Is it normal to not be given any anesthetic for a touch up lipo procedure?

I had liposuction on my abdomen and thighs 9 months ago. I just went back to my doctor for a small touch up area on my abdomen. I received a mild sedative (like Valium) thru IV, but no anesthesia at all. Is this normal? It was the most painful thing I've ever experienced!

Doctor Answers 5

General anesthesia is not necessary for liposuction.

Depending on the patient as well as the anticipated treatment liposuction can be performed with general anesthesia, tumescent anesthesia plus sedation, or tumescent anesthesia alone. This is something that is very much an individual matter and should be discussed with your surgeon.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Local touch up

Local liposuction touch ups are often performed under local anesthesia alone, like the dentist.
Sedation (IV valium) is a type of anesthesia but it is not a general anesthetic and you would be awake.
The doctor most likely added lidocaine anesthetic to the area that was liposuctioned.
Talk to your doctor.  The procedure sounds like it was inadequate.

Is it normal to not be given any anesthetic for a touch up lipo procedure?

Sorry to hear about your painful experience.  If general anesthesia is not used, the alternative would be sedation with local anesthesia.  If you didn't have local anesthesia to go with your sedation, I could see why it was very painful.  Be sure to consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons.  Good luck in the future.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Liposuction - should anesthesia be given

Thank you for asking about your liposuction.

  • I am sorry you had such an experience.
  • The standard of care would be injections of local anesthetic into the skin plus injections of fluid with local anesthesia in it under the skin into the area of liposuction.
  • Even with that, touch up liposuction can hurt -
  • Regardless of sedation, awake surgery without local anesthetic is difficult to justify -
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Touch Up

I am assuming you mean no local infiltration into the area was performed. If this is true, this is not normal. It is possible that because you were under valium, you might not remember what exactly was done. I know when I perform secondary procedures, it is harder to get good anesthesia because of the scar tissue that has formed.

Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.