Tumescent liposuction, also called liposculpture, is a vast improvement over traditional liposuction. The physician “inflates” the patient’s fat with a diluted local anesthetic before he/she vacuums it out in a process called suction aspiration. This eliminates risks associated with the general anesthesia used in traditional liposuction.
Tumescent liposuction can safely remove undesired fat from nearly all body areas including the face, neck, chin, breast, abdomen, hips, flanks (love handles), back, inner and outer thighs, buttocks, knees, calves, and ankles. It also is an effective treatment for certain non-cosmetic conditions such as lipomas (benign fatty tumors), enlarged male and female breasts, and excessive underarm sweating.
Tumescent liposuction is an outpatient procedure, avoiding a costly hospital stay. Since the patient remains awake during the surgery, the dermatologic surgeon can ask him/her to change positions which leads to better sculpting of the targeted areas.
Using the tumescent method, all liposuction cases can be performed entirely with local anesthesia. The treated area can remain numb for up to 24 hours, greatly reducing post-operative discomfort.
Another major advantage of the anesthesia used in the tumescent procedure is that it practically eliminates blood loss by constricting (tightening) blood vessels. In traditional liposuction, no such agents are used, with patients sometimes experiencing significant bleeding and even needing blood transfusions.
Men and women can accumulate excess fat that is not easily shed by exercise and diet.
Extensive surgery was usually required to remove stubborn fatty deposits; however, in the early 1980s, dermatologic surgeons pioneered liposuction techniques and developed tumescent liposuction which changed surgical fat removal completely.
What is tumescent liposuction and its benefits?
Tumescent liposuction involves the use of a diluted solution of local anesthetic and other medications to fill the fatty layer of the skin prior to removing the excess fat. This causes the tissue to become swollen and firm, allowing for excellent control. General anesthesia is not required, eliminating potential complications. The result is a sculpting of bulging areas into more attractive contours.
Tumescent liposuction has an unprecedented safety profile, and allows dermatologic surgeons to efficiently remove both deep and superficial excess layers of fat with little discomfort, faster recovery, and improved cosmetic results. Patients see fewer skin irregularities, less bleeding, and reduced bruising.
What are the risks?
Like all surgery, liposuction carries both benefits and risks. Tumescent liposuction has few significant side effects when performed by a qualified dermatologic surgeon. Infrequent minor complications such as skin irregularity, lumpiness, dimpling, loose skin, numbness, infections, and objectionable scarring, which is rare, may occur and are usually easily corrected.
When is liposuction indicated?
Liposuction is most effective for removing localized fat deposits that do not respond to diet or exercise. It is not intended as a substitute for weight loss; rather, it is a contouring procedure, and is optimally utilized in a program of exercise and weight maintenance. The best results are obtained in body areas where there is reasonable muscle tone, good skin elasticity, and fat is not excessive. In cases where there is a significant loss of tone and elasticity, the desired cosmetic results may require both liposuction and surgical skin tightening to remove excessive loose tissue.
What happens prior to surgery?
A complete medical history is taken and a physical examination is conducted in order to evaluate the patient’s condition. During the consultation, the dermatologic surgeon describes the procedure and the expected results. Alternative treatment options are reviewed along with the possible risks and potential complications. Photographs are frequently taken before and after surgery.