Tumescent Liposuction

Liposuction - Before

What is Tumescent Liposuction?

Although liposuction has been performed in this country for over ten years, a new technique known as tumescent liposuction has been performed only within the past two or three years. Using this technique, the procedure no longer has to be done under general anesthesia in a hospitral or outpatient surgery center, as was done in the past.

Not all patients are candidates for the tumescent technique. Therefore, some otherwise good candidates for lipsuction may still need to be done under general anesthesia.


Liposuction - AfterTumescent means to be greatly swollen. The patient is brought into the operating room. An IV is started and medications to cause relaxation are given through the IV. The areas to be treated are thoroughly disinfected with an antiseptic solution and draped with sterile towels. Through small incisions, a long blunt needle is inserted under the skin and a relatively large amount of dilute solution of lidocain and epinephrine is injected into the layer of fat to be suctioned, making the area grossly swollen, therefore, tumescent. Within a few minutes, the solution causes the area to become numb and the blood vessels in the area to become constricted.

Then, through the same small incisions, long, narrow liposuction cannulas are inserted to perform the liposuction. The lidocaine causes numbness in the area while the epinephrine causes the blood vessels to become constricted so that there is significantly less bleeding using this technique.

The incisions are closed with a couple of stitches and bandages are applied. A girdle or some other compressive bandage is applied to help reduce swelling and bruising, and to give some support to the area.

The entire procedure usually takes between one to two hours depending on the number of areas to be treated and the amount of fat to be removed.

Advantages of Tumescent Liposuction

The advantages of tumescent liposuction are the cost of having the procedure done in the office setting rather than requiring the use of a hospital or outpatient surgery center. Also, there is usually less brusing, swelling, pan and postanesthetic complications such as nausea.