The California Facelift – An In-Office Facelift With Local Anesthesia

Drooping skin on the face is associated with a lack of elastin, collagen, and/or fat within the skin.  As we grow older, we tend to have a frail look in the cheeks and upper side of the head. Also, the skin surrounding the bottom jaw starts to become loose. When Botox and other nonsurgical alternatives are no longer sufficient to sustain a youthful glow, a facelift may be the solution. 

General anesthesia is commonly used for various types of cosmetic surgical procedures since it ensures the patient remains unconscious and does not feel any pain. Some patients may be hesitant to choose general anesthesia due to the potential complications, risks, and recovery time required. However, did you know that a facelift can be done without general anesthesia?

What Are the Disadvantages of General Anesthesia?

An anesthetic, a muscle relaxant, and a memory blocker are used in conjunction with general anesthesia. They are administered intravenously or, in some cases, as a combination of intranasal and intravenous drugs, and render the patient motionless and comatose, with a breathing tube utilized to safeguard the patient’s air passages. This increases the chance of complications like lessening breathing rate, cardiovascular collapse, lack of oxygen reaching the brain, and respiratory distress. This is why general anesthesia should not be used as much as possible in medical practice.

From the patient’s point of view, general anesthesia is an awful experience with symptoms such as disorientation, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and nausea. The implications of general anesthesia last for a complete day after surgery and can take a week to be eliminated from the body.

What is a California Facelift?

The way a traditional facelift is performed is under general anesthesia. However, during a California facelift, the surgical procedure is done under strictly local anesthesia. This in-office procedure enables you to get back to your everyday routine faster and prevents the unpleasantness that some patients experience following a general anesthetic.

Many patients who are afraid of general anesthesia or are at risk because of other medical issues choose to have a California facelift when they would have otherwise bypassed a facelift procedure altogether. The quantity of local anesthesia utilized is the same as it would be in a traditional facelift done any other way.

The local anesthetic is placed meticulously and sequentially. From start to finish, most patients feel nothing more than a slight pressure. In fact, a slight jab is rarely felt by a patient.

What Facelift Procedures Can Be Performed With a California Facelift?

A wide range of facial procedures can be performed under local anesthesia, including the following:

  • Neck sculpting
  • Complete facelift
  • Eyebrow lift
  • Lower facelift
  • Neck and/or facial liposuction
  • Eyelid surgery

What are Benefits of Having a California Facelift?

The California Facelift has all the benefits of a traditional facelift.  Additional benefits that a California facelift provides include the following:

  • You will quickly recover.
  • You will be completely aware of what’s happening.
  • You will recall having the procedure performed.
  • It is a gentler version of intravenous general sedatives.
  • Reduction in blood loss.
  • Reduction in nausea and vomiting following the procedure.
  • It is more tolerable for those with health concerns.
  • It eliminates the requirement for monitoring your respiratory rate.


A traditional facelift is a life-changing procedure that improves the patient’s overall appearance. It is typically performed under general anesthesia, which has a number of side effects such as memory loss, nausea, and vomiting. A traditional facelift can also be performed under local anesthesia, which is sometimes referred to as a California facelift. Your recovery time will be much shorter, and you will have very few side effects. For more information on a California facelift, speak with your local cosmetic surgeon.