Would You Do a Tummy Tuck on a Patient That Will Only Accept an Epidural with Twilight?

I have lost a great amount of weight through diet and exercise. At my age to get rid of the unwanted skin and stretch marks I can see only a tummy tuck with do it. My question is this since it s elective how open is Plastics to having a patient that will only accept Epidural with a bit of twilight?

Doctor Answers 8

Anesthesia for Male Tummy Tuck

    Sedation and local may be appropriate.  Epidural or spinal anesthesia may be appropriate but carries its own risks.  I would recommend that you find the surgeon you like and then discuss this with the anesthesiologist and the surgeon.  Kenneth Hughes, MD male tummy tuck Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Tummy Tuck Epidural with Sedation?

This can be an appropriate technique for most patients. Many of us have done these with sedation (twilight sleep) alone. The choice of anesthetic technique is usually one between patient and anesthesiologist. For something a bit out of the ordinary as this may be, I would be sure you have a chance to speak with the anesthesiologist before the morning of surgery to avoid being stuck with someone who won't use your preferred technique. 

Obviously your surgeon must be on board. If not, look elsewhere. Thanks for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

You wouldn't tell a pilot how to fly a plane...

You wouldn't tell a pilot how to fly a plane, so why would you tell an anesthesiologist how to anesthetize you.

Although it may be perfectly safe and technically feasible to do a full abdominoplasty/tummy tuck with that anesthetic technique, I am not aware of any plastic surgeons who use that technique routinely. Even if you find someone to accommodate your special request, wouldn't you rather have a surgeon perform this big operation on you using the anesthetic technique the surgeon and anesthesiologist are most experienced and comfortable with? Doctors get the best (and safest) results when they do things the same way all the time.

There's a reason why epidural is not routinely used: it's not the best anesthetic for this operation. If there is a compelling reason why epidural and twilight is the best technique for you, I'm sure a plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist would recommend it or offer it. 


Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews


A tummy tuck can be done with an epidural or local anesthesia, but I have always done it under general anesthesia.  I personally would turn down the request and recommend you use another surgeon if you really want it done that way.  There is nothing wrong with your request, it is just that I do not think it would allow me to do my best work.  Sorry!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Epidural for tummy tuck

This is really a decision made by the anesthesiologist and the surgeon.you need to have full  muscle relaxation to tighten the muscles so a conference before is the best way.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

IV sedation and local/regional anesthesia should work fine


Thank you for the question.  IV sedation and local/regional anesthesia works well for abdominalplasty procedures especially if the plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist work well together to maximize each others anesthesia.  Make sure that both your plastic surgeon and your anesthesiologist have done so previously and that they have worked together before.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Tummy tuck under epidural

If it is a panniculectomy you need (removal of excess skin), this could be performed under an epidural anesthetic.  

For a full tummy tuck, the level of surgery will be higher in the abdomen than an epidural could numb effectively without simultaneously risk numbing the breathing muscles, and, well, that might not end well.

Make sure you are making anesthetic decisions out of an informed place rather than a place of fear.


Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Tummy Tuck with sedation and no General Anesthesia

in order to do a tummy tuck sucessfully you will need to have adequate anesthesia of your entire abdomen, groin, and lower chest. An epidural usually give anesthesia from the umbilicus down. therefore, it can not give you any anesthesia to your upper abdomen and chest. I don't think that you will enjoy feeling the surgery! Besides, general anesthesia, when given by a board certifed anesthesiologist, and at an accredidated surgery center is very safe.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 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.