Anesthesia during tumescent liposuction?

I'm trying to decide if I need anesthesia during a upper and lower abdomen tumescent liposuction . Mostly because of cost. Thoughts?

Doctor Answers 10

Anesthesia with liposuction

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Your question brings up several interesting thoughts. As someone trained in both local tumescent anesthesia liposuction ( I trained with the inventor of this technique in California ), as well as general anesthesia tumescent liposuction, I feel qualified to answer, as opposed to someone who only does one technique vs the other.There is no question that the procedure can be performed using either method, however a more thorough removal of fatty tissues can be obtained if you go to sleep during the procedure.I reserve local tumescent for small areas, such as the the lateral thighs, and for people who are not candidates for general anesthesia. I actually charge more for local tumescent, because it takes longer to perform and time is a valuable commodity.  I have found the abdomen to be a more tender area, and I do not recommend this approach if you want the most thorough fat removal. In addition, physicians who only perform this under local anesthesia may be counterfeit COSMETIC Surgeons- It is performed in their offices because they can't get privileges to do the procedure at a Local Hospital or Ambulatory Surgical Facility due to credentialing because of a lack of qualification and training.Let the Buyer Beware.Bottom-line- to get the best result with the MOST fat removal, you should have the procedure performed under general anesthesia, in an accredited Surgical Facility.Good Luck!

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting -- ANESTHESIA

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Yes you need anesthesia during a liposuction procedure there is no questions about that.  Locally can be done without going to sleep but I find it doesn't give nearly as good outcomes as general anesthesia with VASER HI DEF. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

General and tumescent

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I prefer to combine the tumescent technique with a board certified anesthesiologist to improve the comfort and safety of the procedure.  Our costs are the same as those in town that use no anesthesiologist.  They just keep the rest for themselves.

Lipo and anesthesia

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It can absolutely be done under local anesthesia. You should go to Sono Bello. There are several in Texas. They have experience with over 75000 of these procedures done under local so you can expect an excellent result at a reasonable price and only local anesthesia.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Anesthesia during tumescent liposuction

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Thanks so much for your question.  Tumescent liposuction can be either with light sedation and local anesthesia, or general anesthesia and local anesthesia.  In either case, the tumescent fluid has the local anesthetic in the solution.  The end outcome can be the same but using general anesthesia, the case can be done more quickly.  However, the patient also has to pay an anesthesia fee.  With light sedation and local anesthetic only, the surgery can take longer, depending on how the patient tolerates the procedure, increasing the operating time and the facility fee.  However, with this option, there is no anesthesia fee.  Some patients prefer this because of the quicker recovery without general anesthesia, though the cost may be comparable.  Hope this of luck!

Joyce C. Chen, MD, MPH, FACS

Anesthesia during tumescent liposuction?

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Thank you for your question.  I typically recommend anesthesia with liposuction.  It is much more comfortable for the patient to have conscious sedation during liposuction.  Best of luck to you!

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews


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An upper and lower abdomen is more comfortable with some sedation in addition to the tumescent anesthesia.  The bigger the abdomen, the more likely additional sedation will be necessary.  

Liposuction and anesthesia

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Tumescent liposuction can be done with local anesthesia alone (tumescent=local). Whether this option can be utilized depends on how much liposuction is being performed. If it is a smaller amount, then this can be a safe option. Larger volumes should be done under anesthesia particularly in the abdominal area. Either way you should see a board certified plastic surgeon who can give you guidance.

Burton M. Sundin, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Liposuction - local or general?

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • A great question - and here's the situation.
  • If you have a small amount of fat to remove, many surgeons can do the liposuction in the office with straight local anesthesia - safely up to removing 500 cc of fat.
  • For more fat removal, you can have liposuction done with local anesthesia - but it must for safety be in an accredited out-patient surgery center.
  • You may not end up saving much money -
  • General anesthesia makes liposuction go much, much faster - so you need less OR time.
  • Local anesthesia takes more OR time because it can't be as aggressive or it will hurt you.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


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Many patients do very well with local sedation and tumescence. However, some do choose heavier sedation with IV medication. Those who are very nervous about surgery might choose general anesthesia. I would suggest discussing all your anesthetic options with your surgeon.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 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.