A Tummy Tuck Without General Anesthesia Improves Recovery and Reduces Costs
We often think that advances in medicine mean that doctors can address problems that couldn’t be treated before. But we also should realize that medical innovations can lead to less invasive ways to perform standard surgical techniques. Traditional tummy tucks have been available for more than 100 years. Dr. Alan Greenberg, board certified in cosmetic surgery of the body, breasts and extremities, stays on top of surgical methods that help his patients look better and feel better about themselves. Today an “awake” tummy tuck without general anesthesia is a safer option and offers numerous benefits to patients.
Tumescent solution is critical for a tummy tuck without general anesthesia
The ability to combine local anesthetics with a blood vessel constrictor, lidocaine and epinephrine, in a saline solution and deliver them to a targeted region of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, makes development of tumescent anesthesia a significant advance for a tummy tuck without general anesthesia. Accuracy and safety are increased and the risk of lidocaine toxicity is reduced. Using a thin, blunt cannula or needle, Dr. Greenberg infuses large quantities of the tumescent local anesthesia through small needle punctures to numb the specific area. This procedure causes the tissue to become swollen and firm – or tumescent.
The addition of a mild oral sedation during the first half of the procedure and IV sedation or twilight anesthesia during the second half of the procedure relaxes patients during the “awake” tummy tuck procedure so that they remain able to communicate with the doctor and follow requests. Other benefits of a tummy tuck without general anesthesia include the following:
- Minimal bleeding: Traditional tummy tucks use electrocautery to prevent large amounts of blood loss. Massive dissection required to free up the abdominal flap also adds to the blood loss. Tumescent anesthesia narrows the blood vessels in the targeted tissue and allows it to be removed more efficiently and with considerably less bleeding.
- Better results: With an “awake” tummy tuck procedure, patients can respond to doctors’ questions and move as necessary during the surgery. Following routine liposuction and before the actual tummy tuck, the patient can be inspected in a standing position. This step eliminates any guessing and improves the odds of achieving the optimal body shape and making a symmetrical incision. Patients may also use the restroom, avoiding the need for an indwelling urinary catheter.
- Faster recovery: After a tummy tuck without general anesthesia, the patient can stand up from the operating table much sooner, ambulate and get dressed with assistance. This recovery is virtually unheard of with traditional tummy tucks, which require heavy sedation. Due to its long-lasting effects, tumescent anesthesia offers a minimum of 4 to 8 hours of pain control following the surgery.
- Less cost: A tummy tuck without general anesthesia can be performed as an in-office procedure. It requires less time on the operating table and in recovery. Since hospitalization isn’t required, patients realize significant savings from this elective cosmetic surgery procedure.
Don’t let the idea of an “awake” tummy tuck procedure keep you from sleeping at night. Contact Dr. Greenberg and his team at North Texas Cosmetic Surgery to find out how a tummy tuck without general anesthesia could be better for you. You’ll rest easy by knowing about all the advantages that this medical innovation offers.