General Anesthesia with Tummy Tuck, Hypertension Danger?

My main concern is anesthesia, afer each baby my BP shot up to 191/110. What is the danger when someone has hypertension and anesthesia? What are the other options as far as anesthesia for a tummy tuck? I rather not go under general for 5 hours.

Doctor Answers 5

General Anesthesia with Tummy Tuck, Hypertension Danger?

Well controlled hypertension is not a contraindication to tummy tuck surgery and/or other elective plastic surgical procedures. Always best to check with your primary care physician for “medical clearance” prior to surgery. Managing your anti hypertensive medications around the time of surgery will be important. 

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

General anesthesia with tummy tuck - hypertension danger?

Hello! Thank you for your question! There are a few medical comorbidities that contribute to a higher risk during any surgical procedure including infections, wound complications, delayed wound healing, bleeding, anesthetic risks, etc. Hypertension is one that is known to have an increased risk during a procedure. There are a number of both systemic and local host factors that can contribute to high blood pressure. Hypertension itself is not a true contraindication to having any surgical procedure, but it should always be controlled. Risks that coincide with high blood pressure, such as coronary artery disease, pulmonary issues, varicosities, etc. can certainly be worrisome as the risk for other issues including MI, stroke, etc. can be severe. Complications such as bleeding and postoperative hematomas may be increased and hemostasis obtained well.

That being said, well-controlled high blood pressure should equate a minimal increased risk for the above and surgical procedures still safe and a reasonable decision. You should ensure adequate blood pressure control always, but also obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician that you are at an acceptable risk for undergoing a surgical procedure. For elective or aesthetic procedures, your surgeon may want to get you to a baseline level prior to consideration for a procedure. Discuss all of your medical comorbidities and medication with your surgeon prior and discuss these risks. Also, discuss this with your anesthesiologist as proper monitoring and medications will be watched closely. This procedure should still be very safe for you and hope for an uncomplicated course with an excellent result! Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Recognized hypertension is not a contraindication to General Anesthesia

The answer to your question will in part depend on whether your hypertension is a chronic condition or occurred as an isolated incident associated with the anesthesia during the deliveries of your children. If you are chronically hypertensive then you must be placed on  medications prior to surgery to control the hypertension. Once the hypertension is under control  this will help to maintain a normal blood pressure both during and after the  anesthesia for a Tummy Tuck.

If your blood pressure is normal except during general anesthesia then your anesthetist, informed of this, can adjust your pressure during your Tummy Tuck.  Recognized hypertension is not an impediment to undergoing general anesthesia which is the most appropriate form of anesthesia for a Tummy Tuck. For your knowledge, an uncomplicated Tummy Tuck usually takes 2.5 to 3 hours to perform.

David A. Ross, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

General anesthesia for Tummy Tuck

Not only is general anesthesia much safer for someone like you, it is also the most appropriate for an abdominoplasty. Because of the length of the surgery, you definitely want to be totally out. Local anesthetic methods do not work well and other methods using spinal or epidural anesthesia are unsafe because you need to anesthetize so high on the body. These methods also allow unpredictable dilatation of the peripheral veins. This can increase the risk of postoperative leg vein blood clots that can go to the lungs and make it harder to control your blood pressure.

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

General anesthesia a good choice for tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a fairly big operation and it is difficult to ensure the patient's comfort with other forms of anesthesia. The good news is that the anesthesia provider will be with you constantly to monitor all your vital signs and deal with any problems instantly. It can be done with an epidural and IV sedation but general is usually the better choice. Five hours sounds to me like a long time for a tummy tuck, typically 2-1/2 or 3 for routine cases.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.