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Breast Augmentation Under Local Anesthesia

Many people ask us, “Can I get local anesthesia when getting my breasts done?”. The answer is YES. When it comes to breast augmentation, the procedure is getting more and more advanced. Who would’ve thought 20 years ago that getting this surgery done under local anesthesia would be possible? Although local anesthesia for breast augmentation is not totally unheard of these days, many plastic and cosmetic surgeons still voice their dissent. What are some of the controversies surrounding this method and how do you decide if local anesthesia is the way to go?


In the world of medicine, any legal doctor can technically perform a surgery. The problem with breast augmentation under local anesthesia was that there are many doctors who are not board certified plastic or cosmetic surgeons that are able to perform the surgery. This would be strictly legal. Dr. Barry Kaplan has over 30 years of experience. 

There are many cosmetic surgeons who are uncomfortable with this rising trend, because it circumvents the need for accreditation. There are even some cases of doctors advertising a weekend-long seminar to perform breast augmentation under local anesthesia.

Another concern is the live “input” from patients while they were awake. Even though this type of cosmetic surgery is common, it’s still a major surgery and all decisions should be made ahead of time.

local anesthesia breast augmentation

But now, some time has passed since the initial uproar. Local anesthesia along with IV sedation is fairly common. Many cosmetic surgeons now practice this method, which should put patients at ease as long as they’re fully informed in what goes on.

Pros of Local Anesthesia

The biggest advantage of local anesthetics compared to a more common IV sedation, is that patients can indeed provide immediate feedback. After a doctor inserts the predetermined shape of the implant underneath the muscle, a patient can sit up and give her input as to whether she likes the shape and size of the implant.

Local anesthesia also requires less recovery time since the patient is fully awake during the procedure.

Working With the Right Doctor

It is extremely important to find board certified cosmetic surgeons who has experience using this technique. It’s essential to ask why they prefer this method to general anesthesia. If it’s because that’s the only way they do it or they’re skimping on an anesthesiologist, that’s not a good answer.

If a doctor can give you an educational talk about why he/she prefers local anesthesia and supplement it with experience, it might be worth further evaluation. Being able to give input as to how your implants should look really is an attractive feature that deserves consideration.

While breast augmentation under local anesthesia promises faster recovery time and the ability to give feedback, in the end, you should be the one to decide. You want to have all the options, and to do so, you need to only work with a surgeon who can give you those options, local anesthesia and otherwise. Call us today to ask more questions about our methods of local anesthesia or to schedule an appointment!