General or local anesthesia during Breast Aug?

Is it possible to be under local anesthesia during a breast augmentation surgery? I am fearful of general anesthesia and want to weigh my options. What is standard procedure? What is safe?

Doctor Answers 16

Anesthesia & Breast Augmentation

When considering a surgical procedure, it is important to understand which mode of anesthesia is safest. While surgeons have their preferences for different procedures, taking into account a patient’s concerns can have an impact. Sometimes, a surgeon may choose a different method that would help a patient feel more comfortable. However, for a procedure such as breast augmentation, the safe and standard anesthesia method for patients is general anesthesia. It is not safe to perform a breast augmentation, especially when implants are placed submuscularly, under local anesthesia. As you are researching this topic, you may come across a surgeon who does do breast augmentation under local anesthesia. Unfortunately, when a surgeon promotes local anesthesia for a major surgery, it is likely because he or she is not a board-certified plastic surgeon who is able to obtain privileges at an accredited surgery center or hospital. Before proceeding with your procedure, it is necessary to confirm that both your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist are board-certified providers to ensure you are in safe hands. In their care, general anesthesia is very safe and helps patients feel most comfortable during and after their procedure. Patients do not have the anxiety related to surgery as they would if they were alert and awake. With the appropriate training, anesthesiologists are able to minimize any side-effects related to the anesthetic medications delivered. General anesthesia is also the safest method as it prevents patients from moving during their procedure, allowing the surgeon give you the best results! It helps your surgeon to focus solely on your aesthetics, while an anesthesiologist focuses on your vitals, closely monitoring you throughout the procedure. I hope this information helps you in your research and potential consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Good luck!

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question. I prefer to perform breast augmentation under general anesthesia. This procedure is very safe. Make sure you're working with a board certified plastic surgeon so you're in the best hands. Breast of luck! 

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Is general anesthesia safe

Yes breast augmentation can be done usually some type of oral sedation is likewise given.  In my opinion, todays general anesthesia is way safer than driving a car.  

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Breast augmentation

I think that it is more comfortable for someone to have the implants placed while under general anesthesia.  Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

General or local anesthesia during Breast Aug?

Thank you for the question.
Every surgeon will have his/her preference. I prefer the use of general anesthesia provided by a board-certified anesthesiologist. I have found that the use of general anesthesia is safe, comfortable for the patient, and predictably maintains a patient in a good position (without movement) during the procedure. I think the latter is important as we are trying to achieve as much symmetry is possible.
 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

General anesthesia.

Thank you for your question. I prefer general anesthesia for this procedure, it makes the surgery easier, faster and less painful as patients remain still and asleep, rather than with local anesthesia patients can get anxious and make the surgery complicated. That said, You definitely have to choose your surgeon correctly and make sure that he/she has the training and experience to meet your goals with absolute safety.  Don’t settle for less than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with specialized expertise in this procedure. You should always require a Board Certified Anesthesiologist as well.

Alex Campbell, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

General or local anesthesia during #breastaugmentation?

For your standard breast augmentation, I would suggest general anesthesia is the way to go. For the vast majority of patients, it is extremely safe and will be MUCH more comfortable for them from a pain and anxiety perspective compared to trying to do surgery awake.  I suspect few people would tolerate a breast aug surgery under local anesthesia alone. Depending on your age and health status, your surgeon and anesthesiologist may require clearance from your medical doctor to ensure that it is safe to proceed, as we often do with other non-cosmetic type surgeries. This often includes basic lab tests, EKG, chest X-ray, and if indicated a stress test.  You certainly have the right to request to only have an MD anesthesiologist that is board-certified so keep that in mind.  Good luck and please remember ton consult with board-certified plastic surgeons for best recommendations!

Megan Jack, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

General or local anesthesia during Breast Aug?

General anesthesia is recommended for this procedure because, its faster due to the fact that the patient is completely asleep, the reason why local shouldn't be used is because in a breast augmentation we work with the muscle and it would be uncomfortable for the patient to be awake.

Keith S. Berman, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

General anesthesia for breast augmentation.

Thank you for the question. I always perform my breast augmentations under general anesthesia. It is safer for the patient to have a board certified anesthesiologist put the patient to sleep comfortably and monitor their vital signs while the plastic surgeon is focused on doing her/his job properly with less pain and discomfort to the patient. General anesthesia is very safe with little side effects and easy recovery when performed by a qualified person. It is the standard of care for breast augmentation. Discuss this with your surgeon and meet with the anesthesiologist so you can feel more comfortable. 
Good luck!Dr. Khuthaila

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

General anesthesia and breast augmentation

General anesthesia is usually recommended for this procedure. The general anesthesia required is short in duration and quite safe. In addition, pre-operative testing is done prior to ensure you are in good health for surgery. However, there are some surgeons who perform this surgery under local anesthesia. Be sure to consult a board certified plastic surgeon for this procedure. Hope this helps. James Lee

James Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.