Is it safe to opt for cosmetic surgery, which requires the patient to be under local anesthesia for six hours?

Q. Can cosmetic surgery be done under local anesthesia?

Answered by
Dr. Kiran Kumar Kolla Gopalkrishna
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 21, 2023 and last reviewed on: Feb 23, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a healthy female turning 60. I do have mitral valve regurgitation. I take no medicines other than bioidentical hormones. I exercise regularly, am not overweight, do not smoke, and drink at most two alcoholic beverages per month. I am considering doing cosmetic surgery (brow lift and partial neck lift). My concern is the plastic surgeon said the surgery could last up to 6 hours for both procedures. Also, he uses a nurse anesthetist without an anesthesiologist on site, although his office is extremely close to a hospital. He indicated she uses Propofol, Versed, and Fentanyl in local anesthesia. My question is, is 6 hours too long to be under local anesthesia for an elective procedure? Also, how much safer is local anesthesia than general? I know there are relatively serious concerns regarding cognitive impairment for someone 60 and over-, especially in surgery of this length. Maybe I could best put my question this way: understanding that it is ultimately a personal decision weighing costs and benefits, would you be comfortable having anesthesia as described above for an elective procedure?



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

Please be assured that if a general anesthetic is needed, a nurse anesthetist can administer it if required. It is needed only if local anesthesia fails. Please make sure you don’t listen to rumors and get confused. Nurse anesthetists and plastic surgeons can manage. Please go ahead with the surgery. Caution nurse anaesthetist to keep anaesthesiologist stand by.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

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