Many patients think that facelift surgery has to be done under general anesthesia or deep sedation. However, a facelift can be performed under only local anesthesia. As a matter of fact, using local anesthesia has many advantages compared to general anesthesia.
One of the main advantages of using only local anesthesia is avoiding the complications that occur with general anesthesia and deep sedation in facelift surgery. What are the risks of general anesthesia in a facelift? There are DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), VTE (Venous Thromboembolism) and malignant hyperthermia. Both VTE and malignant hyperthermia are life-threatening complications. IV sedation used with facelift has risks as well, which can cause a patient to breathe inadequately due to over-sedation. As a matter of fact, death and severe complications from anesthesia occur from deep IV sedation due to over-sedation. When using only local anesthesia to perform facelift surgery the advantage is that we take away the risks that come with general anesthesia. In surgery there are two types of risks: one is the surgical risk and second is the anesthetic risk. By removing the anesthetic risk in facelift surgery, the patient can safely receive the procedure without additional complications. Local anesthesia works by numbing only the nerves around the face, making the facelift procedure as safe as possible. Another recent development of general anesthesia and IV sedation risks is that it can kill nerve cells in the brain with prolonged exposure. A facelift procedure can take anywhere from 3-6 hours. Therefore, being under anesthesia for this long period of time increases the risk of brain cell damage that can affect cognition and memory.
Dr. Kenneth Kim is a board-certified plastic surgeon located in Los Angeles, CA. He performs all his surgical procedures, including facelifts, using only local anesthesia. Although Dr. Kenneth Kim specializes in Asian facelift but also performs facelift surgeries for all ethnicities. Asian facelift is known to be the most difficult procedure due to Asian faces being heavy and that they are prone to scarring. In order to perform facelift surgery using local anesthesia, the surgeon must meticulously perform the dissection using the ultra-precision method, which is a technique pioneered by Dr. Kenneth Kim. Facelift surgery is an elective procedure to enhance and improve quality of life. It is unnecessary to take on additional anesthetic risk by undergoing general anesthesia or deep IV sedation.
You can learn more about performing facelifts with local anesthesia by visiting Dr. Kenneth Kim’s office and scheduling a consultation.