Should I Have General or Local Anesthesia For My Smartlipo Procedure?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting liposuction for my belly area. I am 36 years old and had very successful breast reduction  surgery seven years ago. While I was put to sleep for my breast reduction and had no problems, I am more anxious now considering it since I have two small children. Do you think it would be better to have regular liposuction under general anesthesia or Smartlipo under local anesthesia? I think I want to flatten my hips area as well. It is time to get ready for the summer!

A: You are under a classic misconception that Smartlipo is a liposuction procedure done only under local anesthesia. While it can be done in some smaller areas under local anesthesia, the reality is so can regular liposuction. The type of anesthesia has little to do with what type of liposuction can be performed. But it often controls how good a result one can get from any type of liposuction procedure. How thoroughly fat can be removed from multiple areas largely depends on a patient’s comfort to do so. In my experience, better liposuction results are almost always obtained under general anesthesia. More body areas can be concurrently treated and a more aggressive approach can be taken with how much fat is removed. While Smartlipo can be done under local anesthesia, I have found in many cases that patient comfort and the desire to treat more than one body area make it less than an ideal approach to liposuction fat reduction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana