A lower face lift or neck lift can greatly rejuvenate the face and help restore the appearance of youth and beauty. Maryland or Virginia face lift patients are typically active individuals who have sagging skin and jowls and excess neck fat. Face lift patients often ask about the incisions used during the face lift and anesthesia during the cosmetic surgery.
A face lift is not one operation, but rather many potential cosmetic procedures, dependent on the surgeon and patient to improve neck line, jowls, and signs of facial aging. Although there are many different face lift procedure terms, there are really only a few different types. These basic face lift surgery types are the SMAS, deep, or composite. Face lift may be combined with other cosmetic surgery for Maryland or Virginia patients such as a eyelid surgery, fat transfer, or others.
The amount of tissue adjusted or tightened depends on the specific approach & the requirements of a particular patient. The minimal access or minimal incision lift that leaves a short scar is more appropriate for younger patients (less than 60) or patients with little/moderate skin aging. All of these types of face lifts are variations of SMAS lifts. Older Maryland or Virginia patients or patients with severe & excess skin sagging will require a more traditional facelift procedure. By far, a majority of plastic surgeons who perform face lift surgery do a SMAS lift variation. This face lift type generally has the quickest recovery with great results.
Typically most face lift surgery is performed with either IV sedation (twilight anesthesia) or general anesthesia, along with local anesthesia. Either are good, safe options, with their own advantages and disadvantages. IV sedation or general anesthesia may be provided by a board-certified anesthesiologist and/or nurse anesthetist dependent on the surgical facility. It’s better to have someone else other than your face lift surgeon monitoring you and your vitals during anesthesia. Let your plastic surgeon concentrate on the cosmetic surgery.
Some cosmetic surgeons perform face lift surgery under local anesthesia only, termed “awake surgery”. Read my press release on awake surgery. I advise my Maryland and Virginia face lift patients against performing any extensive plastic surgery via local anesthesia only. While minor procedures can be performed in the office with local anesthesia, patients are more comfortable with IV sedation or general anesthesia for more extensive procedures.
The decision on the type of anesthesia depends on the extent of face lift surgery, combined cosmetic surgery procedures along with the face lift, patient factors/preference, and surgeon factors/preference. After an evaluation by a plastic surgeon, one chooses the appropriate anesthesia type for their plastic surgery.