TUMESCENT TECHNIQUELiposuction is a procedure
that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat
from specific areas, including the abdomen, hips,
buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks and
neck. During the past decade, liposuction, which is also
known as "lipoplasty" or "suction lipectomy," has
benefited from several new refinements. Today, a number
of new techniques, including ultrasound-assisted
lipoplasty (UAL), the tumescent technique, and the
super-wet technique, are helping many plastic surgeons
to provide selected patients with more precise results
and quicker recovery times. Although no type of
liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise,
liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don't
respond to traditional weight-loss methods
The Tumescent Technique
The tumescent technique is a relatively new liposuction
method that can reduce post operative bruising, swelling
and pain. Because blood loss is minimized during
tumescent liposuction, use of the technique reduces the
chance that a blood transfusion will be needed.
Candidates For Tumescents Liposuction
Any person who is a candidate for traditional
liposuction is also a good candidate for the tumescent
technique. Although the technique can be used on any
area of the body, it is commonly used on areas that
require enhanced precision, such as the face, neck,
arms, calves and ankles.
Individuals who have large areas of excess fat may also
be good candidates for tumescent liposuction
Although the anesthesia requirements are lessened and
blood loss is minimized with tumescent liposuction,
patients undergoing the procedure still face the same
risks and cosmetic complications associated with
tradi-tional liposuction surgery.
There are also risks specifically associated with the
tumescent technique. These rare complications include
pulmonary edema (the collection of fluid in the lungs),
which may occur if too much fluid is administered; and
lidocaine toxicity, which occurs if the solution's
lidocaine content is too high.
You can reduce your risks by choosing a board-certified
plastic surgeon who has adequate experience with the
For many patients, general
anesthesia is the best option. For others, the
anesthetic contained in the solution combined with
sedation may provide sufficient comfort during the
procedure. Or, if your doctor feels it's appropriate,
the tumescent solution itself may serve as the sole
means of anesthesia.
In tumescent liposuction, the
warmed tumescent liquid -- a dilute solution containing
lidocaine, epinephrine and intravenous fluid -- is
injected into the area to be treated. As the liquid
enters the fat, it becomes swollen, firm and blanched.
Liposuction is then performed on the tumesced areas.
The long-acting effects of the
anesthetic solution help to provide pain relief after
the procedure and decrease the need for additional pain
For the first day or two after surgery, most patients
experience swelling in the treated areas, as well as
some fluid drainage from the incision sites.
Light activity is usually resumed within the first few
days after tumescent liposuction; normal activity can be
resumed within a few weeks.