What is Safer? IV Sedation or General Anesthesia on a Lipo W/ Fat Transfer to Under Eye Area?

Under eyes area for hollowness and lipo of inner and outer thighs

Doctor Answers 6

Anesthesia for fat transfer to face/eyelids

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There are three types of anesthesia.  Local, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. They are all safe but local is safer than IV sedation and IV sedation is safer than general anesthesia, with quicker recovery.  Fat transfer to the face can be accomplished under local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia.  General anesthesia is overkill for it though as the patient can be very comfortable under the other types of anesthesia and very safe with quicker recovery.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

What is Safer? IV Sedation or General Anesthesia on a Lipo W/ Fat Transfer to Under Eye Area?

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     Local would probably be considered the safest.  However, local anesthesia can distort the volume needed for fat transfer to facial areas.  This is always a factor to consider.  I usually perform liposuction and fat transfer procedures under general for maximum patient comfort and accuracy.    Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction and fat transfer procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Safety in surgery

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 Safety in surgery is depend on many factors. Make sure the facility you are having liposuction  at is Accredited, the surgeon is Board certified Plastic Surgeon (American Board Of Plastic Surgery), the Anesthesiologist is a Board certified anesthesiologist. And you have been worked up by your family physician before surgery to assess the risk factors and make sure you are at optimal shape for the surgery. As for the liposuction, it depends on how much liposuction is being done and how much local anesthetics is being used, and how many locations need liposuction and your positioning in the operating room

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

In my opinion sedation is safer than general anesthesia

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Dear patient, over the past few years the Cosmetic Surgery community has realized the dangers of General Anesthesia for Cosmetic Surgery. Sedation or local anesthesia is always safer. 

A. David Rahimi, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

What is Safer? IV Sedation or General Anesthesia?

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IV  sedation is simply another form of general anesthesia. Regardless of the technique used, the operation should be done by an experienced surgical/anesthesia team in an  accredited facility. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

General or IV Sedation Anesthesia

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This is controversial, but, in my opinion, for most surgery that cannot be done under light oral sedation and local, I prefer general anesthesia. However, when done properly with the necessary safeguards, both IV sedation and general anesthesia are both quite safe. Deep oral sedation can also be safe, but the drugs are not as controllable, so I consider this method somewhat less safe. Since IV Sedation, deep oral sedation and general anesthesia remove normal reflexes, they should only be done in a certified facility with all recommended safety measures and, preferably, with an anesthesia professional. The reason I would use general for most things is that, when given properly, the anesthetic agents are expelled more rapidly and you awake faster and there is less risk of late nausea. Then there is the question of the procedure. For fat injection of the face, general anesthesia wins absolutely since you have no local anesthetic modifying the area. This allows better accuracy in placement of the fat.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

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.