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7 Types of Cosmetic Surgery You Can Get Under Local Anesthesia

7 Cosmetic Surgeries You Can Get Under Local Anesthesia

General anesthesia renders you unconscious during surgery, making it quite popular among the more squeamish types. If you're someone that tends to get anxious at the sight of a needle or a scalpel, the anesthesia will prevent any noises or sensations from disturbing you.

Nonetheless, this anesthetic is accompanied by higher costs and certain side effects. The next step down from general anesthesia is what's known as twilight sedation, where you're conscious and breathing without assistance.

The third step down, local anesthesia, is usually enough to do the trick and is generally preferred depending on the surgery in question. 

Which cosmetic procedures use local anesthesia, you may ask? Here are seven popular cosmetic procedures that you can undergo under local anesthesia:

1. Liposuction

Liposuction is a traditional procedure using general or local anesthesia to treat certain body areas. The ideal locations that can be treated while awake are small and superficial, such as the arms, a double chin, and the pockets of fat around your thighs.

This type of fat is easier to remove as well. The targeted fat tends to be under the skin and can be removed without an aggressive cannula movement, which significantly lowers the chance of bleeding.

Using local anesthesia will not negatively affect the outcome of the procedure. It's still performed in the same manner, but certain sensations are more detectable. 

For example, a slight tenderness will be felt if tumescent fluid is injected before the liposuction, but afterward, it's all numb and indiscernible.

2. Lip Lifts

A lip lift is a procedure that involves removing a strip of skin from underneath the nose and raising the upper lip with sutures to create a fuller and more prominent appearance.

It turns out that lip lifts are considered to be more optimal when using local anesthesia. Having the upper and lower lips not covered by a breathing tube can help the surgeon visualize the correct proportions.

It's easy to numb the upper lip. Patients tend to feel so comfortable during the procedure that they talk during the process.

3. Facelifts

Anything that involves manipulating skin, such as a facelift, fat grafting, or a brow lift, can often get the green light for local anesthesia. 

Despite your skin's sensitivity, local anesthesia, combined with regional nerve blocks, are highly effective in providing a comfortable experience.

4. Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty

As long as you're not terrified of being awake for a surgical procedure near your eyes, an upper eyelid blepharoplasty is a go-to under local anesthesia.

Loose skin on the upper eyelid can be removed under local anesthesia due to the limited surface area addressed during the procedure. Excess fat is also removed simultaneously but can be accessed via the same incision.

While it's possible to do an upper and lower eyelid procedure, it's generally recommended that only the upper portion be treated, given that the lower eyelid deals with more fat, which is easier when you are placed under general anesthesia.

Undergoing a blepharoplasty requires one to be comfortable, sit still, and keep their eyes closed during the entire operation. You will be screened for comfort levels of being conscious before the surgery to avoid any impending risks.

5. Buccal Fat Excisions

A buccal fat removal procedure begins with placing small incisions within the mouth. The chances of bleeding are minimal, and if you're used to getting dental work, the sensations barely vary.

The pressure can sometimes be uncomfortable; therefore, oral medications can relax the patient.

Occasional interruptions during the surgery involve the patient having to spit or suction saliva, which demonstrates that you're responsive enough to keep your airway open.

6. Otoplasty (Ear Pinning)

An otoplasty adjusts the size and shape of the ears, and it's often used to correct how wide ears stick out.

The nerve endings that make you feel pain can effectively be blocked with small injections around the ear.

You won't feel much pain while it's happening, and all that is required is that you stay still and occasionally move your head when instructed by your surgeon.

While your ear is numb, patients will still be able to feel a slight pulling of their ear and certain instances of pressure. You'll also be able to hear everything that's happening, which for some can be anxiety-inducing. 

7. One Other Major Procedure Performed With Local Anesthesia

Plastic surgery performed with local anesthesia is generally viewed as limited to what can be treated. Smaller surface areas are usually the norm, while more significant changes to the body are to be performed with general anesthesia. 

Elite Body Sculpture has changed the game for cosmetic fat removal thanks to their automated device, which allows patients to experience a seamless fat removal. Their use of patented AirSculpt technology allows for a broader area of treatments to be performed without general anesthesia.

These procedures don't use scalpels, stitches, needles, or general anesthesia, and are a comfortable choice for removing or transferring fat from your body.

We're proud to have offices in a handful of cities in North America, creating opportunities for patients to make changes to their bodies without depending on invasive surgical techniques. Call one of our locations today to learn more!


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