General Vs. Local Anesthesia for Tumescent Lipo?

I'm interested in getting lipo to my flanks, abdominals and upper back. I'm about 10 lbs overweight in those areas only. When I got a consultation with a plastic surgeon, he recommended general anesthesia which creeps me out. Has anyone had experience with LOCAL? Is it better?

Doctor Answers 5

Type of Anesthesia for Liposuction

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While there is much debate about local or general anesthesia for liposuction, when you look closely, the great majority surgeons who actually have a choice of which to use prefer general anesthesia. Almost all of the physicians who tout local anesthesia do not have the choice of using general anesthesia since they do not have privileges in a certified facility where it is possible to have an anesthesiologist put you to sleep. In spite of all the claims of safety of local anesthesia, many patients have died from the medicines in the local, and, when done properly, general anesthesia is exceptionally safe. The purported advantage of being able to move during the procedure is no advantage to an experienced surgeon and is, in fact, dangerous since it is hard to maintain a sterile field doing this and infection is one of the major complications of liposuction.  Having used both, my patients and I greatly prefer general.

Highlands Plastic Surgeon

General vs. Local for Multiple Area Surgery?

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As you have read, there are differing opinions as to the best  type of anesthesia to use while performing liposuction  of several areas. In my practice, I prefer the use of general anesthesia for reasons that have been listed by other respondents.

 Be careful with your selection of plastic surgeon;  this selection, as opposed to the specific type of anesthesia used, will play a larger role in the safety and outcome of the procedure performed.

 Best wishes.

General Anesthesia Creeps Many Patients Out and Rightfully So !!!

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There is no medical reason whatsoever to ever use general anesthesia for liposuctions ! Local tumescent anesthesia is far safer and you can get better results since the patients can stand up and turn in all positions for the doc to fine tune all areas so they are as smooth and symmetrical as possible.  It is not painful at all as many docs who are not experienced in tum. local would like you to believe. You are comfort and get to see and participate in what is done. Also you can take out just as much (5 liters or more) under local as you would under general. The dose of the tumescent solution is adjusted according to the size and number of areas. It does help to have a little IV sedation which is easy to do but you are totally awake and comfortable throughout the whole procedure. Also the docs who do local tum.anesthesia also tend to use the micro canulas which are smaller and give the tiniest holes rather than big ugly scars. The smaller the canula, the smoother the results. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

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Liposuction of multiple areas under local anesthesia requires a lot of local anesthesia use. Recent  studies have shown that one needs to be carefull with the total dose of local anesthetic used, because one can reach the toxic dose very easy.

In these cases general anesthesia is better and safer

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

General Vs. Local Anesthesia for Tumescent Lipo?

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        If you are going to get multiple areas and you want maximal results, you will have to find a plastic surgeon who generates dramatic results.  You also do not want to be in pain during the procedure so that the surgeon must stop the procedure or do less than what is necessary.   For this reason, general is a better option for my patients.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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.