Local Anesthesia Liposuction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m looking to have liposuction. My main concern is being put to sleep. Ive watched a few YouTube videos and noticed that the Smartlipo procedure was done without general anesthesia, all while awake.

A: If the principle concern about liposuction surgery is being put to sleep (local anesthesia liposuction), then I am not the surgeon for you. My experience with any form of liposuction done under local anesthesia (unless it is a very small area) is not very good with suboptimal results, patient discomfort during the procedure and an experience that the patient and I would usually not like to repeat in most cases. In my experience when a patient chooses local anesthesia for an invasive liposuction procedure, they have to be willing to accept a limited result and that they may need multiple treatment sessions to ultimately get the best result. Such an approach will also cost more than if done one time under general anesthesia. Regardless of what you see on the internet and how it is promoted, liposuction is a very invasive procedure that covers large body surface areas and is a completely effort dependent process. When this surgical effort becomes compromised by an anesthetic choice that limits these efforts, the surgeon’s hands becomes ’tied’ and the result and experience ultimately suffers. At least this has been my liposuction under local anesthesia experience.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana