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You may be concerned about being “put under” general anesthesia during a facelift. General anesthesia is generally safe, but it does carry some risk. Most plastic surgeons perform this surgery with general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia, but with Dr. Mesa, your facelift can be performed painlessly under local anesthesia to improve safety. Dr. Mesa pioneered and perfected a groundbreaking technique for performing a facelift with local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia, twilight sedation, or oral sedation.

How is a facelift performed with local anesthesia?

The process of performing a custom facelift with local anesthesia involves injecting a diluted local anesthetic into the face and neck, numbing the area so that no pain is experienced during the procedure. During the procedure, Dr. Mesa uses music therapy to make you feel like you’re at the spa. This approach has significant added benefits, including:

  • No breathing tube
  • Blood pressure remains stable (general anesthesia and twilight anesthesia affects blood pressure)
  • Decreased risk of swelling, bruising, or hematoma (blood accumulating beneath the skin)
  • Higher level of patient safety, faster recovery, and is painless

The benefits of a facelift under local anesthesia

The goal of a facelift is to resolve the signs of aging through removing excess loose skin, smoothing wrinkles and creases, and restoring youthful definition to your jawline and upper neck. Dr. Mesa employs the most advanced surgical techniques and is known for his ability to achieve an outcome that appears refreshed and natural, not pulled or overly tight. When performed with local anesthesia, you gain an array of other benefits, beyond the beautiful results. These include:

  • Physiological stability during the procedure
  • Normal blood pressure
  • Normal breathing
  • No pain
  • Decreased risk of swelling, bruising
  • Faster recovery
  • Limited anesthesia-related side effects such as nausea, sore throat, and others
  • Safer, lower risk

Who is a candidate for a facelift with local anesthesia?

If you are a generally healthy non-smoker and do not have an anxiety condition or take anxiolytic medications (anxiety medications), you may be a good candidate for this advanced approach to facelift surgery. To determine whether you are safe to undergo a facelift with this method, we will work with your primary care physician, internist, or specialist (cardiologist). If you have certain health conditions such as bleeding disorders or are taking blood-thinning medications that cannot be on hold for a few weeks, you may not be a good candidate for this approach.

How long does the surgery take to complete?

A facelift performed with local anesthesia will take from four to six hours to complete. Dr. Mesa employs the most refined techniques, including tightening the underlying muscle structure to produce a very natural-looking, rejuvenated outcome.

What is the recovery time?

You should plan on taking two to four weeks off of work or other activities. Swelling and bruising is to be expected, but should significantly improve within about one week. You will be provided with full aftercare instructions, and Dr. Mesa will be closely monitoring your progress with several follow-up appointments. You must avoid any vigorous physical activities for six weeks. The healing of your incisions will likely require up to three months and will continue to improve. However, the incisions are not easily visible to others, and you will enjoy showing off your new look with confidence much earlier.

Why choose Dr. Mesa for a facelift?

Dr. Mesa is a Harvard-educated, triple fellowship-trained board-certified plastic surgeon, with offices in NYC, New Jersey, and Miami. He is nationally recognized for his advances in facial plastic surgery, including pioneering and refining performing a facelift under local anesthesia. Beyond his exceptional surgical skills and techniques, Dr. Mesa is a caring medical professional, and he and his hand-selected staff focus on providing an exceptionally positive, empowering patient experience. He has hundreds of positive reviews from his happy patients who are very pleased with his warmth, artistry, and natural-looking results.

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