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Liposuction: Tumescent Lipo

Fat Removal with Tumescent Procedures




Tumescent liposuction is a procedure that uses local anesthesia when it is done. The great thing about tumescent liposuction is that there is less blood lost and unlike other procedures that use general anesthesia, local anesthesia has lesser risks. The procedure of tumescent liposuction has had a very good safety record ever since it began being used by cosmetic surgeons.


Tumescent liposuction is considered to be the most popular cosmetic surgery that is performed in the United States. It is also sometimes called liposculpture, suction-assisted lipectomy or lipoplasty. The most common patient in tumescent liposuction is the person who is generally fit but despite physical effort, is unable to get rid of fatty deposits in their body. This is oftentimes due to genetics.


Tumescent liposuction has been done by cosmetic surgeons since the 1980s. It has seen a great increase in popularity because it is considered to be a safe and accurate procedure over the older liposuction techniques. Surprisingly, the procedures involved with tumescent liposuction are very simple compared to other liposuction techniques. The major advantages of tumescent liposuction can be summarized in such a way that it can be said in two sentences:

1. Tumescent liposuction is so simple that it requires only a few small incisions.
2. Tumescent liposuction needs not general anesthesia, but only local anesthesia.

Another big advantage is that is has a very fast recovery period. In typically 24-48 hours, most patients are back to their normal routines.


The concept of liposuction is to shape the body by removing layers of fat in the body. Tumescent liposuction does it one notch higher by enabling the cosmetic surgeon to do the procedure more accurately and the patient can have more fat taken out. The main reason for this is that since the procedure uses only local anesthesia, the patient is conscious to enable the cosmetic surgeon to feel the fat between the muscles, thus enabling a more accurate procedure to be done. Other liposuction methods are not as accurate as tumescent liposuction.


Tumescent liposuction procedure involves the utilization of a cannula, which is also used in other liposuction procedures, which is attached to a vacuum. The cosmetic surgeon then makes the small incisions in the body and with the use of the cannula, removes the fat deposits. This suction effect removes the fat layers and since the fat cells cannot regenerate, it provides the patient with a better contour and more confidence. This thinner layer of fat will not expand as much even if the patient returns to their normal routine, as compared to their old, much thicker layer of fat.

The word "tumescent" means swollen and firm. And this word is the inspiration for the development of the anesthesia with the same name (Tumescent Anesthesia). Tumescent Anesthesia is the process of utilizing local anesthesia on the skin and fat layers. The advantages of Tumescent Anesthesia are that when injected, it will lessen the loss of blood by constricting and hindering blood vessels. This actually is the reason why patients who undergo tumescent liposuction have very fast recovery times.


Before the invention of tumescent liposuction, the incisions that are done for the liposuction procedure was a bit large. Today, using tumescent liposuction, they are very small if one compares them to the old procedures. Tumescent liposuction also provides more control to the cosmetic surgeon. This would produce better and a more accurate result for the patient. The patient is always conscious as tumescent liposuction only needs local anesthesia. This means the patient avoids the risk associated with general anesthesia. Tumescent liposuction is also an outpatient procedure, done mostly in the clinics of the cosmetic surgeons, which would translate to a much lower cost and more savings to the patient. Patients would pay more and have to stay longer if the procedure was done in hospitals. The patient also has a much faster recovery period with fewer repercussions from the procedure.


The cannula used in tumescent liposuction is unique because it is very thin, and when used, cause less trauma to the patient. The small incisions are usually healed within a few days. Also, there are extremely small scars that remain after the procedure, and these can still be healed by anti-scar medicines. The patient that undergoes tumescent liposuction can get up on their own, and can be back for a follow up checkup after a few days.


The procedure of tumescent liposuction will also reduce the number of scars on the patient. The swelling after the operation is also very much reduced and the majority of the patients may be back to their old routines in a few days after the procedure. This gives tumescent liposuction a big advantage over the other liposuction techniques. Another great advantage of tumescent liposuction is the ability of the procedure to be utilized and combined with the other different liposuction procedures.



