How Dangerous is General Anesthesia and Elective Surgery, Specifically for Tummy Tuck! Is There is a More Safer Anesthesia?

I am about to schedule my tummy tuck and as excited as I am to have a new lease on life. I am terrified I won't wake up from surgery and will leave my three children without a mom. They lost twit father in 2011. I don't want to back out! Just wish I didn't have to sign paperwork that lists risks and death a possibility to my elective surgery decision!

Doctor Answers 10

Anesthesia and plastic surgery

All surgery carries risk, whether it is elective or not. General anesthesia is the recommended type of anesthesia for a tummy tuck. If you are in good health and have had previous anesthesia you are at very low risk for anesthetic complications. You should discuss this in detail with your plastic surgeon and be sure that the surgery center or hospital is accredited. You can also discuss your concerns with your primary care physician if you have any medical problems (ex. high blood pressure, diabetes).

Best wishes,


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

How safe is general anesthesia

General anesthesia is safe in healty young individules as long as it is done by a board certified anesthesiologist or nurse anesthesist who is experienced. The surgery should be done in a fully accredited facility. You are monitored very closely during and after the surgery. The Anesthesiologist will meet with you before the surgery and ask you a set of questions to determine any risk factors. As long as you have no family or personal history of anesthesia complications with no significant medical history, it is very safe.

B. Kalantarian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Abdominoplasty is a safe procedure under general anesthesia.

Although in abdominoplasty is a significant aesthetic procedure it is very safe. General anesthesia is just a safe as a spinal anesthetic.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

General Anesthesia Risks

All surgery carries risks but the likelihood of death from anesthesia is extremely rare.  A tummy tuck takes 3 to five hours, is tolerated well by thousands of patients every year.  If you couple your tummy tuck with a longer procedure or massive liposuction like 3 liters to 5 liters you should be cocnerned.

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Abdominoplasty and Tummy Tuck Risks

Abdominoplasty and Tummy Tuck Risks:

  1. The answers below are excellent.
  2. All surgeries have risks.
  3. Good Anesthesiologists minimize the risks of general.
  4. This is the most common anesthetic for Tummy Tucks.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Modern anesthesia

Modern anesthesia is extremely safe.  Although there are risks with every operation, the risk from general anesthesia is extremely low in an otherwise healthy young individual.  You have a greater risk of getting into a car accident on the way to the hospital.  I understand your fear, however, and almost every patient undergoing surgery has the same fear.  But it is the fear of the unknown and loss of control with general anesthesia that most people harbor.  Although tummy tucks can be done under local anesthesia, very few surgeons do this and I don't recommend it.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How Dangerous is General Anesthesia and Elective Surgery, Specifically for Tummy Tuck! Is There is a More Safer Anesthesia?

Thank you for your question. General anesthesia is safe and you are monitored by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. Make sure your surgeon is a board certified plastic (not cosmetic) surgeon and operates out of an accredited facility or hospital. Personally, I do all my tummy tucks and mommy makeovers under intravenous sedation and epidural anesthesia. I would not use spinal, since this can give you headaches postoperatively. Good luck with your surgery.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Your Fears are normal and common

Your fears are normal and common to have prior to an elective operation. Overall, general anesthesia is safe and effective for a Tummy Tuck procedure. It is my preferred anesthesia technique for Tummy Tucks. Make sure that the facility you are having the procedure performed at is accredited and has all of the standard and required safety supplies. There are always risks, but you should do just fine.

Itzhak Nir, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Safe Anesthesia

General anesthesia is very safe especially in healthy patients.   Please have your surgery done only in a fully accredited surgery center or hospital.  Best wishes,

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Anesthesia for a tummy tuck

There are different forms of anesthesia that are used for a tummy tuck - you can have local anesthesia, sedation anesthesia, or general anesthesia.  There is always a risk of death in any surgical procedure or when undergoing anesthesia.  The informed consent process is very important to let you know re the risks and benefits of a procedure.  That being said I prefer general anesthesia in which there is complete control of the airway.  Best of luck.

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.