The stomach area, or the tummy, or the love handles and the flanks is really the bread and butter of liposuction areas. It's the most popular, most common region in what I see is majority coming into my practice. Liposuction can be from the chin all the way down to the knees, and everything in between, but the tummy is very common.

So the best approach I find, and the way I practice, about 99% of my patients are awake but relaxed during the procedure. So meaning they're not under general anesthesia and there's many reasons for that. Number one, it's safer. Under local anesthesia, there's no waking up and emerging, and the recovery is much quicker. One aspect that I find really important is that with the patient being awake, they're maintaining their own tone, okay, and they're able to move around and get into different positions to allow me to really sculpt, especially around the sides and the love handles. So they're able to extend, they're able to go on their side, move their arms back. With those different positionings and their own tone, it's a better way to sculpt something.

So most people are scared when they come in, because they're not sure how this is all going to happen. I commonly ask, "Do they do okay at the dentist?" Most people have a somewhat pleasant experience at the dentist, meaning that once they get nice and numb, if they're going to have some dental work, then it doesn't hurt.

So then it's just doing the work. It's kind of the same in that sense. You come in, you get a little medication to help calm the nerves, okay, but you're awake. You just feel nice and relaxed, kind of more chill so to speak. And then once the procedure starts, I put a little numbing medication. It usually feels a little pinch-y. Nothing even like the dentist, which is usually kind of a sharp. This is just more a little pinchiness, and then it stays numb for many hours. So once you get into that state, then it's easy. We put on a little music. I chat with the patients. We get to know each other, so that's another positive aspect is that I really get to know my patients during that time because I'll spend with them either an hour, two hours, three hours, depending on what areas I'm doing.

Is Local or General Anesthesia Preferred During Liposuction?

Dr. Justin Yovino explains what kind of anesthesia he prefers to use with his liposuction patients.