If you want a facelift or eyelift but are concerned about the risks of general anesthesia, you now have options. Many plastic surgeons now offer twilight anesthesia, which doesn’t completely put you to sleep but relieves anxiety and provides pain relief. Patients also receive a local anesthetic at the surgery site. It’s the same surgery, whether done under general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia.
Because there’s no general anesthesia, the procedure – which is seldom covered by insurance – is less expensive.
Instead of general anesthesia -which puts the patient to sleep and often results in hours of grogginess and/or nausea afterward- twilight anesthesia offers sedation. You’ll feel sleepy, but you’re not “out.” You can follow simple directions given by the doctor or nurses. Statistically, twilight anesthesia is safer than general anesthesia.
Recovery time is much faster with twilight anesthesia than with the general version. Patients undergoing general anesthesia require some type of breathing apparatus to keep the airway open, as they can no longer control it to keep it open. That’s not necessary with twilight anesthesia.
General anesthesia-free surgery isn’t for everyone. It’s crucial that doctors screen patients requesting just twilight anesthesia, because some folks aren’t going to do well staying conscious during a facelift. Much also depends on a patient’s comfort level. Some people are tough and stay stoic through twilight anesthesia. Others may tend to move around too much during the procedure. There’s also the risk that you could completely wake up in the middle of the surgery, which might mean you’ll need general anesthesia after all.
If you can deal with minor discomfort and aren’t squeamish, twilight anesthesia is probably a good choice. If your pain tolerance is low and you tend toward nervousness, general anesthesia is the better option. There are also medical conditions that may preclude one or the other type of anesthesia. If you plan on twilight anesthesia for plastic surgery, make sure your doctor is board-certified and has expertise in performing operations on patients under twilight anesthesia. You’ll also need a qualified, experienced anesthesia provider – not the surgeon, as sometimes occurs. Twilight surgery procedures require special vigilance to ensure patient comfort. Confirm that general anesthesia is available in the facility if you require it.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!