Liposuction: In office and awake…really?

by Dr. Jason Martin 

July 17, 2020

Yes, really!  We have specialized in awake in-office body contouring over the past 10 years and  the majority of people we see are candidates for an in-office procedure. While it may not be the ‘lunch time’ procedure you’ve heard about, it is a much less stressful way to contour and improve your body. Here are a few of the benefits of an awake in-office procedure:

  1. Easier recovery:  If you can avoid intravenous or general anesthesia, your immediate recovery will be much easier.  Heavy anesthetics have some known side effects like headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion and drowsiness.  This can make the first day after any procedure difficult.  Using only local anesthetics with oral medication will avoid many of these issues.  After an awake liposuction procedure in our office, you will be able to walk with your caretaker to the car, 15 to 20 minutes after completion of the procedure.  There is no waiting around in a recovery room for hours until you wake up.  There is also no hassle of leaving and working your way out of a large and cumbersome surgical facility.  One important point, sInce we do give you oral medications during the procedure, you will not be able to drive yourself home and will need to have a responsible adult with you for 24 hours after the procedure.  

  2. Lower overall cost:  Surgical facilities and anesthesiologists fees add cost to any procedure. In-office procedures do not require an anesthesiologist or hospital operating room lowering your out of pocket expense. 

  3. Decreased risk: Data shows that procedures completed with you awake in the office have lower risk of postoperative infections and complications.  This is true across all procedure types but the amount of decrease does vary.  Therefore, you should feel confident that choosing an in office and awake procedure is a very safe choice.  

It is important to note that awake procedures do have one limitation: the number of areas that can be treated. The dose of lidocaine used to make you numb and comfortable during the procedure, is body weight based. This dose will dictate the number of areas that can be treated at one time safely and comfortably. If you want a lot of areas treated, usually greater than 2 (ie. abdomen and sides, or inner and outer thighs), then the operating room setting may be the best option.

Lastly, one of the main concerns for our patients when considering an in office and awake liposuction procedure is comfort.  It can be anxiety provoking, especially since no one wants to be in pain or hear what's going on.  Surprisingly to most, this procedure is extremely well tolerated and being awake for surgery is kind of fun, we even let you pick the music. Since you are awake we can talk to you during the procedure to make sure you are comfortable and know what’s going on at all times. With the expert use of local anesthetics, times of discomfort are short lived and limited.  Once the local anesthetics start to wear off after 4 hours, discomfort will increase.  By that time, you will be safely home, in your bed and comfortable. 

Check out our Podcast, Beauty and the Surgeon for more information on Liposuction and we look forward to seeing you in our clinic for your complimentary consultation

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