Why do some surgeons prefer general anesthesia vs IV sedation for a TT? Which is the safest method for this procedure and why?

Doctor Answers 8

Why do some surgeons prefer general anesthesia vs IV sedation for a TT?

Thank you for your question. Although a variety of types of anesthesia can be utilized, I perform tummy tuck surgery in an out patient surgery center, and under general anesthesia only.  Board Certified Anesthesiologists monitor my patients from start to end so as to provide the safest environment for the patient.  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.

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but it's up to the individual surgeon

Most use general anesthesia because that's all they've ever done.  I use an epidural catheter and would prefer to do them all like that.  However, if I'm at one of the local hospitals or surgery centers, I get a lot of push-back because it's not what they are accustomed to doing.  The epidural catheter reduces the post-operative pain, reduces the risk of DVT/PE, and eliminates the risk of malignant hyperthermia.  Find your surgeon first, then ask about what kind of anesthesia they use.  If you find a surgeon you love that only uses general, that's fine.  If avoiding general anesthesia is important to you, look around -- but be careful.  Make sure it's a plastic surgeon (board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) and that it is an accredited facility (preferably AAAASF).  Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Anesthesia type

I prefer general anesthesia at an accredited surgical center for my abdominoplasty procedures.  I believe this affords my patients more comfort, as well as affords more muscle relaxation (remember, this procedure involves abdominal muscle tightening) for the procedure.  I also feel surgery performed in an accredited surgical center, with anesthesia performed by an MD anesthesiologist, is the safest way to proceed for my patients.

Regina M. Fearmonti, MD
New Braunfels Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

TT, general or sedation anesthesia

I prefer general anesthesia as do most surgeons. If you need tightening of the muscle layer due to pregnancy, that is much easier to accomplish and get the correct amount of tightening with you under general anesthesia. I perform this procedure as an outpatient in a hospital or certified center with board certified Anesthesiologists to monitor you and make the procedure as safe as possible.  

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

General or IV sedation

Most surgeons are going to use general anesthesia for an abdominoplasty surgery. I think that general anesthesia is very safe and very controlled for this procedure. I happen to use IV sedation and prefer it for my patients. But much of my decision is based on my anesthesia providers expertise and experience. I am not sure that I would choose IV sedation if I didn't have my own operating room and the same anesthesia providers for all of my surgeries. When done well, I do strongly feel that IV sedation has many advantages - quicker and more predictable recovery, less nausea and vomiting post procedure, no risk of sore throats, no risk of malignant hyperthermia, lower risk of DVT and PE, quicker ambulation, and patients that typically wake up feeling rested. But, the skill set of the anesthesia provider is what makes this possible.

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Anesthesia choice during a tummy tuck

It is a personal preference of a surgeon what type of anesthesia that they use. Either one is safe, that is why surgeons use both. I personally use general anesthesia, because I feel that I have more control over the patient in the operating room and am able to deliver better results. I also perform all my procedures in a hospital based surgery center to maximize safety as well.  

Ryan Hoffman, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Safest Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck

Thanks for your question.  Most surgeons perform tummy tuck procedures under general anesthesia just because when you do the muscle repair, it can be fairly painful and hard to do under IV sedation.  Also, you want to make sure that you schedule your consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Oftentimes, surgeons who are not Board Certified and unable to perform the procedure under general anesthesia could use utilizing IV sedation as a gimmick for performing cosmetic surgery. I hope this helps. 

Eugene Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Why do some surgeons prefer general anesthesia vs IV sedation for a TT? Which is the safest method for this procedure and why?

Thank you for sharing your question and doing the needed research to ensure your safety with an aesthetic procedure such as a tummy tuck.  In my practice I feel general anesthesia is the safest, most controlled option for patients and do not offer IV sedation.  This allows for appropriate muscle repair and tightening with little discomfort to the patient.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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