An “awake facelift” is a type of facelift procedure that is performed while the patient is awake, meaning that they are conscious and alert during the surgery, although local anesthesia is used to numb the treatment area. This approach is also known as a “local anesthesia facelift.” It contrasts with traditional facelifts, which are often performed under IV sedation general anesthesia, rendering the patient completely unconscious.
The awake facelift is considered just as invasive as a regular facelift, although it can be modified for patient comfort. However, it can be a more patient-friendly option because it offers several potential benefits:
- Reduced risks: Since the patient is awake and can provide feedback during the procedure, there may be fewer risks associated with anesthesia. This is specially helpful in patients with obstructive sleep apnea whose airways obstruct when sedated and therefore require intubation.
- Faster recovery: Recovery time may be shorter, and patients can often return to their normal activities more quickly. There is no downtime needed to recover from anesthesia or associated nausea/vomiting associated with anesthetics.
- Cost-effective: Awake facelifts can be more cost-effective than traditional facelifts because they don’t require the use of an operating room and general anesthesia.
- Natural results: Surgeons can have patients make specific facial expressions during the procedure to achieve a more natural-looking outcome.
- Minimal scarring: The use of local anesthesia can often allow for smaller incisions, resulting in less noticeable scarring.
It’s important to note that not all patients are suitable candidates for an awake facelift, as the extent of the procedure and the choice of anesthesia should be determined on an individual basis. Patients interested in this type of facelift should consult with Dr. Thomassen to discuss their specific needs and options.