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What Type of Anesthesia is Used for Mommy Makeover? Does This Sound Safe?

2 consults & I really like the pictures with choice #2. I am doing a breast aug and a regular tummy tuck also lipo of flanks/hips/outer thighs in his office & thats the problem. The doctor (he is board certified) and said that I will be under but not the same as general anthestesia? I told him that I get really sick after surgery (kidney stone removed) puked for 3 consecutive days afterwards. He said that this type of anethesia is safer. What anesthesia is he refering to?in office sound safe?

Doctor Answers 14

Types of anesthesia

Hello littlefizzer,

There are four main type of anesthesias:

-local (numbing medication is injected into the area of the surgery)

-regional (spinal, epidural, axillary blocks, etc.  the whole segment becomes numb)

-IV sedation (propofol medication in your IV, you breath on your own, usually no tube in your mouth or throat)

-general anesthesia (deep IV or gas anesthesia, there is a tube to protect your airway).

For a tummy tuck and breast augmentation as well as liposuction I would recommend either IV sedation or general anesthesia.  Either one or the other should be performed in an accredited facility by a board certified anesthesiologist.  The chances of nausea after IV sedation is less as well as with well trained anesthesiologists.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Safe anesthesia for mommy makeover

First let me suggest that you ask for a prescription of a medication called Emend that you would take before surgery to prevent nausea after. We use this for patients who have a history of nausea after anesthesia and it has been 100% effective at preventing it (but it only works if you take it before.) If your anesthesia will be provided by either a CRNA nurse anesthetist or an MD anesthesiologist, in an accredited surgical facility, then you should expect that it will be done with your safety as a priority. Either general anesthesia or deep monitored sedation can be done safely.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mommy makeover anesthesia

I would not recommend local anesthesia or even monitored IV sedation for the mommy makeover procedure.  This is an extensive surgery with multiple components.  The benefit of general anesthesia is that you have a protected airway during the entire procedure.  This is much safer then what you describe.


For my mommy makeovers, I do all the procedures in a free-standing accredited hospital. In addition, I have the patients stay overnight where they can be monitored by an RN and have their pain controlled with IV medication when necessary. The RN helps them ambulate in the morning and teaches them drain care as well.


When considering a comprehensive surgery such as the mommy makeover, look at several board certified plastic surgeons and choose the safest option over all others!

Use general anesthesia for mommy makeover / Use anestesia general para cirugia de cambio de imagen

Even though some surgeons will do a mommy make over with alternative methods, I only recommend general anesthesia.  There are several reasons for this:  The first being a mommy makeover is multiply surgerys, possible in multiply positions.  This makes it harder to get the desired level of anesthesia through out the entire case.  The second is that having general anesthesia is probable simpler for the surgeon.  Third this surgery should be done in an accredited facility with competent and board certified anesthesia providers.  This type of surgery is not a place to save money on the facility. Insist on seeing the credentials of the facility and providers.

Good luck with your surgery.



Anire Okpaku MD


Apesar de que algunos cirujanos hagan la cirugia de cambio de imagen atraves de metodos alternativos, Yo recomiendo anestesia general solamente. Hay varias razones: La primera es que el cambio de imagen incluye multiples cirugias, en multiples posiciones posiblemente.  Esto hace mas dificil llegar a un nivel indicado de anestesia durante todo el procedimiento. Segundo, la anestesia general es probablemente mas simple para el cirujano. Tercero, la cirugia puede ser realizada en un centro acreditado con la asistencia de anestesiologos certificados. Este tipo de cirugia no puede ahorrar en la seguridad del centro medico. Insista ver las credenciales de ambos centro medico y sus doctores.


Suerte en su cirugia.




Anire Okpaku MD

Anire Okpaku, MD FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Anesthesia with a mommy makeover

I usually recommend general anesesthsia for surgery taking more than 2 hours.  Also, I bring my patients to a hospital for these longer surgeries as an added safety measure.

Anesthesia for your Mommy Makeover

Some surgeons prefer tradition general anesthesia (involves a temporary breathing tube or laryngeal mask) or TIVA (total IV anesthesia), which does not require a temporary breathing tube, but also can be a form of IV induced general anesthesia.    Both are good options.   Regardless of anesthesia type, please make sure 1) your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and 2) your procedure is done in a fully accredited facility (approved by AAAASF, JCAHO, or AAAHC). Hope this helps!

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Ask lots of questions

In general, a tummy tuck/lipo & breast augmentation is done under general anesthesia.

However, doing this type of surgery under IV sedation and local (tumescent) anesthesia is completely safe provided that the anesthetic is being administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist in an accredited surgical facility.  Anesthetic complications can occur with any type of anesthesia, and nothing is fool-proof.

Make sure you ask questions before your surgery.  A board-certified plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist will be able to help steer you in the right direction.


Hope this helps,

Dr. Hall

Jason J. Hall, MD, FACS
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck Surgery

Thank you for your question.

There are many types of anesthesia but I only perform the mommy makeover surgery under general anesthesia.  This is a large operation and I would want the patient to be comfortable through out the procedure.

Please make sure your surgeon is well experienced and board certified.

Best wishes.

Choosing a surgeon

If you surveyed plastic surgeons in the US I can almost guarantee that the vast majority would use general anesthesia for a single surgery of the magnitude that you describe. I do not know what type of anesthesia your surgeon plans to use but the main red flag is when he/she says one type of anesthesia is inherently safer than another. That is not true and is misleading. The safest type of anesthesia is dependent on the patient, what is being done, the surgeon's comfort level, the patient's pain tolerance level, how long the procedure will take etc. There are many procedures that can be safely performed in adults with just local anesthetic but cannot be done so in a young child because they will not sit still. You say the surgery will be done in the office but do not say whether the office operating is a certified/accredited operating room. If it is not accredited there are increased risks of having this type of surgery in that setting.

Vomiting after surgery is related to individual sensitivities to the anesthetic agents. Anesthesiologists who work mostly in outpatient operating facilities are usually better at preventing this than anesthesiologists who work mostly in hospitals. Also if your anesthesiologist is privy to the medications used at the kidney stone surgery he/she might be able to circumvent the problem.

To summarize you are correct to make safety a major concern and there is not sufficient detail in your post to answer your questions completely. Your best bet is probably to see a few more surgeons before choosing.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Sedation anesthesia for mommy makeover

There is no doubt that your surgery can be performed with intravenous sedation instead of general anesthesia. Anesthesiologist who give this type of sedation claim less post operative nausea and vomiting. The best person to address this question with is the anesthesiologist that work in that office. 

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.