According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is one of the most commonly requested cosmetic procedures in the United States. In 2012, 202,000 liposuction procedures were performed. Liposuction has come a long way from the early days of body fat removal. Today, liposuction is safer, more effective, and results in less severe side effects.
One of the more common of these minimally invasive liposuction techniques is what is known as tumescent liposuction. The technique was first introduced in 1990 by a dermatological surgeon. Although the procedure was initially performed by dermatologists, it is now much more common among cosmetic surgeons.
What Is The Tumescent Liposuction Procedure?
In a standard liposuction procedure, twilight sedation is used before the fat is removed from the targeted areas of the body. A tumescent liposuction procedure involves the use of the local anesthesia lidocaine, which is mixed with epinephrine and then injected into the targeted areas where fat is to be removed. The combination of lidocaine and epinephrine numbs the area, and also causes the fat to swell and come closer to the skin’s surface, which makes it easier to remove the fat. The actual fat removal process is identical to more traditional liposuction techniques. A thin metal tube is inserted into the body and the fat is gently suctioned out of the body.
Advantages of the Tumescent Liposuction Technique
The biggest advantages of the tumescent liposuction technique are significantly less blood loss and less severe side effects. Patients also experience improved results; the tumescent fat makes any irregularities easier to see, thereby lessening the need for a second corrective liposuction procedure. In addition, the local anesthetic may last up to 24 hours, which will decrease pain and discomfort for the patient.
When Is Tumescent Liposuction Not Recommended?
The procedure is recommended for patients with a small amount of excess fat in a specific area of the body, but who otherwise lead a healthy, active lifestyle with regular exercise and a sensible diet. Those patients who are prone to crash dieting, have unrealistic goals, or are in poor general health are not good candidates for the tumescent liposuction procedure. Patients who are morbidly obese are also not good candidates for this procedure.
Risks, Recovery, and Results
The most common risks from tumescent liposuction are bruising, swelling, and bleeding at the incision sites. Rest and time will reduce the amount and duration of bruising and swelling. The herb Arnica montana may also help with bruising.
Most patients can resume daily activities such as driving within the first two weeks following the procedure. Dr. Marin does recommend that patients wait a full four weeks before resuming a light exercise routine. Results should be noticeable starting within the first two weeks, once the initial bruising and swelling have subsided.
To schedule a liposuction consultation, and to find out if you are a good candidate for the tumescent liposuction technique, contact us today. I will discuss your goals and lifestyle to determine if you are a suitable candidate.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.