What is tumescent liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction refers to a technique that uses large volumes of very dilute local anesthesia that is injected into the body fat, causing the targeted areas to become tumescent, or swollen and firm. Local anesthesia is widely regarded as the safest form of anesthesia. Because local anesthesia persists for many hours, there is no need for narcotic pain medications after tumescent liposuction surgery.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is defined as the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow stainless steel tube (called a cannula) with the assistance of a powerful vacuum. Liposuction can be accomplished either with the use of general anesthesia, heavy IV sedation, or in some cases, with local anesthesia.
What are possible liposuction complications?
Liposuction complications are often the direct result of lack of caution, poor judgment, overconfidence, ignorance about pharmacology, or adherence to faulty dogma. Hollywood Dermatology discusses these factors and explains to patients how to reduce the risk of liposuction surgical complications.
Why is tumescent liposuction technique the safest?
The tumescent technique for liposuction is unquestionably the safest form of liposuction. When tumescent liposuction is done correctly (not excessively), it is a very safe procedure. For example, there have been no reported deaths associated with tumescent liposuction by local anesthesia. Even when general anesthesia is combined with the tumescent technique, liposuction is quite safe, provided the volume of fat removed and the number of areas treated during a single surgery is not excessive. The dilute epinephrine contained in the tumescent anesthetic solution profoundly shrinks capillaries and thus virtually eliminates surgical blood loss.
How does tumescent liposuction yield smoother cosmetic results?
The tumescent technique permits the use of microcannulas which in turn yields smoother cosmetic results. Traditional liposuction cannulas (stainless steel tubes) have a relatively large diameter and remove fat rather quickly. However, with the use of large cannulas (diameter greater than 3 millimeters) there is an increased risk of irregularities and depressions in the skin. Tumescent liposuction performed by Dr. Weiss using microcannulas with a diameter less than 3 millimeters, allows fat to be removed in a smoother and more uniform fashion. Some surgeons prefer larger cannulas because it allows liposuction to be done more quickly.
What can I expect following tumescent liposuction?
After tumescent liposuction, there is a certain amount of blood-tinged local anesthetic solution that remains under the skin. This excess fluid is either slowly absorbed over several weeks into the blood stream, or it can be rapidly removed by drainage through skin incisions and absorbed by special absorptive pads (HK Pads).
What is rapid drainage?
Rapid drainage of blood-tinged anesthetic solution out of incision sites accelerates the rate of healing, and reduces post-operative pain, swelling, and bruising. Post-liposuction drainage of blood-tinged anesthetic solution can be maximized by 1) leaving incision sites open and not closed with sutures, 2) placing several adits (1.5 mm tiny round holes) in the skin to encourage drainage, 3) placing HK Pads on the skin to absorb the drainage, and 4) wearing spandex compression garments to encourage drainage.