Can tummy tucks or panniculectomies be safely done with an epidural instead of general anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 4

Can tummy tucks or panniculectomies be safely done with an epidural instead of general anesthesia?

The short answer- in my opinion- is no. The reason is - the best Tummy tuck requires a full dissection up to and in some instances above the ribs . The most dependable anesthesia will be General, especially since there may be some paralysis necessary to tighten the muscles . therefore, in my opinion- although possible for very minimal low tummy tucks, a full General Anesthesia is preferred for safety and completeness of the operation.

Can tummy tucks or panniculectomies be safely done with an epidural instead of general anesthesia?

Thank you for your question. You will find that there are a variety of different types of anesthesia that can be utilized during tummy tuck surgery. I  personally perform tummy tuck surgery in an out patient surgery center, and under general anesthesia administered by Board Certified Anesthesiologists.  I believe that this type of anesthesia provides for a comfortable/safe/immobile environment to  perform the relatively "extensive" procedure. Personally, I feel most comfortable having the anesthesiologist have full control of the patient's airway, thereby avoiding many of the potentially serious complications that may arise around the time of surgery. I hope this, and the attacked link, helps.

Anesthesia for tummy tuck

Abdominal surgery can be done safely with an epidural. It can also be done with IV anesthesia without a breathing tube (I often do it that way in my OR). Whatever type of anesthesia you consider, make sure your surgeon and anesthesia provider are aware of your full medical history and that you are all comfortable with the type of anesthesia based on your risk factors and the surgical plan. 

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

TTuck under sedation

In select patients these can be done under IV anesthesia or epidural. If epidural, the majority of surgeons would require it to be in a hospital. The main issues determining the suitability are anesthesia related, not surgically related. You will need to discuss this with the surgeons you consult with.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 72 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.