Liposuction can be done under general anesthesia or local, each has its pros and cons. I realize that many patients are scared of 'going under' but the truth is having general anesthesia is perfectly safe. It also allows a surgeon to get the job done faster and treat more areas. Having local limits how many areas can be done at a time and how much can be done at a time because there is a limit of how much local anesthetic can be used. If too much local is used, it is toxic. So General anesthesia is better in such situations
Patients can be moderately sedated for tumescent liposuction (depending on whether the facility is accredited to administer moderate sedation) or it can be done with just an anti-anxiety medication. Some may offer general anesthesia, but studies have shown that it is with general anesthesia that most complications such as death, pulmonary embolisms, and other comorbidities occur.
Tumescent liposuction can be used with general or local anesthesia. With local anesthesia the number of areas that can be treated is limited by the amount of local anesthetic that is to be used whereas with general anesthesia you can treat more Areas. In my experience you can do an equally good job with either technique. Best Wishes!
I use general anesthesia for most larger cases. Local is appropriate for smaller areas.
Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, CA
I have done liposuction under both local and general anesthesia and overwhelmingly prefer general anesthesia. Patients pay me for a result and I can be much more thorough/aggressive with the patient asleep. Physicians touting local anesthesia and warning of the dangers of general anesthesia usually have non-surgical backgrounds and are trying to rely on the general public's fear of being "put under"! In healthy patients and in a certified setting, modern day general anesthesia is extremely safe. Hope this helps, good luck!