What exactly is ‘tumescent liposuction’?
Liposuction was first developed in the late 1970s to remove undesired fat from nearly all body areas, including the face, neck, arms, chin, breast, abdomen, hips, flanks (love handles), inner and outer thighs, buttocks, and knees. Developed by Dr. Jeffery Kline, MD, the tumescent technique completely revolutionized the liposuction procedure. Tumescent liposuction provides local anesthesia to large volumes of subcutaneous fat and thus permits liposuction with minimal bleeding and a larger volume of fat removal. The use of tumescent liposuction allows surgeons to safely and effectively remove deep and superficial layers of fat under local anesthesia with relatively little discomfort, virtually no complications, and improved cosmetic results.
What is the process during liposuction? How does it work?
Liposuction is the removal of excess fat with a small, straw-like instrument called cannula that is attached to a suction machine. The fat layer under the skin is converted to a network of tunnels, and the cannula is manipulated within the layers to remove unwanted fatty deposits, An elastic garment is then worn for compression and healing. The result is to resculpt the bulging areas into more attractive contours.
What are the main benefits of tumescent liposuction?
- Tumescent liposuction is safer than other liposuction techniques due to decreased blood loss.
- Tumescent liposuction results are similar to or better than general anesthesia techniques. The patient can cooperate with the surgeon during the procedure. This means 360° lipo can be performed more accurately.
- Tumescent liposuction allows the patient to return home the day of the procedure with minimum pain.
- Tumescent liposuction lowers the cost of liposuction procedures by allowing them to be done in the doctor’s office. Liposuction and fat transfer are more affordable for every single patient because of the technique.
Who is a good candidate and where can it be performed?
- Abdomen central and lateral (love handles).
- Inner thighs. Outer thighs (saddlebags). Knees.
- Lower back
- Lower extremity
- Back of bra-line area
- Male breast (gynecomastia)
When is a liposuction indicated?
Liposuction is most effective for removing localized fat deposits in body areas that do not respond to dieting or exercising. Liposuction is not intended as a substitute for medical weight loss or bariatric surgery but rather is a contouring procedure. It is best utilized in a program of exercise and optimal weight maintenance.
Liposuction also has many valuable therapeutic applications and has been used effectively to treat medical conditions like non-cosmetic fat accumulation, such as lipomas (benign fatty tumors) and gynecomastia (enlarged, male breast).
What happens prior to surgery?
Before surgery, a complete medical history is taken and an examination is conducted in order to evaluate your condition. During the consultation, we will go over the procedure and what results might be expected. The doctor will review alternative treatment options and explain the possible risks and complications that may occur. Photographs are frequently taken before and after surgery to help evaluate the amount of improvement.
How is the tumescent technique of liposuction performed?
Liposuction can be performed in the doctor’s office facility, outpatient surgical suite or a hospital. If general anesthesia is not otherwise indicated, its potential complications can be avoided by the use of local anesthesia (often used with light sedation) via the tumescent technique. This breakthrough technique refers to filling the skin with local anesthetic in order to remove unwanted fat more efficiently.
With tumescent liposuction, large volumes of a solution containing dilute lidocaine (a local anesthetic and dilute epinephrine (a drug to shrink capillaries and prevent blood loss) are injected with minimal discomfort directly into areas of excessive fatty deposits. Once the liquid is injected, a small incision is made in the skin, and a tube connected to a vacuum is inserted into the fatty layer. Using a to and fro movements, the fat is drawn through the tube into a collection system. The tumescent method enables the surgeon to remove large amounts of fat more uniformly with fewer skin irregularities and less bleeding and bruising.
What happens after surgery?
Some of the local anesthesia which was injected into the tissue will remain in the tissue for 18 to 24 hours following liposuction surgery, greatly minimizing postoperative pain and any bleeding. The rest of the fluid will come out of the skin through the tiny incision sites. Absorbing padding to catch the extra fluid and an elastic garment is then worn for compression and healing. People should take a light walk and massage the area in a downward motion allowing the extra fluid to come out. Generally, the person will drain for about three days and then they are done with draining. The aftercare is just as important as the surgery and instructions must be followed perfectly. With the tumescent technique, there is minimal bruising, and many patients do not require postoperative medication for pain. Depending on the type of job you have, most people can return back to work within one week. No heavy exercise or aerobic exercise for four weeks, but light exercise is recommended.
Are there any possible complications?
The tumescent technique of liposuction is a remarkably safe procedure with few significant side effects. Studies have been published in many journals that reported no significant complications. But as any other surgical procedure there are potential risks come from tumescent liposuction. The risks relate to total fat removed and patients’ general medical condition.
What are the limitations of liposuction?
Liposuction is not intended as a method for weight loss procedure. It is used as a shaping procedure for areas where hereditary fat deposits and fat deposits resistant to diet and exercise have accumulated. The best results from liposuction occur in body areas where there is reasonable muscle tone, where the skin has good elastic quality. In the case where there is a significant loss of tone and elasticity, superior cosmetic results may require a combination of both liposuction and surgical skin tightening to remove the excessive loose tissue. Dr, Yuan can address the need for additional treatments depending on the specific condition of your skin.