Office-based outpatient plastic surgery utilizing total intravenous anesthesia

Aesthet Surg J. 2013 Feb;33(2):270-4. doi: 10.1177/1090820X12472694. Epub 2013 Jan 18.


Background: Office-based plastic surgery procedures continue to increase in popularity and a range of anesthetic techniques can be utilized, from light conscious sedation to general anesthesia requiring intubation. Total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) is well suited for the office environment because it allows for moderate to deep sedation without the need for intubation.

Objective: The authors review plastic surgery procedures performed in an outpatient office-based operating room under TIVA to assess patient outcomes and complications.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients who underwent surgical procedures performed by 2 senior surgeons at American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities-certified outpatient operating rooms between 2003 and 2011. TIVA was always administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist because it required the use of propofol. Conscious sedation with midazolam and fentanyl was always administered by the plastic surgeon. Patient outcomes and complications were analyzed to assess the safety of TIVA in an office operating room.

Results: A total of 2611 procedures were performed on 2006 patients. No deaths, cardiac events, or transfers to the hospital occurred in any patients, regardless of the type of sedation utilized. Six hundred forty-two patients were given TIVA, which included propofol and/or ketamine, in addition to midazolam and fentanyl. The remaining 1364 patients received conscious sedation. There was 1 documented case (0.05%; 1/2006) of deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism in a patient who had an implant exchange under TIVA; this patient was taking oral contraceptive pills at the time of surgery.

Conclusions: Office-based surgery is an attractive option for many patients. This review suggests that a variety of procedures can be performed in a safe manner under TIVA. Although patient selection for outpatient surgery is paramount, TIVA offsets the risks of general anesthesia and is associated with minimal postoperative complications.

Level of evidence: 4.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous / methods*
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fentanyl / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Ketamine / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Midazolam / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Ketamine
  • Midazolam
  • Fentanyl
  • Propofol