Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia
Liposuction is an extremely common surgical procedure performed in the US and can be applied to a variety of different sites on the body to remove unwanted fat.
This procedure is performed through small incisions made near the area where fat is to be removed. A thin instrument known as a cannula is inserted through the incision to loosen unwanted fat, which is then suctioned out of the body.
When most people think of this procedure they assume that they must be put under general anesthesia; however, it is possible (and also common) to do it under local anesthesia. An oral sedative and pain pill are generally given to most patients who undergo liposuction with local anesthesia to promote relaxation.
Who is a good candidate?
Just about anyone who is in good general health can opt to have liposuction performed in this way. Whether this is the appropriate choice depends on the how comfortable the patient is with being awake during the procedure. It’s also dependent upon the plastic surgeon’s discretion and his or her ability to achieve the desired result using this method.
What are the benefits?
It is a very safe procedure and patients are comfortable throughout. Performing the surgery under local anesthesia using lidocaine rather than general anesthesia allows patients to return to their regular routine more quickly. It is a more cost-effective option compared some of the other non-invasive fat reduction treatments that are available, and results may be more dramatic.
Which areas can be treated?
Small areas of fat on the abdomen, waist, thighs and under the chin are some areas people often have treated under local anesthesia.
Are there limitations?
There are two limiting factors to consider regarding liposuction under local anesthesia. There are limits to the amount of lidocaine (local anesthetic) that can be used and limits to the amount of fat that can be removed. It is important to realize that the larger the area to be treated, the more lidocaine required. In some cases, this will be inappropriate. If multiple areas need to be treated or a large amount of fat is to be removed from a single anatomic area, general anesthesia is very safe and may be preferred and more appropriate. These limitations are designed to ensure patient safety.
Contact us today to meet with one of our skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss which procedure may be best for you, or give us a call at 757-491-3535.