The tumescent liposuction technique is the gold standard in liposuction. It’s a method that helps to reduce post-operative bruising, swelling and pain. Blood loss is minimized during tumescent liposuction, so the technique reduces the chance that a blood transfusion will be needed.
Dr. Jon Sattler offers tumescent liposuction, along with several other procedures in surgical body contouring in LA County. During tumescent liposuction, areas of excess fat are injected with a large amount of anesthetic liquid before liposuction is performed. The liquid causes the compartments of fat to become swollen and firm or "tumesced." The expanded fat compartments allow the liposuction cannula to travel smoothly beneath the skin as the fat is removed.
Who Can Undergo Tumescent Liposuction?
Patients who are good candidates for traditional liposuction may also be good candidates for the tumescent technique. Although it can be used on any area of the body, tumescent lipo 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.
Understanding the Risks of Liposuction
The anesthesia requirements are reduced and blood loss is minimized with tumescent liposuction, but patients still face the same risks and cosmetic complications associated with traditional liposuction.
Risks specifically associated with the tumescent technique 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 lidocaine content is too high.
You can minimize your surgery risks by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who has adequate experience with the tumescent technique.
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.
After Liposuction: What to Expect
The long-acting effects of the anesthetic solution help to provide pain relief after the procedure and decrease the need for additional pain medication.
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.
Do you have questions about tumescent liposuction in LA County? Contact the Glendora plastic surgery practice of Jon Sattler M.D. from nearby Arcadia and Azusa to learn more about this procedure.