The Tumescent Technique Is One of the Most Significant Improvements in Liposuction: Information from Your Dallas Dermatologist

The tumescent technique is one of the most significant improvements in liposuction. Tumescent liposuction is the use of local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, and it is so effective that liposuction patients no longer need general anesthesia.

The tumescent technique uses large volumes of a dilute solution of Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, in combination with the drug epinephrine, which temporarily shrinks capillaries. Recently it has been noted that adding a very small amount of Triamcinolone, a cortisone-like anti-inflammatory medication, to each liter of anesthetic solution has resulted in a marked decrease in post-operative soreness.

During tumescent liposuction, fat is removed by suctioning small “tunnels” through the fat. During the healing process, the tunnels collapse and the fibrous strands that connect the skin to the underlying tissue contract. It is this process which assures that the skin will not hang in loose folds after tumescent liposuction surgery. By ballooning the fatty tissues, the tumescent technique permits more accurate removal of fat with greater assurance that the liposuction instrument will not inadvertently approach too near the under face of the skin, which would cause irregularities. Thus, the tumescent technique helps to minimize the risk of post-surgical irregularities or rippling of the skin.

The tumescent technique dramatically reduces both bleeding during surgery and post-operative bruising and swelling. In fact, there is so little blood loss with tumescent liposuction that patients usually lose more blood during pre-operative laboratory tests than during the actual surgery. Minimal bleeding reduces post-operative recovery time and most patients can return to work and begin light exercise within a day or two after surgery. An elastic support garment is worn for only 10 to 14 days.

What Are the Side Effects of Tumescent Liposuction?

As with any surgical procedure, tumescent liposuction is associated with certain expected side-effects such as bruising, swelling and temporary numbness. Although irregularities of the skin are possible following liposuction, this side-effect is minimized by the tumescent technique. As judged by current world-wide experience, tumescent liposuction is amazingly safe. Serious complications such as blood clots, infection and allergic reactions are extremely rare.

Post-operative discomfort is also minimized since the local anesthesia remains in the surgically treated areas for approximately 18 hours after surgery. Patients may require only Tylenol for discomfort after surgery.

What Are the Results of Tumescent Liposuction?

    • About 90% of patients can actually see some improvement in their silhouettes by one week after surgery. However, because of the slow resolution of post-surgical swelling, the ultimate results usually require 9 to 12 months to be achieved. A “touch-up” procedure may be required after another 9 to 12 months, but this is rare.
    • Fat cells that are removed by tumescent liposuction do not grow back, and the patient’s new, more pleasing silhouette is permanent. The changes of silhouette produced by tumescent liposuction are similar to those one would see as the result of dieting to remove specific areas of fat.
    • If the patient gains weight or loses weight, the change tends to be distributed proportionately over the entire body.
    • The degree of skin change after liposuction shrinks.

If you are considering tumescent liposuction, contact your Dallas dermatologist today to schedule an appointment. We will discuss the best treatment options for you that will improve your silhouette and enhance your self-confidence.