Can Someone with Asthma Get General Anesthesia? What Are my Options for BBL?

I am very interested in getting liposuction & BBL, but worried because I have asthma & a heart murmor. I was wondering if, for the procedure, I could get local anesthesia rather than general. Is this possible? Do I have other options?

Doctor Answers 5

Can Someone with Asthma Get General Anesthesia? What Are my Options for BBL?

Thank you for the question. Well-controlled asthma is not a contraindication to elective plastic surgery. Obviously, you will want to proceed with the surgery once your pulmonary condition is optimized. Best to check with the doctors who manage your asthma prior to proceeding. Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

Asthma and surgery

If your asthma is optimally controlled the risk is very small and you can undergo major surgery without significant asthma complications. Most anesthesiologists I have worked with will recommend that you take your asthma medicine the prior to surgery with a sip of water and bring your inhalers to the surgery center. In addition, steroids are given just prior to anesthesia in most patients any way which helps prevent asthmatic complications.
On the other hand, if your asthma is poorly controlled, or you are steroid-dependent, you are at increased risk and therefore it is recommended that your asthma specialist provide any needed specific medical preparation prior to surgery including a written plan to give to your surgeon and anesthesiologist regarding asthma medication recommendations pre- and post-surgery. This will include a complete pre-surgical evaluation including pulmonary function test results, physical examination, and review of your medications and past medical problems. If your pulmonary function tests are not optimal your asthma doctor and/or anesthesiologist may choose to postpone surgery until your asthma is under optimal control prior to giving surgical clearance. In addition, it is advisable that you contact that anesthesiologist beforehand to discuss any issues that might arise and their management. . This is because surgery may cause an asthma flare or related bronchospasm during or immediately after surgery. Make sure you tell the anesthesiologist and your surgeon the amount and type of steroids you take so additional steroids can be given to prevent adrenal insufficiency which can result in a sudden blood pressure drop.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Brazilian butt lift in patients with asthma

There are certainly no contraindications of having asthma or a murmur and performing the Brazilian butt lift. Your asthma needs to be very well controlled and clearance from your primary care doctor will be necessary. Breathing medications and breathing exercises right after surgery are necessary. In regard to having a heart murmur, I will assume that you have a mitral valve prolapsed, which is a benign murmur that will have no consequences in your surgery or health.  Regardless, surgical clearance will be helpful to make sure that the procedure can be done safely.  I always keep my patients overnight for monitoring.

Wilberto Cortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 597 reviews

Brazilian buttock lift can be done under local in certain cases

You should have medical clearance for your asthma and heart murmur before having surgery. This can be done under local with IV sedation or general anesthesia. This should be discussed with your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist before surgery. You may want to be observed in an aftercare facility afterwards to be safe.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Brazilian Buttock lift

 As for the heart murmur, it depend on the cause of the murmur. Most are benign. But having a cardiology work up and clearance is important.

As for the asthma, depending on the severity , you  need  a full clearance by a pulmonary specialist, preoperative control of your asthma, and his/her recommendations preop, intra operative and post operative. Patients with severe asthma (with frequent visits to the emergency rooms due to asthma attacks), need to be operated on in the hospital where pulmonary specialist is available and respiratory therapy is available.(this will make the cost of the surgery in hospital more expensive) But patient safety is paramount.

Small areas of liposuction can be done under local anesthesia. But even with local anesthesia you need clearance by cardiology and pulmonary specialist and your family physician.


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.