Local or general anesthesia?

I am presently interviewing surgeons for my wish lipo sculpting of abdomen flanks and upper back, I'mhealthy, exercise regularly and 5" 3 in, 137lbs but want to get that high definition look for my abdomen and upper back, small waist,so far one surgeon recommends general and the other 2 recommends local, of course the local anesthesia is a lot cheaper but I rather go with safer and better results,I don't think I have much fat to remove but I could be wrong, what do you think? local or general anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 9

General anesthesia is better and safer

Go with general anesthesia where you have an MD anesthesiologist doing total care to keep you comfortable, asleep and safe.   If you have local the surgeon becomes both the surgeon and anesthesiologist and distraction and deficient results ensue.   General anesthesia is the best investment you can make.    My Best,  Dr Commons

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

General vs. Local Lipo

Great question- For this procedure, you are going to be much more comfortable and likely have a better result under general anesthesia. When conducting your research... make sure you choose a physician who uses a MD anesthesiologist.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Local or general anesthesia?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift…

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Local Vs. general anesthesia

Hi dear, happy to answer,
everything depends on the center and the surgeon you will perform the procedure, Dominican Republic The regional anesthesia is recommended, this allows only lulling the body part on which the surgery is performed by injecting the anesthetic near nervios.La anesthetized person remains awake during the procedure. The advantages is that it allows: Maintain awareness, faster recovery.
A possible discharge from 2-3 hours after surgery in the opinion of the surgeon and anesthetist.
My best wishes, good luck

Manuel Belen, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

General Anesthesia

If you go with general anesthesia you can be more comfortable and the Doctor can do a much better job on your body. Anesthesia is very safe if you choose the right the team and of course a board certified doctor with good liposuction results.Good Luck 

Sergio Alvarez, MD
Doral Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 333 reviews


The choice of anesthesia can be based on surgeon preference or experience. But beware of "surgeons" that only offer local anesthesia. In many states, any doctor can offer a surgical procedure under local anesthesia, even if they're not a surgeon. So if you're being offered only local anesthesia, there a chance that the physician is not a surgeon. He or she may be another type of doctor, such as an internist, dermatologist, or radiologist. So do your homework and ask about Board certification. 

Moises Salama, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 1,818 reviews

Local or general anesthesia for liposuction of the abdomen and upper back?

Liposuction under local anesthesia should always raise a red flag in the savvy consumer. The reason for that is that, in order to have operating room privileges (a formal operating room is required for general anesthesia administration) a "surgeon" must go through rigorous credentialing to prove both formal residency program training and experience. Many docs tout themselves as "Plastic" or "Cosmetic" Surgeons or "Liposuction Experts/Specialists" without having received formal residency training in these procedures. Those docs, many of whom are not even SURGEONS, let alone trained Plastic Surgeons, can ONLY offer liposuction under local anesthesia. Keeping that in mind. I suggest that you formally look into those docs training and their qualifications before you risk undergoing major surgery (liposuction is a potentially very dangerous surgery in the wrong hands). Having said that, I only do liposuction under local anesthesia in small area and/or very small volume cases. If you are doing your abdomen and your upper back, I recommend general anesthesia. Good luck!

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews


I perform almost all of my initial liposculpture procedures under general anesthesia both for the comfort of the patient and the quality of the results I can achieve.  I think touch up procedures can be safely performed in the office under local, but beware.  You may get what you pay for!

Winfield Hartley, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Liposculpting Anesthesia

It really comes down to the skills of the plastic surgeon. I perform all of my Liposculpting under local anesthesia with light sedation. General anesthesia is not required; in fact, it's associated with higher risks, sculpting position limitations, more post operative pain, longer recovery, etc...  Do your research and fine the correct fit for you. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 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.