Why Does it Matter that a Band Aid Facelift Doesn’t Require General Anesthesia?
Plastic surgery is one of those decisions you should be highly confident in before you move forward. It should not be an impulsive choice, but one based on thought, planning, and an investment in a happier future. When patients are researching their options and they find out that I offer a specialized line of procedures including the Band Aid Facelift, Band Aid Liposuction, and more, they’re excited to learn that these surgeries are performed in-office with gentle numbing, rather than with general anesthesia. Feeling fearful of being “all the way under” is very common, but few patients realize the full extent of the benefits local anesthesia can provide.
One of the most profound benefits of local anesthesia is that it is significantly easier on your body than general anesthesia, which means that many of the most serious risks surgery carries are strongly reduced. While severe complications from plastic surgery are already extremely rare (as long as the procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon), local anesthesia can reduce the risks even further for the right patients and the right procedures.
In addition to lowering surgical risks, opting for local anesthesia helps to make cosmetic surgery an easier and more pleasant experience because you’ll be able to return home the same day as your procedure, and you won’t have the grogginess and nausea that typically follow general anesthesia. But as thrilled as many patients are that their post-surgery hours will be easier, the more attractive benefit is usually the reduced recovery time. General anesthesia itself is an experience your body needs to recover from, on top of healing from the cosmetic surgery itself, because general anesthesia also requires an endotracheal tube and intravenous medication, which both add to the post-operative downtime as well. Local anesthesia, on the other hand, dramatically reduces the amount of recovery your body needs, which means you’ll be back on your feet significantly sooner—typically twice as quickly as you would after general anesthesia.
Notes to Keep in Mind
While local anesthesia can make the plastic surgery process easier and more pleasant in a number of ways, there are a few cautions to keep in mind. First, the safety and results of any surgery are dependent on the surgeon as well as the patient’s commitment to following pre- and post-surgical instructions. If you encounter a cosmetic surgeon who offers only local anesthesia and never performs surgery with general anesthesia, this should be a red flag, because a valid board-certified plastic surgeon must be well-trained in procedures using general anesthesia.
It’s also important to recognize that local anesthesia is only beneficial under the right circumstances. Your medical history and the extensiveness of the surgery you need will determine whether you are a candidate for a Band Aid Facelift (or another type of Band Aid procedure). While everyone wants their surgery to be as minimally invasive as possible, as a plastic surgeon, my goal is balancing your surgical experience with results that you will be happy with. At an in-person consultation, I will be able to make a recommendation about what type of procedure can best achieve your goals.
Plastic surgery is truly a balancing act—you’ll need to weigh your expected results, medical history, available recovery time, finances, aesthetic concerns, and more to find the ideal procedure and type of anesthesia for you. To start discussing your specific options, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more plastic surgery tips and information about the procedures you’re considering, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.