Facelift Procedure: Can They Be Performed Without General Anesthesia?


As a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Nashville with 17 years of experience, Dr. Boggess has helped thousands of patients restore their youthfulness and radiance. Such experience helped him develop his signature Reflection Lift, which achieves exceptional, natural-looking results that are catered to the individual anatomy, concerns, and goals of each patient.

His conservative approach results in reduced risk for complications and faster recovery compared to traditional surgery and allows patients to feel revitalized without looking ‘worked on’—all without requiring the use of general anesthesia.

Recently, we sat down with Dr. Boggess to learn more about this personalized, customized approach to facelifts.

Your Reflection Lift sounds too good to be true. How can a facelift be performed without the use of general anesthesia?

A facelift can absolutely be performed very safely without the use of general anesthesia. I’ve performed thousands of procedures in an office setting using light sedation and local anesthesia. In fact, I have a perfect, untarnished safety record using these anesthesia techniques! (See an example of a patient who had a Reflection Lift as well as eyelid surgery and fat transfer.)

So is it a one-size-fits-all approach to sedation or are there options?

Nothing we do is one-size-fits-all! We offer two options for sedation in an office setting.

  • The first option is using oral medications such as Valium by mouth to relax the patient. The Valium typically relaxes the patient enough that they can doze off and sleep. However, because this is not a general anesthesia, there may be times when the patient may be awake or aware—and that’s OK because we use local anesthetic injections to numb the areas on which we’re working so the patient is not feeling pain or discomfort during the procedure.
  • Another option is to use what is called an IV sedation, and that is where we deliver sedating medications through an intravenous line that allows more rapid titration of the level of anesthesia moment-by-moment during the procedure. Still, this is not a general anesthesia so there may still be times when the patient is awake and aware—but this is less likely to be the case with IV sedation.

Who administers the IV sedation?

When we’re performing procedures using IV sedation, we must have an anesthesia provider to deliver the anesthetic, so there is an additional cost associated with this type of anesthesia. I also offer general anesthesia to my facial rejuvenation patients, however, it is my opinion that this unnecessarily increases the risk and cost of the procedure for my patients.

Are there different types of Reflection Lifts?

Every patient is unique, so I tailor every procedure to the individual anatomy, concerns, and goals of each patient. (Take a look at Reflection Lift before-and-after photos to see patient results.)

  • A Level I Reflection Lift is a conservative SMAS approach for younger patients with mild to moderate laxity along the jawline and mild sagging in the neck.
  • A Level II Reflection Lift involves a SMAS procedure, in addition to liposuction in the face and neck, to address mild to moderate laxity and fat accumulation in the jowls and neck.
  • A Level III Reflection Lift is a more aggressive approach for patients with moderate to severe laxity in the face and neck. This procedure involves more extensive skin flap elevation in the face and neck to allow tightening of the platysma muscle in the midline of the neck and more aggressive mobilization of the SMAS and platysma with the lift, in order to optimize results.

If you’re considering a facelift procedure in Nashville and want a customized, personalized approach that addresses your unique concerns and goals, contact us at Youthful Reflections today to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Boggess. Or call us at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top