Yes, Local anesthesia works well for tummy tucks!
Most surgeons were not trained in how to perform a full tummy tuck under local anaesthesia. It works well in the right patient. The muscle can easily be tightened also with local anaesthesia. I have performed this without spinals, inhalational gases or heavy sedation.
Nasim Huq, MD
Tummy Tuck and Anesthesia
Tummy tuck could be done with just local anesthetic, but I'd advise against it.
Your comfort will be much greater with intravewnous sedation or general anesthesia.
If you are uncomfortable during surgery, because you chose local asnesthetic only, your surgeon may not be able to do as good a job.
Can't tighten the muscles under local anesthesia
One of the benefits of general anesthesia (being asleep) for a tummy tuck is that muscles can be fully relaxed, which allows for more tightening during the surgery. I would not perform a tummy tuck under local anesthesia. General anesthesia is very safe.
Best Anesthesia for a Tummy Tuck
Before picking the tools - we need to define the job.
If all we need to do is take a little loose skin from the lower tummy without repairing muscle or moving the belly button higher , the procedure CAN be done under local or tumescent anesthesia.
While I respect your reluctance "to be asleep", let's consider the job that needs to be done in you IF you are to have a chance at a good result. Two full term pregnancies have not only resulted in loose tummy skin but have certainly distended and separated your tummy muscles as well. Failure to tighten your muscles properly would rob you of the flat tummy a properly done tummy tuck can offer.
In my opinion, the tightest and flattest tummies can ONLY be done when you are under general anesthesia because they allow the surgeon to operate on relaxed muscles. While doing it on an "awake" individual (not really since you will be sedated...) will NOT physically allow this degree of movement and tightening.
I am a firm believer of putting myself in my patients' place. Were I to operate on my own wife, I would insist on doing a Tummy Tuck under general - NOT local/twilight/IV sedation anesthesia.
Dr. P. Aldea
Abdominoplasty without general anesthesia
As the others have said, abdominoplasties were traditionally done under general anesthesia.
That being said, surgeons at Northwestern University have written several articles in the journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, about performing abdominoplasties under "twilight sedation" or conscious sedation and local anesthesia. Since you're in the Chicago area and interested in the topic, I would suggest that you check there.
Hope that helps.
Best improvements with general anesthesia
Small procedures can be performed on the abdomen under local anesthesia. A traditional abdominoplasty is a large procedure—the dissection is wide, and the tissues are quite sensitive. Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck under general anesthesia (going completely under) provides the time needed to accomplish the most improvement.
General Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Although abdominoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia, the
vast majority of plastic surgeons prefer general anesthesia when performing
this procedure. They feel that
general anesthesia offers significant advantages compared to local anesthesia.
procedure is more comfortable and avoids break through pain which can
occasionally occur with local anesthesia alone. When general anesthesia is utilized procedures can be more
extensive and this can potentially improve the surgical result.
It’s important to realize that all surgical procedures and
anesthetic techniques have risks.
This is true whether local anesthesia or general anesthesia are
utilized. Most Surgeons who
perform abdominoplasty agree that the anesthetic technique utilized is less
important than the use of a certified operating room and the presence of an
anesthesiologist. In other words
you don’t want your surgeon to be your anesthesiologist.
Can a Tummy Tuck Surgery Be Done with Local Anesthesia
Abdominoplasty is best done under general anesthesia so that the details of the procedure can be accomplished without movement of the patient. I don’t think local anesthesia can adequately anesthetize a patient to relieve the pain of the procedure.
This is elective cosmetic surgery. The goal should be to minimize your risk of complications and deliver the safest and most natural result possible. Trying to perform a full tummy tuck under local anesthesia is simply too risky and a very unsafe procedure. I would recommend performing this procedure safely under general anesthesia, which carries a very low risk profile with an appropriate surgical workup. Please don't try to take short cuts that could jeopardize your health, safety, and your final result.
Tummy Tuck under local anesthesia
It sounds as if you would require a full tummy tuck and I generally do not advise these under local anesthesia. However, you could undergo a regional. Discuss the options with your surgeon AND anesthesiologist.