Is Lipo under local anesthesia risky?

I am thinking about having lipo under local and Im kind of worried that I will get Fat Embolism.. Its not much fat I need removed but whatever fat is removed I will want it transferred to my hips...I need advice .. I have hypothyroid and worried if this can put me at risk

Doctor Answers 16

Lipo under local is not as risky as lipo under general anesthesia !!!

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Fat emboli are almost unheard of when lipo is done under local. Emboli are much more common under general anesthesia although it is not a highly common problem under gen. either. Local is always safer and your doc can stand you up and have you turn in all positions to get the best results. So if you want quality lipo, then get it done under local tumescent by a Board Certified Dermatologic Surgeon whose specialty invented the tumescent lipo. Although Board certified plastic surgeons can still do a decent job at lipo, why take the risk.


Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Anesthesia and Liposuction

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With the overall safety of general anesthesia, I prefer to perform my liposuction procedures with patients completely asleep.  Regarding your question of fat embolism, this can happen whether you perform liposuction under local or general anesthesia; however, fat embolism is very rare.

Bryan Armijo, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Local anesthesia for lipo

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Thank you for the question. Most of the time, liposuction requires only a local anesthesia. However, in rare circumstances, general anesthesia may be warranted depending on the extent of the procedure and a number of areas to be treated. I would advise to schedule a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon and address these concerns in person. 

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is always the best way to assess your situation and guarantee a reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Is Lipo under local anesthesia risky?

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Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well... I will recommend you to have epidural block with sedation, but local anesthesia is not safe for me to perform that type of procedure. The patient can feel pain when the anesthesia passes.. and beeing awake on surgery is not good.

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 441 reviews

Liposuction Risks?

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Liposuction is a very safe procedure. It can be performed safely under either local anesthesia, local with light sedation or genial anesthesia. The choice is ultimately dependent upon the number of areas to be addressed and the amount of work to be done. Keeping a patient comfortable when addressing multiple areas (as is typical with fat transfer) can be difficult with local anesthesia alone. However, local anesthesia is an excellent option with limited volume liposuction.

Fat embolism is exceedingly rare in the setting of liposuction alone. With the rise of fat transfer and the "BBL," the phenomenon of fat embolus has risen to the forefront. Fat emboli technically refers to a situation in which adipose/fat tissue (which is normally extravascular or outside of the vascular/vessel space) is introduced into the intra-vascular space. This emboli can then travel within the vessel downstream causing an occlusion. This is a very serious complication which requires immediate medical attention. 

The risk of fat embolus is very, very low for liposuction alone, however, the risk is higher in the setting of fat transfer (in which fat is re-injected into an area rich with large vessels). Special care must be taken to ensure that there is no inadvertent intra-vascular injection. Some techniques include aspiration before injection, use of blunt cannulas for transfer and avoiding intra-muscular injection (lower incidence of vessel cannulation).

As always, discuss your concerns with aboard certified plastic surgeon.

Donovan Rosas, MD
Kissimmee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Safety of liposuction under local anesthesia

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Thanks for your inquiry.  Frankly the risks of small area of liposuction in most areas of the body under local or general anesthesia is the same as far as the procedure itself is concerned.  If you are selecting a board certified plastic surgeon, he or she should know how much local anesthesia and epinephrine can be placed under your skin to safely perform the procedure. 

Is Lipo under local anesthesia risky

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Thank you for your question.  Liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia.  Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Best wishes.  

Lipo under local anesthesia with fat grafts? Safety?

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Limited liposuction (volume wise) under local anesthesia is quite safe as long as certain volume and injection limits are respected. I choose to have an anesthetist provide sedation or general anesthesia when I am operating on multiple areas or possibly in your case when fat harvest requires greater volume removal (for harvest) and proper anesthesia of multiple areas.  Remember that a small amount of fat harvested will only produce mild results in your hips.  If that's all that's needed then you should be fine.  Discuss with your specialist and good luck.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS 

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery 

Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV

Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016 

Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Liposuction and hip grafts - under local?

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction and fat transfers.

  • Liposuction can be very risky if done by a doctor without surgical training.
  • So first check the qualifications of your doctor - s/he should be a trained surgeon with hospital privileges.
  • Fat embolism is very very rare with liposuction - but is well known to be a risk of fat injections.
  • Again, your surgery should be done by a qualified surgeon who knows how to reduce the risks - and to give you an honest prediction of the outcome of fat transfers....they can be quite disappointing.

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

Is Lipo under local anesthesia risky?

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Thank you for your question. Liposuction can be safely done under local anesthesia. In my practice 90% of liposuction done under local anesthesia. The recovery is easy and effective and safe.

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.