Can Tummy Tuck Be Done Without General Anesthesia?

I am scheduled for a tummy tuck without muscle repair. Can this procedure be performed without general anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 10

Can Tummy Tuck Be Done Without General Anesthesia?

Thank you for your question. I perform tummy tuck surgery in an out patient surgery center, and under general anesthesia only.  I use Board Certified Anesthesiologist who monitor my patients from start to end so as to provide the safest environment for my patients.  Abdominoplasty is an extensive procedure and I would recommend general anesthesia so that you are as comfortable/safe/immobile as possible during the procedure.
I hope this, and the attacked link, helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Under Epidural Anesthesia

Tummy tucks can be done under a variety of types of anesthesia. I feel it is most dependent on the experience and expertise of your anesthestist. In my office operating room suite in Naples, Florida, my CRNA is extremely good at providing an epidural and light IV sedation to make the procedure very comfortable for most patients. Many of my tummy tuck patients have had epidurals with the birth of their children so they are aware of its benefits. The epidural in the setting of the abdominoplasty allows the anesthestist to use less IV sedation and avoid the need for general anesthesia altogether.

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

The short answer is yes, but it depends on what is being done...

Yes, a tummy tuck can be done with epidural anesthesia or simple local anesthetic with IV sedation. The anesthetic choice depends on what your surgeon is comfortable with. If the planned case is extensive, it may be more efficient to do it with general anesthesia to reduce your risks for toxicity related to the local anesthetic. The best approach is to discuss other options with your surgeon and ultimately the anesthia provider that will be doing your case. There are risks to every type of anesthsia and it is our job to plan your surgery so that you are as safe as possible. Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy Tucks Without Genral Anesthesia

For most people an abdominoplasty is more comfortable with general anesthesia, however it certainly can be done without general anesthesia especially when you do not have muscle repair. Using local anesthesia you can be awake, other options include regional anesthesia techniques. It is best to determine what type of anesthesia is best for you individually with you physician and anesthesia provider.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tummy Tuck

A Tummy tuck should be performed under general anesthesia with anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Anaesthesia for tummy tuck surgery

There are many forms of anaesthesia available - local, regional such as spinal or epidural, sedation or twilight, and general where you are completely spleep. The type of anaethesia used for each procedure will depend on the extent of the surgery - invasiveness and length of surgery, your medical history and preferences as well as the surgeon's experience and preferences along with the type of anaesthesiologist available. A tummy tuck is a very involved and complex procedure that is usually done under general anaesthesia. All forms of anaesthesia are safe when delivered by a board certified anaesthesiologist in an appropriately certified facility. Although local anaesthesia can be used for a tummy tuck, that would not be the usual method. Almost always there are additional techniques such as sedation used. Just becareful that local anaesthesia is not being used as a cost cutting measure. There is no need to be fully awake during a complex 2-3hr procedure when there are safe methods to keep you comfortable and provide a more controlled environment for your surgeon to work to give you the best outcome possible.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Abdominoplasty under Local


You are asking to get into problems. Surgeons who advertise that they do abdominoplasty under local anesthesia are usually not surgeons and definitely not plastic surgeons. So you need to ask the surgeons credentials to see. There is no reason not to perform a tummy tuck under general anesthesia unless it is due to what I mentioned.

It is safer and a better result can be obtained.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Abdominoplasty without general anesthesia

Yes, abdominoplasty can be done under anesthesia other than general, but why? It is a large and involved procedure. It involves tissue supplied by multiple nerves so the area is hard to anesthetize well safely. In this case, general anesthesia is probably safer. One reason some surgeons use local anesthesia is that they do not have privileges at a facility where general anesthesia can be used. Therefore, always ask if the surgeon has privileges to do the procedure in a certified facility. If not, be very wary. The other question is why not do a muscle repair. Almost everyone who needs an abdominoplasty also needs the muscle (actually the covering layer, or fascia) tightened. The same forces that stretched the skin generally stretch the muscle fascia. This is so, even if you have good muscle strength. When the muscles relax, they separate if the fascia is lax. Therefore, almost everyone needs this tightened.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tummy Tuck Without General Anesthesia

A full TT without general anesthesia would in my opinion be very tricky and risky. Toxic levels of local anesthesia would probably be required and a spinal that was high enough to provide true anesthesia might interfere with breathing. A mini-TT, on the other hand, could probably be performed with local or regional anesthesia and sedation.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tummy tuck without general anesthesia

Yes, it can.  It can be done under spinal anesthesia, but this is something you would have to discuss with the anesthesiologist invovled in your care.  Good luck!

Dr. Singer

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 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.