Twilight Sedation Facelifts: Why They’re Gaining Popularity Now

Twilight Sedation Facelifts: Why They’re Gaining Popularity Now featured image
Kwangmoozaa/Getty Images. Image Used for Illustrative Purposes Only.

For some, the anxiety surrounding plastic surgery seems insurmountable. No matter how much they may want a procedure, the fear of one aspect can cause many to hesitate before booking that appointment. The source of that fear? General anesthesia.

Being “put under” on the operating table using intubation, monitored by medical professionals, and blissfully unaware of the surgery you’re undergoing, general anesthesia may seem like the obvious solution to surgical pain. However, the associated risks are an automatic “no” for many patients who don’t want to take the chance for an elective surgery.

A New Solution: IV Sedation–Assisted Facelifts

For New York plastic surgeon Dilip D. Madnani, MD the goal is to offer patients pain relief without the need for general anesthesia. As a proponent of IV sedation–assisted facelifts, Dr. Madnani educates qualified plastic surgeons worldwide on this technique to better accommodate patients’ needs.

Who Benefits from an IV Sedation Facelift?

“These are patients that would choose not to have these procedures if general anesthetic was the only option,” Dr. Madnani explains. “It isn’t even a conversation; they’re typically very excited to find that this option exists.”

There are plenty of reasons why someone might be put off by the idea of being put to sleep. Dr. Madnani finds that his older patients are the most concerned.

“Patients are worried that they will be put under and just not wake up,” Dr. Madnani says. “Older patients are also at an increased risk for confusion, and people are afraid of that aspect.”

The alternative, IV sedation, also has the benefit of being familiar to many patients. “This age group has usually had IV sedation, or twilight sedation, when they’ve had a colonoscopy,” Dr. Madnani says. “Usually, they tell me it feels like the best nap of their lives.”

Facelifts Without General Anesthesia: A Viable Option

“I actually don’t perform facelifts under general anesthesia now,” Dr. Madnani explains. “The approach is even a bit easier because there is no breathing tube in the way.”

Overall, not much about the facelift technique changes. “Very rarely, someone might move a bit,” Dr. Madnani says. “But we just stop and wait before continuing. It has never been a serious issue in surgery for me.”

This means that if you can find a qualified plastic surgeon who performs it, a facelift under IV sedation is a viable option for nearly anyone.

“A good candidate is essentially anyone who wants a facelift but is motivated to avoid general anesthetic,” Dr. Madnani explains. “This is perfect for patients who have had bad experiences with general anesthesia or who find the idea untenable.”

The Global Shift to IV Sedation

Dr. Madnani has traveled around the world to showcase and teach this technique to surgeons. Visiting surgeons are also common in his practice, as plastic surgeons worldwide want to learn the perfect way to achieve a facelift under oral and local sedation or IV sedation.

“I see plastic surgery moving away from general anesthesia towards IV sedation, oral and local sedation,” Dr. Madnani says. “I recently gave a talk in Brazil and conducted a live surgery because there is a big demand to see and learn the technique.”

As techniques like IV sedation grow in popularity, Dr. Madnani also sees the subtle goals of facelifts starting to change.

“As younger people become interested in facial plastic surgery, the goal becomes beautification as opposed to anti-aging,” he explains. “To accomplish this, we’re changing techniques and incision placement, trying to go smaller and less noticeable while still achieving those results. It’s a very exciting time for patients and surgeons.”

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