Can a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Done Under Local Anesthesia?

I am 5'9" 120 lbs and had twins 1 year ago. I have a flat stomach and good muscle tone, but my c section scar needs revision (it opened after delivery) and I have a few stretch marks on my lower abdomen. I have seen 2 board certified plastic surgeons who both mentioned local anesthesia as an option since I only need skin and scar removed. They also offer full anesthesia if I choose so. Is local reasonable in this situation?

Doctor Answers 12

Can a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Done Under Local Anesthesia?

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Mini tummy tuck is meant to improve the lower abdomen only. If the problem is only excess skin and fat and the underlying muscles are not loose, then mini tuck can be performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation, I would not recommend local anesthesia alone, although it can be done under local only, it would not be a pleasant experience.

Mini Tummy Tuck Possible with local Anesthesia

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Since you have already seen 2 board certified plastic surgeons you have already done your necessary home work. I agree with them that for a mini tummy tuck local anesthesia as an option since you only need skin and scar removed.  The key issue at this point is your comfort level and you have several options including local anesthesia and oral sedation,  IV sedation, or full anesthesia. Pick the one you are most comfortable with.

Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty)

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Mini Abdominoplasty also know as mini tummy tuck is a limited procedure that removes excess skin below the level of the belly button (umbilicus).   Most patients are not a candidate for this procedure because they have skin laxity and a protruding abdominal wall  the extends above the level of the umbilicus.   For those who are a candidate for Mini abdominoplasty, it can be performed under local anesthesia.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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Mini Tummy Tuck under Local Anesthesia?

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Thank you for your question.

A few words of caution for patients contemplating tummy tuck surgery may be in order:  In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I do not perform any type of tummy tuck under local anesthesia.  Please make sure you are consulting with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons who can show you examples of his/her work.

Best wishes.

Local anesthesia for a mini tummy tuck

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Depending on how much work needs to be done, you may be a candidate for removal of some skin and scar tissue under local anesthesia.  However, I would stress safety first and if you need more than that done then general or sedation anesthesia might be better.  Again, it's hard to determine without actually examining you.

You want a board certified anesthesiologist in the operating room for a mini tummy tuck.

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 That is the safety factor.  He can just monitor you if you go with local anesthesia, or he can sedate you if you are uncomfortable.  But don't skip the anesthesiologist to save a little money.


George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck under local anesthesia

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Theoretically, a mini tummy tuck could be done under local anesthesia, but why?  Twilight anesthesia with IV sedation would make you much more comfortable during the procedure.  In general, we perform mini tummy tucks under IV sedation / twilight anesthesia and our full tummy tucks under general anesthesia.  However, every patient is different and you would need to be evaluated prior to surgery.


Good Luck.

Scar revision under local anesthesia

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What you are describing sounds more like a scar revision than a mini abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). This can certainly be performed under local anesthesia and is preferred. Anytime there is a discussion about muscle work however, general anesthesia is preferred as relaxation of the muscle is needed for best results. Good luck. 

Anything is possible, but --

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Let's remember that injecting local hurts. If you are only having a small scar repaired, then it is fine, but if you are actually having a mini tummy tuck, I would think twice. Anesthesia today is so safe and good, why be in pain.

Mini tucks under local anesthesia

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Scar revision can be performed under local anesthesia. However if you are talking about a mini-tuck, then local would be insufficient and requires, at a minimal, intravenous sedation in an accredited facility. General anesthesia is necessary for a full abdominoplasty. After having twins and a C-section, without seeing photos, it is impossible to comment on whether the proposed procedure is appropriate for your situation.

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.