Many potential facelift patients come in not understanding that a properly done, long-lasting facelift is major surgery. Major is a relative term and when compared to heart, brain, or transplant surgery, I guess a facelift is not a “major” surgery.
However, there are many different types of facelifts where some are involved and others have an easier recover time. A mini facelift or short scar facelift may only take 2 hours under conscious sedation or twilight anesthesia and require 10 days of recovery while a deep plane face and neck lift may require 4 hours of general anesthesia and recovery of 2-3 weeks.
Regardless, most patients undergo a facelift later in life around their 50’s and 60’s. Anesthesia does place some stress on the heart and lungs and therefore these patients need to undergo clearance to assure they can handle this duration of anesthesia.
A facelift is not a surgery that should be taken lightly and one should prepare for this surgery not only from a medical/anesthesia perspective, but from a physical and emotional recovery standpoint.