Can liposuction and fat transfer be performed under local anesthetic?

Doctor Answers 4

Local anesthetic for liposuction

Thank you for the question! In most cases, local anesthesia is sufficient for liposuction. However, if liposuction is performed to treat larger areas and combined with fat grafting, general anesthesia may be more appropriate. Such questions are typically decided during a consultation with your surgeon. 

As always, an in-person examination with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and obtain medical advice.  Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Liposuction and fat transfer with local anesthesia

Thank you for asking about your liposucton and fat transfer.

It depends entirely on how much fat will be removed and transplanted. If it is a liter or less, then yes,it can be done with local anesthesia in an office setting. But if larger areas are removed, the surgery must be done in an accredited out patient surgery center. Under these conditions, your surgery will be done better, take less time and cause you no pain if you are asleep. Serious complications and even deaths can occur when non-surgeons perform major surgery in their offices or non-accredited operating room so please see someone qualified to do your surgery.

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

Local anesthesia and Fat Transfer

There are a number of ways to perform liposuction. Similarly, these varied procedures can be performed under varied forms of anesthesia. 

While it is possible to perform a fat harvest and transfer under local anesthesia, one should consider the goals of the procedure. Small volume fat transfer for correction of contour irregularities or facial filler can be performed under local successfully due to the low intensity of the procedure. Low volume harvest means less patient discomfort. However, high volume fat transfer as in BBL typically involves extensive harvest (>1L) and multiple donor sites. This would probably be better tolerated under general anesthesia.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Donovan Rosas, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Can liposuction and fat transfer be performed under local anesthetic?

Yes but why? If you need over 1 liter fat graft than the 99% majority of 'boarded Plastic Surgeons' would recommend local with general anesthesia. Most doctors whom recommend local lipo with fat grafts are NOT boarded PSs! Because they can not obtain the proper credentials or licensing to preform office general anesthesia, due to their limited if any training....

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.