Is it safe to get a tummy tuck, lipo and bbl without general anesthesia?

In four days I am scheduled to have a tt, lipo and bbl. the doctor said he was not going to use general anesthesia but that I wouldn't feel anything. I am scared that I will feel pain. How safe is this?

Doctor Answers 10

Is it safe to get a tummy tuck, lipo and bbl without general anesthesia?

I would not advise doing this procedure without general anesthesia. Hopefully you have chosen your surgeon carefully. Please consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 474 reviews

Anesthesia for tummy tuck/BBL

Abdominoplasty should be performed under general anesthesia.  I think it is irresponsible to perform these procedures with sedation and local anesthesia.  You need to be under so you do not engage in involuntary motion on the operating table which can endanger your safety. The amount of sedation you would need for these procedures is too high.  I would also encourage you to ascertain whether the facility is accredited by the Joint Commission or the AAAASF as an ambulatory surgery center or office-based facility.  If not, I would run as far and as quickly as possible. New York law mandates that surgery be performed in an accredited facility when there is a change in the patient's consciousness.  These accrediting bodies hold our operating facilities to extremely high standards and it is considered malpractice per se to perform a procedure with beyond minimal sedation in unaccredited offices.  Pain is, therefore, the least of it. 

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

TT, BBL and Lipo without general anesthesia not recommended

Thank you for the question. I concur with my colleagues' answers. The combination of these  procedures take a long time and ideally should be performed safely under general anesthesia. The longer and more extensive the procedure the more local anesthetic used which may result in high toxic levels in your blood.  It should raise flags if your surgeon cannot perform these procedures under a general anesthetic given by a board certified Anesthesiologist in an accredited facility. Please discuss your concerns with your surgeon or seek a board certified plastic surgeon who can help you feel more comfortable and safe. Be safe..Dr. Khuthaila 

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

It is unlikely that the procedures can be done without general anesthesia.

I am concerned that the surgery will not be what you expect. Some doctors that offer cosmetic surgery under local anesthesia do so because they do not have the necessary credentials to do so under general anesthesia in a hospital or in a surgery center. They claim that this is an advantage but it really isn't. It is very dangerous to use very high doses of local anesthetic and in order to do the extensive surgery that you are talking about I am concerned about this potential problem. You need to check that your surgeon is in fact certified by the American Board of plastic surgeons and is trained to do these procedures in a facility where general anesthesia can be given if necessary.

Rodney A. Green, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Surgery without general anesthesia

The procedures that you mentioned are usually performed under a general anesthesia.  The surgery will take several hours and will require you to be in multiple positions.  Speak with your surgeon about your concerns.  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

VIs it safe to get a tummy tuck, lipo and bbl without general anesthesia?

Practices will vary; much will depend on your plastic surgeon's experience level. Hopefully you have chosen your plastic surgeon carefully.
Personally, I perform tummy tuck surgery in an out patient surgery center under general anesthesia only (provided by Board Certified Anesthesiologists).   The tummy tuck procedure is an extensive procedure; in my opinion general anesthesia allows for a comfortable/safe/immobile environment.I hope this, and the attacked link, helps. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 reviews

I would recommend general anesthesia for this combination of procedures.

Thank you for this question. Many cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, can be safely performed under local anesthesia under the right set of circumstances. However, you are describing a combination of procedures that is quite extensive. A tummy tuck alone is a very complicated and extensive surgery, and I can’t think of a situation in which I would consider performing one without general anesthesia. Combining a tummy tuck with the other procedures you mentioned is definitely not something I would consider performing under local anesthesia. I would consider a second opinion to discuss the safety of what your plastic surgeon is proposing. Remember that even though the goal of plastic surgery is aesthetic improvement, your safety should come first.

Lee B. Daniel, MD
Eugene Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Surgery without Anesthesia?...

General anesthesia is usually required when undergoing procedures such as a tummy tuck and liposuction.  The amount of fat that is needed to perform a BBL is usually large and harvested under anesthesia. It would be too uncomfortable for the patient to only use a local anesthetic and have the procedure performed properly. If you are not sure, it is always best to seek other opinions.

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

General anesthesia.

Thank you for your question. These procedures should be performed under general anesthesia! I Would not recommend having these procedures done under local anesthesia. Combination procedures can give powerful results but SAFETY is KEY.  You definitely have to choose your surgeon correctly and make sure that he/she has the training and experience to meet your goals with absolute safety.  Don’t settle for less than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with specialized expertise in this procedure.

Carolina Restrepo, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


Practices vary, but that is alot of surgery to have with local anesthesia. I recommend you discuss further with both your surgeon and anesthesiologist to ensure you will be safe. If after that conversation, you are unsure, find another board certified plastic surgeon and accredited facility for you procedure. The additional money will be worth it.

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.