Increasingly, when patients come to see me for a consultation, they ask me if they have to be asleep (under general anesthesia) during procedures. While general anesthesia is extremely safe for the majority of people seeking cosmetic surgery, some patients prefer to be completely awake and “with it” during surgery.

For patients who prefer not to have general anesthesia, we offer many procedures with only local anesthesia. This involves a series of numbing medications that are injected into the surgical area without any intravenous sedation. Oral pain and anti-anxiety medications can be given, and patients can also drink on the morning of or sometimes even during the procedure.

Some benefits of procedures under local anesthesia include:

Lower hematoma risk: There are usually no medications given to alter blood pressure and fewer blood pressure spikes after surgery.

Less nausea: Anesthesia gases, which can sometimes cause nausea, are avoided.

Less jaw pain and tightness: There is no need for a breathing tube so there is much less manipulation of the jaw and mouth.

More time to chat: I get to know my patients as there is often time for conversation during the procedures.

Dr. Irvine offers the following surgical procedures with only local anesthesia:

     Face lift

     Neck lift


     Buccal fat removal

     Upper blepharoplasty

     Some brow lifts

     Laser resurfacing

     Some rhinoplasties

     Minor revision rhinoplasties

If this is an option you are interested in, be sure to ask me about it at your consultation!