decide whether or not you are a good candidate for a bloodless procedure.
In plastic surgery—or any surgery—the goal for your operation will be to make it as safe and predictable as possible, with as few extraneous complications as one can manage.
By consulting with your physician beforehand, you and your doctor can build a personalized plan based on the unique needs and elements of your physique.
During your consultation, asking as many questions as you feel fit will establish a sense of safety and comfort surrounding the procedure.
In addition, you should feel free to share any concerns that you might have about your procedure with your physician so that the two of you are entering the operating room as informed and secure as possible.
You and your doctor will build intimacy and trust, which can only serve to enhance your overall surgery process as you move forward with your operation.
Giving the Highest Quality Service Available
Top plastic surgeon Dr. Kim and his award-winning team of medical staff at Dream Medical Group routinely serve the greater Los Angeles area with advanced, patient-centric surgeries. If you find yourself interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss whether or not a would work for you, then take a visit to our website for more information. There you can read about procedures and explore academic articles Dr. Kim has published in medical journals.
- Blood Management/Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. Mount Sinai website. Accessed June 11, 2023. https://www.mountsinai.org/care/blood-management.
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