Is It Possible to Have a TT Done Using Local Instead of General Anesthesia?

If so, what are the advantages/disadvantages?

Doctor Answers 11

General Anesthesia is the Safest Choice for Tummy Tuck

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No, it is not possible to perform tummy tuck safely under local anesthesia because too much local anesthesia would be required to make you comfortable.  When large amounts of local anesthesia are used they can be toxic for your brain and heart.

General anesthesia blends several types of anesthesia including short acting inhaled agents and medications through  and IV line to give you a safe, effective anesthesia for a tummy tuck.  With today's short acting medications and an experienced board certified anesthesiologist general anesthesia is extremely safe.  It really is safer than your drive to the surgery center.  Please do not consider having a tummy tuck by anyone who offers it any other way.  They are either poorly trained or trying to save money at the expense of your safety or both!

Local anesthetic for a tummy tuck

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Many questions do not have a simple answer.  This one does.


Theoretically it is possible, however, it would be a nightmare and would cause a lot of tension in the room leading to anxiety for everyone and a sub-optimal result.

General anesthesia is very safe unless you have some severe medical conditions which would also preclude the surgery under local anesthesia.  Many procedures can be performed under local.  Tummy tuck is not one of them.

All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

General anesthesia is usually best for tummy tuck

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General anesthesia is usually the safest and most comfortable for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck.) It is of course important to have the procedure done in an accredited facility so that you know the anesthesia provider is qualified. General anesthesia has been innaccurately portrayed as being more dangerous than local, but too much local anesthetic can be dangerous and a lot would be required to do a tummy tuck.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Anesthesia for Tummy Tuck

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A full tummy tuck is usually done under general or possibly sedational  or regional anesthesia.  The procedure usually involves tightening of the abdominal wall muscles and would require an adequate anesthetic.  A  Local anesthetic would not provide the level of anesthesia necessary.   It may be possible to do a mini tummy tuck under local , however, sedational anesthesia may be a better option here as well.   


Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Local Anesthetic For Tummy Tuck Too Dangerous

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You probably think that a local anesthetic is safer that a general anesthetic.  This is not always the case.  In order to provide adequate anesthesia for a full tummy tuck, a toxic amount of local anestetic would be required.  It is probably possible to have your tummy tuck performed with a regional anesthetic (spinal, epidural, etc.); bit, I think, here again a general anesthetis would be safer for most patients.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck under general anaesthetic

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Tummy tuck procedures in my practice are performed under a general anaesthetic and take up to 3 hours or so.  Typically, doctors offering tummy tuck surgery under local anaesthetic are not qualified to perform surgery in a fully accredited hospital or are cutting corners.  Tummy tuck surgery, done properly, requires very deep suturing of the muscles which requires general anaesthetic to ensure its performed safely and comfortably.

Local vs. General Anesthesia for a Tummy Tuck.

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To answer your question.  No.

While many things can be done under local, a tummy tuck is best done under general anesthesia.  While it is theoretically possible to perform a tummy tuck under local, most plastic surgeons would not think of doing this.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon.  

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Talk under Local Anesthesia?

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Yes, it is possible to do the tummy tuck surgery under local anesthesia but I would not advise it. Undoubtably, patients  will be much more comfortable ( during the extensive surgery)  under general anesthesia compared to local anesthesia.  I prefer to do the  procedure under  general anesthesia with the help of a board certified anesthesiologist.

Best wishes.

Tummy Tuck under local is possible...but not advisable.

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There are many operations that can be done under local anesthestic, that probably should not be. Abdominoplasty is one of them. For optimal results, patients should be asleep during tummy tucks.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

General anesthesia is a better and safer choice for Tummy Tuck

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Fear of general anesthesia is unfounded.  In many ways it offers safer surgical envoirnment for surgery when compared to local anesthesia.  Tummy Tuck will be a better Tummy Tuck when done under general anesthesia.   

Find a good plastic surgeon and leave anesthesia choice to him.  Don't choose your doctor based on your anesthesia preferences since you will be misguided in doing that.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.