I am 49 and will be going in for my facelift consultation next week. Can I expect the procedure itself to take place in the surgeon’s office, or will I need to go to an outpatient medical center?
The facelift procedure can be done in several ways. The spectrum ranges from local anesthesia to IV sedation to general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is very safe and can be done in your physician’s office. If you are having the procedure done under IV sedation or general anesthesia, you should have the procedure done in a certified facility. A certified facility can be located either in your physician’s office or an ambulatory surgical center. If the facility is certified by JHACO, AAAHC, or AAAASF, it means that the facility meets strict criteria and that it is prepared to safely deliver quality patient care. It also means that the facility is prepared to handle the emergencies that may occur if they were to happen. Another important point to consider when having cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift, in an ambulatory surgery center located in a physician’s office is the anesthesia provider. The provider should be a MD anesthesiologist. While nurse anesthetists are generally great providers, they need the supervision of a medical doctor, usually an anesthesiologist. When nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia in an outpatient medical center or a hospital, they have the support of medical anesthesiologists at the center. This is certainly a safe situation, where a capable nurse anesthetist has the back up of an medical anesthesiologist. However, if the nurse anesthetist is providing anesthesia in the physician’s office alone, she will be without the support of the medical anesthesiologist. This could result in complications associated with anesthesia. In conclusion, I recommend that anyone having a plastic surgery procedure under anesthesia, such as a facelift, that it be done in an accredited facility. If the facility is located in your physician’s office, the anesthesia provider should be a medical anesthesiologist. If you are having your facelift surgery in an outpatient medical center, then it is perfectly safe to have the anesthesia provided by a nurse anesthetist. There the nurse anesthetist will have a medical anesthesiologist for back up should an emergency arise.
Posted by Dr. Bustillo