Tumescent Liposuction Technique
Liposuction is a very common type of cosmetic surgery procedure in which stubborn pockets of fat are removed from the body using suction. The process is minimally invasive, with several small incisions being made into the target area through which a long, thin cannula is placed. This cannula firstly delivers a saline solution into the target area which breaks up the fatty deposits so that they can more easily be removed. Once this has happened, a vacuum device is attached to the cannula, which sucks up the loosened fat cells and removes them via a tube into a container. Some back and forth movement is necessary to eliminate all of the necessary fat and achieve the smooth, toned appearance that is associated with the procedure.
In the past, patients were advised that, for their comfort, they should be given a general anesthetic. However, the risks associated with the use of a general anesthetic are considerably higher than those associated with a local anesthetic. As a result, many cosmetic surgeons are now offering a type of liposuction known as tumescent liposuction.
What is tumescent liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction refers to a technique whereby the patient has their liposuction performed under local anesthetic rather than the conventional choice of a general anesthetic. The word ‘tumescent’ means ‘swollen and firm’, and this is a key characteristic of this technique.
A simple local anesthetic is used to numb the area of your body where the cannula will be inserted. Then, a pre-determined amount of anesthetic solution containing lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the fatty tissue. This completely numbs the area that will be worked on, but it also causes it to become tumescent – swollen and firm. The epinephrine will also cause localized constriction of the blood vessels which will minimize any bleeding that occurs during the procedure. The excess fat can then be removed using the usual liposuction process.
By eliminating the risks associated with general anesthesia and excessive bleeding, the tumescent technique has also eliminated the two largest dangers associated with conventional liposuction techniques. This makes the tumescent approach a considerably safer option for patients considering liposuction.
Key benefits of tumescent liposuction
Needless to say, there are a range of benefits associated with the tumescent liposuction technique. These include the following:
An improved safety profile
No need for pre-general anesthetic checks
No post-general anesthesia effects
Complete awareness and control during your procedure
Minimal bruising and swelling
Less post-operative pain
Expedited healing enables a faster overall recovery
Recovering from liposuction
The tumescent technique enables faster recovery from your liposuction procedure. Nevertheless, you will still need to schedule time off of work to allow yourself to rest and heal. Most people can return to their job within 5 days, although if you have a very physical role, you may need to take longer away.
Some bruising, swelling and post-operative pain is still to be expected, but these are usually fairly easy to manage. You may be given painkillers to help alleviate any discomfort, along with antibiotics to reduce the risk of post-operative infection. You will also need to wear a support garment over the target area for a number of weeks.
It is essential that you follow the aftercare and recovery guidelines provided to you by your surgical team. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t delay in getting in touch - they will be happy to advise you.