I am 71 years old and I need a facelift and neck lift. Any suggestions on general anesthesia?

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A shutterstock_52501885 Q. I am 71 years old and I need a facelift and neck lift. Any suggestions on general anesthesia? I have read a lot about memory loss from senior patients undergoing a general anethesia and I would like my surgery done with IV sedation, however, most plastic surgeons I have consulted only want to do a general. I am very concerned about being under a general or even IV sedation for this long of a period and wonder if I should have it done in 2 stages, perhaps a facelift first and then the neck lift later in order to shorter then time I would be sedated. A. There are 3 basic types of anesthesia used by themselves or in combination for facelift surgery or any other surgery for that matter.
  1. Local anesthesia such as xylocaine injection
  2. Sedation anesthesia: oral or IV (intravenous)
  3. IV general or general inhalant anesthesia
The injection of local anesthesia is painful to most individuals particularly with the number of injections required for a facelift. You will also be fully awake and probably uncomfortable for a procedure as long as a facelift. Concerns include anxiety and heart rhythm changes associated with the local anesthetic. ​ Oral sedation will temper much of the anxiety and may even cause some forgetfulness of the injection experience. It will improve your experience but there remains concerns include going in and out of sedation and associated pain. ​ IV sedation / general anesthesia is what I prefer as the patient is monitored by a qualified nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist maintaining pain control, amnesia, breathing, heart rhythm and other vital signs so the surgeon can perform his / her best for you. ​ General endotracheal inhalant anesthesia is quite common for facelifts but may be associated with greater concerns of nausea / vomiting and as you mention prolonged memory loss. ​ The medical condition of the patient and the skill / talent and comfort level of the surgeon will determine which options to choose. ​ ​Breaking up a traditional face and neck lift into 2 procedures will NOT help you achieve your goals as you will then have to consider the anesthesia for the second procedure. ​ ​Consider discussing these concerns with another Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or ENT Facial Surgeon to find the mix of surgery and anesthesia which is best for YOU. ​ ​I wish you the best!
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