The Tumescent Liposuction Technique by local anesthesia (instead of general anesthesia) is a safe and effective method of removing unwanted fat. This liposuction technique uses large volumes of a diluted solution of Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, in combination with the drug epinephrine, which temporarily shrinks capillaries and therefore, minimizes bleeding during the procedure. Mild sedation may be added to reduce a patient’s anxiety. As a result, there is much less bruising and swelling with Tumescent Liposculpture as compared to Liposuction by general anesthesia.
After surgery, an elastic compression garment is worn for one week. Most patients can return to work and begin exercising again within a day or two after surgery. Discomfort after surgery is minimized since the local anesthesia remains in the treated areas for approximately 18 hours after the procedure. Patients often require nothing more than plain Tylenol for discomfort.
Since the fat is removed by creating small “tunnels” through the fat, the skin remains intimately connected to the underlying muscles by multiple fibrous attachments. As healing occurs after surgery, these fibrous strands contract and pull the skin into close proximity with the muscles. It is this process that assures the skin will not hang in loose folds after liposculpture surgery. Because the surgeon is careful to leave a thin blanket of fat attached to the skin, the skin will look and feel soft and normal after the procedure.
The fat cells that are removed by liposculpture do not grow back. Your new, more pleasing silhouette is permanent. If you gain or lose weight in the future, the change tends to be distributed proportionately over the entire body. Although the results of liposculpture are often quite spectacular, it is not realistic to expect perfection. Liposculpture does not eliminate dimpling of the skin (often called “cellulite”). The degree of cellulite may be reduced, but is unlikely that it will be eliminated.
As with any surgical procedure, liposculpture 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, liposculpture is amazingly safe. Serious complications such as blood clots, infection and allergic reactions are extremely rare. Most of the dangers associated with surgery are related to the type of anesthesia that is used. Surgery of the skin and subcutaneous fat is safest using local anesthesia with the patient awake.