Can a Breast Reduction Be Preformed Under Local Anesthesia or Twilight Sedation?

Doctor Answers 13

Can a Breast Reduction Be Performed Under Local Anesthesia or Twilight Sedation?

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     While this could be attempted, this is a surgery that is performed under general anesthesia by the vast majority of plastic surgeons in the US.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast lifts and reductions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Breast reduction under sedation

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While it is certainly possible to perform a breast reduction under sedation with local, you are probably better off to have it under general.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Anesthesia for breast reduction

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I would not recommend straight local anesthesia for breast reduction except in a very select group of patients. In my practice our Board Certified Anesthesiologists routinely give patients a light general anesthesia where the patient is not awake, but they are breathing on their own and are not intubated. Along with supplemental local anesthesia, this method provides a safe, comfortable, experience for the patient and an appropriate environment for the surgery.

Speak to your surgeon and anesthesiologist about the best approach for your case.

Eugene J. Sidoti, Jr., MD
Scarsdale Plastic Surgeon

Can a Breast Reduction Be Preformed Under Local Anesthesia or Twilight Sedation?

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This depends on the size of the breasts and the patient.  By definition a breast reduction involves removal of at least 300 grams of tissue from each breast.  This tissue usually consists mainly of dense breast tissue which is very difficult to anesthetize.  Therefore, almost all real breast reductions are done under general anesthesia.  However, under certain circumstances the proceudre can be done using Tumescent local anesthesia or IV sedation.  If it is a smaller breast in a cooperative patient, this may be possible.  However, a lift only can certainly be done under local anesthesia or IV sedation.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

General Anesthesia Much Safer Than Local For Reduction

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I think that a general anesthetic for your reduction would be much safer than local (with or without sedation).  The problem is that levels of local anesthesia required would border on, or be, toxic.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction and Type of Anesthesia?

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Although breast reduction can (and is) performed under local anesthesia with sedation, this would not be my preference or recommendation.  I find that the use of general anesthesia provided by a board-certified anesthesiologist provides for optimal patient comfort, immobility, experience, and outcomes.
Best wishes.

Breast reduction under sedation

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If the surgeon is experienced in obtaining good local anesthesia and the patient desires sedation and is not too anxious it can be safely done with iv sedation. I have done many, and they have gone well. Patient selection and close cooperation with the anesthesiology team is important.

Breast Reduction under Sedation Anesthesia

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Breast reduction may be possible using local anesthetic along with infiltration of dilute anesthetic fluid into the breast tissue. However, this may only be practical in selected patients. Local anesthesia with sedation by an anesthesiologist however, can be done and I have done it successfully in selected patients. However, the choice should be made based on each patients medical condition and the experience of the surgeon and anesthesiologist. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Breast Reduction Anesthesia

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Breast reduction is not usually performed under local with sedation. It is a long procedure and even when the local is working perfectly, it is hard to sit still for hours with no bathroom breaks while the procedure is performed. There is a limit to the amount of local that can be given, so general anesthesia with a board certified anesthesiologist is the way to go. 

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast Reduction under Local/Twilight Anesthesia

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Although it may be possible to perform small reductions in select patients,  most breast reductions are done under general anesthesia which provides both safety and comfort for the patient.  Additionally, acheiving an adequate reduction can potentially be compromised with patient discomfort which is not an issue with general anesthesia.  

Mike Song, MD
Atlanta 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.