American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Weighing your anesthesia options for a mommy makeover

mommy makeover anesthesia options

Deciding to have children and becoming a mother can lead to some of the most rewarding and transformative years of a woman's life. As exciting as motherhood can be, it can also take a toll on your body. Pregnancy, childbirth and nursing can leave many women feeling insecure about their post-baby bodies.

Often, these women consider mommy makeovers, which use a combination of cosmetic procedures to help fix unwanted changes in the body caused during their childbearing years. One consideration when preparing for a mommy makeover is deciding on the right anesthesia for your procedure.

What options are available

Going under anesthesia can be one of the more anxiety-inducing parts of any surgical procedure. Thanks to anesthesia, you don't feel discomfort during surgery – and with current technology, anesthesia is incredibly safe. Understanding what your options are and what to expect can help ease your mind.

Anesthesia is a medication that is given under the supervision of a certified anesthesia provider to avoid feeling discomfort during surgery or a medical procedure. Deciding which anesthesia option is best depends on what procedure you are having performed. If the procedure permits it, many people prefer being awake during the procedure, while others insist on not being awake. In the context of a mommy makeover, most procedures will require general anesthesia. However, some less-invasive procedures may be performed with local anesthesia or even no anesthesia at all.

General anesthesia

General anesthesia causes you to be completely unconscious and unable to feel discomfort or remember anything during your surgery. A certified anesthesia provider administers medicine intravenously or by using a mask for inhalation, then once you are unconscious, they constantly monitor your vitals including your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing throughout the surgical procedure.

General anesthesia is optimal for people who do not want to remember a procedure. Procedures that require general anesthesia typically have a longer recovery time right after surgery, since you'll need some time to emerge from your unconscious state and continued monitoring for a few hours to make sure vitals are stable.

Almost all plastic surgeons will only perform surgical mommy makeover procedures with the patient under general anesthesia. While there are some surgeons who may perform individual surgeries such as breast augmentation or liposuction using just IV sedation with a local anesthetic, a mommy makeover is a more complex surgery involving several areas of the body and as a result, it is safer and more prudent to have the patient under general anesthesia.

IV sedation and local anesthesia

If you really want to avoid general anesthesia, your mommy makeover options most likely will be more limited. Some less-invasive procedures may use IV sedation, also called "twilight sedation" and "conscious sedation," paired with local anesthesia of the treated area. IV sedation is also administered by a certified anesthesia provider intravenously, but you breathe on your own so there is no need for a breathing tube.

When utilizing IV sedation an individual will be sedated but awake. They should not feel or remember discomfort, and the addition of localized anesthesia should numb the affected area and keep them comfortable during and after surgery. Just like general anesthesia, the anesthesia provider continues to monitor your vitals throughout the procedure.

No anesthesia

As you may well know, there are also a number of completely nonsurgical beauty treatments offered by plastic surgeons these days. You can consider a nonsurgical, no-anesthesia mommy makeover and still be able to achieve noticeable results, with little discomfort and downtime.

If you're considering this route, a few options might be:

  • CoolSculpting: This nonsurgical liposuction alternative can reduce the appearance love handles, back rolls and other pesky pockets of fat.
  • Botox injections and dermal fillers: Treat facial wrinkles and folds with these long-lasting wrinkle reduction injectables.
  • Cellfina cellulite reduction: Cellulite is a common problem for millions of women, and many moms find that their cellulite is more noticeable after having kids.
  • Vaginal rejuvenation: Nonsurgical feminine rejuvenation treatments for vaginal laxity, such as Viveve™, can help moms feel much more confident in intimate settings.

Choosing the right anesthesia option for you

Pregnancy affects every mom differently, and each woman has her own trouble spots to address. Thousands of women every year have a mommy makeover under general anesthesia and are thrilled with their results. But if the prospect of going under general anesthesia is a big concern for you, know that you still have options to enhance your look.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


Surgeons In Your Area

Timothy Mountcastle Headshot

Timothy Mountcastle, MD

44095 Pipeline Plaza Suite 430
Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 858-3208

Michael Brown Headshot

Michael Brown, MD

45155 Research Place Suite 125
Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 726-1175

Behzad Parva Headshot

Behzad Parva, MD

224-D Cornwall Street N.W. Suite 300
Leesburg, VA 20176

(703) 777-7477

Craig Dufresne Headshot

Craig Dufresne, MD

8501 Arlington Blvd. Suite 420
Fairfax, VA 22031

(703) 207-3065

Jamal Yousefi Headshot

Jamal Yousefi, MD

502 Maple Avenue W.
Vienna, VA 22180

(703) 255-4922

Phillip Chang Headshot

Phillip Chang, MD

19500 Sandridge Way Suite 350
Lansdowne, VA 20176

(703) 729-5553

Robert Sigal Headshot

Robert Sigal, MD

1825 Samuel Morse Dr.
Reston, VA 20190

(703) 893-6168

Shlomo Widder Headshot

Shlomo Widder, MD

8230 Leesburg Pike Suite 630
Vienna, VA 22182-2641

(703) 506-0300


Patient Care Center