I have heard the term “twilight sleep” used in reference to the anesthetic process when undergoing a facelift. What exactly is this, and is it the only option?
Twilight sleep is a very popular option for patients undergoing the facelift procedure. This anesthesia consists of providing medications via an IV to put the patient asleep. The patient is basically “asleep” and the surgeon begins the procedure. The patient is not intubated, meaning that he or she will breath on his or her own. The other two options are local anesthesia and general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is a very safe option and one that I enjoy. I have the patient take oral medication to relax and then proceed with applying local anesthetic. Patients are very comfortable and find this a very pleasant option to have their surgery. The third option is general anesthesia. This involves putting the patient asleep and intubating him or her. The risk of general anesthesia is the same as IV sedation, meaning that it is not “more dangerous than IV sedation.” I strongly believe that patients should be given all options. The surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the patient should decide together which is the best and safest option for the patient.
Posted by Dr. Bustillo