Tumescent Liposuction FAQ

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Perhaps you’ve heard of the Tumescent Liposuction Procedure and wondered what is different about it, its benefits, how its done, etc. The word “tumescent” is used because it means firm or swollen, and your tissues during the procedure become this way for a reason. We’ll look at some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

How is the Tumescent Procedure Done?

Instead of sedation or general anesthesia, a local anesthetic of diluted lidocaine and epinephrine are given. The lidocaine numbs the area while the epinephrine shrinks capillaries to restrict blood flow. This plumps the fat and helps to remove it, leaving a long-lasting and more smooth result. By using this combination, there is less blood loss (due to restricted blood flow) and less bruising.

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How Long Has the Procedure Been Available?

This was developed in 1985 by Dr. Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologist. It was first presented in 1986 at a Philadelphia medical meeting and described in 1087 by the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery.

What are the Benefits?

There are many benefits to getting this type of liposuction versus the traditional route, including:

  • Less blood loss and bruising
  • No IV sedation, narcotics, or general anesthesia needed
  • Quicker healing due to less chance of complications
  • Better for those with sedation and anesthesia problems

As you can see, during the Tumescent Liposuction technique the patient doesn’t have to endure excess sedation or worry about anesthesia, and still it will give good pain management. There is less blood loss, less bruising, and a quicker heal time. All pluses for the majority of patients.

What about Blood Loss and Bruising?

During a Tumescent Liposuction there is only one to two tablespoons of blood loss, around 15 to 30 milliliters. To put that in comparison, most lab work takes this amount of blood from you, so you can see there is very little blood loss during a Tumescent Liposuction. As for bruising, there is less than with traditional liposuction. The bruising is lessened because of the lessened blood loss and because there is more post-op drainage.

What is the Safety of the Procedure?

There have been no deaths with this procedure when the patient has been given a local instead of a general anesthetic. It is a very safe procedure, one that could be a great alternative to traditional liposuction that has heavy sedation and general anesthesia.

If you have any other questions regarding Tumescent Liposuction or if you’d like to see if this procedure is right for you, talk with your doctor about your thoughts. They’ll be more apt to see if you are the right candidate for this procedure.