Imagine getting a facelift with a local anesthesia. Some plastic surgeons are doing that now, hoping that less anesthesia lessens the risk and promotes a faster recovery.
The local anesthesia uses a technique borrowed from liposuction. Something called Tumescent solution is gently injected into the face until the facial tissues are swollen with a diluted mixture of Xylocaine, saline, and Epinephrine to prevent bleeding and bruising. Of course, this requires the skill of a trained plastic surgeon because the hard part for the surgeon is picturing the end result when the face is so swollen.
"The key here is to know what exactly you need to do to get the tissues to become what you know the final product should be, which is a matter of experience," says Dr. Zachary Gerut, plastic surgeon.
The rest of the facelift is done in a conventional manner and the results are the same, but the recovery is dramatically different.
"I was eating dinner that night and feeling great the next day, full of energy, and out the next night socializing," says Maureen Polye, a facelift patient.
"There seems to be less bruising, less swelling, and certainly, they don't have to go through the nausea, vomiting, even the sluggishness for several days of anesthesia," says Dr.Gerut.
One Lubbock plastic surgeon told me that he doesn't think it's practical to do a total facelift under a local anesthesia, but it is common here for surgeons to use a local when it comes to brow lifts or eye-lid surgery. And that also means less pain, less bleeding and a faster recovery.