Can I Have Multiple Areas of Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia?

1. I want to do liposuction on my abdomen, hips, inner thigh, and calves. Is it possible to do all in one session? Currently, I'm 5'45 feet at 127 pounds.

2. If I do 3 out of the 4 areas, can it be done under local or regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 9

Can I Have Multiple Areas of Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia

Thank ypu for submitting your question. You seem to be a good candidate for liposuction. You can liposcution 1-2 areas with local.  I would recommend General anesthesia (IV sedation or endotracheal intubation) for 3 or more areas.  . Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

Liposuction and Anesthesia - Local, Sedation, General

Hi Tavia12 in Toronto,

You will get slightly different responses from nearly everyone on this because there's a huge variation among surgeons about exactly how they like to do this procedure (there's generally less variability for a procedure such as breast implants).

You can, in theory, do many different areas of the body using local anesthesia alone and you can, of course, do as much as you want under general anesthesia (there are obviously limits on the amount of fat that can be removed safely at one procedure, regardless of which method is used). 

My preference, though, is to use local anesthesia with intravenous sedation for the majority of the procedures I do.  I cannot (in general) get as complete a result with local alone, compared with using some sedation.  It doesn't have to be general anesthesia technically (ie, with an endotracheal tube - in fact, it is somewhat of a semantic issue when you start talking about exactly what constitutes general anesthesia); actually, deep sedation is pretty close to general anesthesia.  Although I can remove a reasonable amount of fat from one or two areas under local alone, the difference between a good and a great result is often that extra bit - and that is best done, in my experience, using some sedation.

So for all the areas you're talking about, I would probably advise using local anesthesia with intravenous sedation for the best likelihood of obtaining the result you (most likely) want.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Lipo under local for multiple areas?

The short answer is yes but with a caveat. The answer depends on how much fat is planned to be removed, how much anesthesia will be in your blood stream, how much discomfort can you tolerate? Any board certified plastic surgeon can do it under local anesthesia with these caveats in mind. most would prefer to have you comfortable and do it under sedation or general anesthesia. Those that only offer only ONE method only have one hammer and consider everything to be a nail. Be comfortable, be safe and choose a board certified plastic surgeon.  

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Liposuction of multiple body sites and safety

There are many different viewpoints on how liposuction should be done. One of the most important safety aspect is to make sure that the level of local anesthetic in the blood stream does not rise higher than a certain level.  Using tumescent local anesthetic without general anesthetic forces the physician to deliver enough anesthetic to the areas that will undergo liposuction to make it comfortable without exceeding the safe dose.  That may limit the number of areas that should undergo liposuction.  If a multitude of areas are to be done, a surgeon may wish to have the patient receive sedation or general anesthesia to limit the amount of local anesthetic needed.  However, as Dr. Jeffrey Klein, the inventor of tumescent liposuction, has pointed out, general anesthesia and sedation could affect the metabolism of local anesthetic so the amount may be restricted and this could increase the risk of bleeding ( tumescent liposuction minimizes bleeding). In NY state, physicians performing liposuction and removing greater than a half liter of fat, must be accredited, such as our practice which has been accredited as an office based surgical practice by the Joint Commission of Accreditation, the same body that accredits hospitals.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Anesthesia for Liposuction

Yes, you can do Liposuction of multiple areas under local anesthesia, but why would you. The reasons usually given is that it can be done in an office and less expensively. The question is, what is your life and health worth? Most physicians doing this in their non certified offices do so because they cannot get privileges to do so in an accredited facility. To do multiple areas requires large amounts of the anesthetic solution and this raises your risks. Using this amount of solution should be considered the same as major anesthesia. It should, therefore, be treated the same in order to keep you safe. To do what you desire, I would suggest doing it under General Anesthesia in a certified facility.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Can I Have Multiple Areas of Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia?

There are limitations for local lidocaine amounts over time in liposuction. In fact , last year in Ft Lauderdale there was a lidocaine overdose death in a MedSpa during lipo. With deep sedation + local or even light general with local you have a better less painful experience. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

The limitation is the local anesthesia medication

The limitation is the local medication and it's safe dosage. Your board certified plastic surgeon can give you better answer after examination. If there is a concern better to do it in stages.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews


Don't do liposuction under local because it is very difficult to remove all the fat that is possible and also not safe if you want to do multiple areas.  Ususally local anesthesia is used by non plastic surgeons and they do the procedure in their office as opposed to an accredited surgery center.  The goal of liposuction is to make you look proportionate and usually multiple areas are involved therefore general anesthesia is best as it makes it easier for the surgeon and the patient to perform the procedure, it is safe and you are more likely to get the results your looking for. 

When looking for a Plastic surgeon to do your surgery the most important thing to look for is the before/after photos (make sure they are showing you: 1. multiple, at least 15, patient's photos, 2. multiple views (front, quarter turn, profile, and back), 3. photos to include the most lower part of the breasts down to the above knees), 4. that the photos are taken with small underware on (you can look at my website for examples).  If you don't see such photos then you are in the wrong place.  Next make sure you are going to see a plastic surgone who is board certified (you can call the American board of plastic surgeon's to check for their qualificaitons by calling 800.766.4955.  And make sure that your surgeon has admitting privilages as a plastic surgeon to a local hospital and call that hospital to confirm the information.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Several Liposuction areas can be done under Tumescent anesthesia only.

Usually you can get the upper/lower abdomen and the hips done under tumescent local anesthesia and a week later do the inner thighs, knees, calves and ankles. Depending on the size of the areas involved, it may be possible to do the upper/lower abdomen, hips and inner thighs at the same time.  Always see what your doc recommends but 2 procedures are probably needed to get the best results.  Under gen anesthesia you are less likely to get any fine-tuning done to get the best results and there are increased risks as well, so it doesn't matter how many areas you can get done under general anesthesia, it just isn't worth it!  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 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.