A facelift procedure is a marvelous procedure for refreshing the face and neck areas. The procedure removes excess fat from under the chin and tightens up the skin of the neck, jawline and lower 1/3 of the face. This accentuates the line of the jaw making it look cleaner and more youthful.
The surgical maneuvers to perform the surgery are very precise and meticulous and require the full attention of the surgeon throughout the process. For this reason, we usually utilize a full general anesthetic during a facelift. That way the patient is completely asleep, comfortable (and safe) and not moving. The surgeon does not have to wrestle with a half asleep and drugged patient while trying to do such fine, intricate work where millimeters matter!
The other options for anesthetic would be IV sedation with local anesthetic or just straight local anesthetic (numbing of the operative site). These may be adequate for more minor procedures such as liposuction under the chin or removal of just a little lax skin by the ear, but not ideal for a full facelift. If your surgeon only offers local anesthetic in their office, then consider double checking their credentials. Oftentimes, NON plastic surgeons cannot get privileges to do this kind of work at a licensed facility where general anesthesia can be utilized. They may not have the training or expertise to work in an accredited facility. If they do not have the proper training to do the surgery in a safe environment with proper anesthesia, then it is probably not a good idea to let them do your surgery in their office under uncontrolled conditions.
These days surgical patients have to take some responsibility in understanding what they are getting themselves into when they sign up for a surgical procedure. WHO does your surgery is very important, and their type of surgical training absolutely matters. It is up to the patients to do their homework in order to make informed decisions about their care. You wouldn’t want a plumber to fix your car…don’t let a gynecologist or foot doctor mess with your face! Looking for a surgeon who is board-certified in plastic surgery is a great place to start. As long as you ask questions and choose wisely, plastic surgeries can be done safely and successfully enhance your self-esteem and confidence.