Thigh Lipo/smart Lipo? (photo)

I'm heading from Calgary and going for some consults for lipo on my inner thighs, love handles and possible lower ab region. I was told by one office that it's safer to go under general anaesthetic for all those areas as it would take a lot of drugs and local anaesthetic to do it with sedation. Comparing the 2, which is actually safer? I prefer not to go under. Also, would I likely be able to fly home 7 days after? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Local anesthesia without sedation is safest

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Local anesthesia without any form of sedation is safer than general anesthesia.  The only concern with local anesthesia is that you cannot use too much.  You cannot use an unlimited amount of local anesthetic because that becomes dangerous.  Looking at your pictures, though, I think you could easily treat the areas you want using local anesthetic only.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon

Thigh Lipo/smart Lipo?

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        I think that both are safe, but I will tell you that there is some discomfort without general anesthesia and the airway is protected with general anesthesia.  The most important factor here is the result you expect.  If you want to greatest improvement, you will have to find a surgeon who performs aggressive liposuction.  I have many patients from out of town and they can fly a week later.  I keep even the longer liposuction procedures of 5 liters under 2 hours so the risks are minimized.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures 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

What is safer, general anesthesia or sedation?

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Both alternative are safe when surgery when done properly.  The biggest factors in making this decision is what the patient is comfortable with and what the surgeon is comfortable with.

Some patients are extremely afraid of going under general anesthesia.  When performed by a board certified anesthesiologist in a certified center, it is safer than driving or flying.   Likewise, some patients want to be completely out of it and don't want to be aware or feel anything.  In that case general is better than sedation.

As for the surgeon, he or she may be more comfortable operating with patients in one state or the other.  For some it doesn't matter.  

Talk to your surgeon and let them know your preference.  Then you can both decide together what is best for your own situation.

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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Candidate for Smartlipo

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It looks as if you would be a good candidate for Smartlipo; it will help to remove unwanted fat deposits from your areas of concern. See your surgeon for a consultation to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
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Lipo thighs

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We do all of our laser lipo under sedation but, the patients are not completely asleep. There is some discomfort.and you will need to be flipped over. Consider two procedures. You should be able to fly home.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.