Anesthesia for Avelar or Tumescent Tummy Tuck?

The "Avelar" or "Tumescent" Tummy Tuck is getting a lot of attention these days as a procedure carried out under local anesthesia only. However, it seems like skin care centers and gynecological/women's health centers, and most board-certified plastic surgeons recommend general anesthesia. Can anyone help me to understand this?

Doctor Answers 5

Regional or General Anesthesia are safer for abdominoplasties

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The use of "tumescent" techniques are often employed by physicians who do not have operating privileges at a hospital or surgery center. It has become very popular amongst gynecologist and is being taught as a form of anesthesia for almost any procedure by the International Society of Cosmetogynecology. I, of course, do not condone such an approach. Be sure to seek out a board certified Plastic Surgeon and listen to the pros and cons of the various anesthetic techniques. Personally, I use epidurals for abdominoplasties because I feel it produces less pain after surgery with a reduction in risk for complications such as blood clots and pneumonia. I have performed abdominoplasties with tumescence, but that is not routine nor preferred by most plastic surgeons. It can be very distorting to the tissues and can compromise the outcome. Again, one should ask WHY it is being done that way, where do they have privileges to do such procedures, and are they actually plastic surgeons! Good luck!

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tumescent anesthesia for an abdominoplasty

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Thanks for your interesting post. Just because something can be done does not necessarily mean it should be done. Operating on a wide area, such as the abdomen, using local anesthesia, can be dangerous. There are limits to the amount of local anesthetic that can be used. The result of a lidocaine overdose can be seizures, cardiac arrhythmia and even death. I would wonder if your surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon operating in a certified operation room my guess is that he is not. The ASPS requires that its members only operate in a certified accredited surgical facility. I would ask more questions before signing up for this operation.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Anesthesia for Avelar or Tumescent Tummy Tuck?

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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.

Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck

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Many different types of anesthesia are used for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery. The most important thing is that you seek a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to perform you abdominoplasty. Skin care centers and women health centers are OK to offer these procedures, but the American Board of Medical Specialties only recognizes the American Board of Plastic Surgery as the official board for plastic surgery. You are correct that most Board Certified Plastic Surgeons prefer some type of regional or general anesthesia over just local as used in the tumescent technique. At my fully accredited cosmetic surgery center in Naples, Florida, my anesthetist prefers to use epidural anesthesia with a light sedation to make the patient comfortable. This allows for excellent pain relief and muscle relaxation for the tummy tuck. Additionally, by not requiring the higher doses of anesthesia, it cuts way down on the rate of post-operative nausea and vomiting.

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

Tumescent Tummy Tuck Technique

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I have attempted this procedure and have found variable responses in levels of anesthesia achieved with the tumescent technique and therefore I prefer the reliability of the general anesthetic or regional (spinal) anesthetic techniques for a tummy tuck.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.