  1. As tumescent liposuction only utilizes local anesthesia, whereas other traditional liposuction's would use general anesthesia, thus any risk or side affects of general anesthesia is avoided.
  2. Tumescent liposuction eliminates nausea
  3. Traditional liposuction has a longer recovery period, tumescent liposuction patients would be back to their normal routine in a couple of days
  4. Tumescent liposuction has much, much less blood loss and fluid loss
  5. Tumescent liposuction has no need for intravenous fluid (IVs)
  6. Tumescent liposuction has reduced swelling
  7. Tumescent liposuction has reduced bruising
  8. Tumescent liposuction has less and smaller incisions


A cosmetic surgeon from France named Dujarrier did the knees of a ballerina in 1921 to give the ballerina a more shapely look. Sadly, the procedure went awry and the patient ended up needing to have an amputation after the procedure produced gangrene. Suction in the use of cosmetic surgery and curettage was developed by a cosmetic surgery named Schrudde in 1964. The use of the cannula was developed by Italian cosmetic surgeons.


Cosmetic surgeons started to perform tumescent liposuction in 1985 after it was discovered and invented by Jeffrey Klein. It was initially presented to the scientific community by way of a scientific meeting in 1986, and then in 1987, it was then published. The Californian developed the first tumescent liposuction procedure, and since then, the technique has been steadily improved which has led to better results. Upon the discovery of the utilization of local over general anesthesia, tumescent liposuction has developed into one of the most accurate and safest of all liposuction procedures.

Cosmetic surgeons started to do liposuction ever since it was invented. The number of cosmetic surgeons doing the procedure have greatly increased as tumescent liposuction became more popular as the safe and accurate choice.


Tumescent liposuction uses microcannulas which are smaller cannulas, which enable the fat to be removed more efficiently. The use of this technique enables the cosmetic surgeon to have better results as the patient will be more shape due to the accurate procedure done by the cosmetic surgeon. The traditional procedures used bigger cannulas which can produce mixed results.


These microccanulas are then used by the cosmetic surgeon to get the fat thru small openings in the skin called adits. Adits are small holes made with round punches. These are so small that they don’t need sutures to close them. And the swelling and bruising is much reduced because of the adits.

A local anesthetic is then used to numb the area. Epinephrine is then used to make the fat swollen and firm. Once the fat is swollen, the cosmetic surgeon then uses the cannula to remove the fat from the tissue and muscle around it.


Tumescent liposuction utilizing local anesthesia has been proven to be extremely safe despite the use of large doses of lidocaine and epinephrine. The logical explanation is that these drugs are diluted. The capillaries are constricted when a substantial amount of dilute epinephrine is targeted in the fat. Undiluted lidocaine and epinephrine is absorbed into the bloodstream in less than an hour. One of the causes of tumescent dilution is capillary constriction which causes the absorption process to be spread over 25 to 37 hours.


The most promising patients of tumescent liposuction are individuals who are active and have a healthy lifestyle, but seem to have a genetic problem in losing fat. People who are overweight can use tumescent liposuction in losing weight also, but keep in mind that tumescent liposuction must not be the only thing to look at when you want to drop the weight. There are other factors, but the best option is to schedule a consultation with the cosmetic surgeon and specialist, and go over your options…everyone’s situation is unique.


Tumescent liposuction is considered to be very safe. But as with any other medical procedure, it also has its share of risks. But with the right specialist, tumescent liposuction has a very good safety track record.


Once tumescent liposuction surgery is complete and the patient is sent home to begin recovery, it is highly advised that they have someone drive them home rather than driving themselves home. The patient will feel groggy and should have someone to watch over them in the 12 to 24 hour period after tumescent liposuction surgery. An assistant to bring the medicines and look after the patient’s general welfare is also recommended. The patient’s medications, drinks and other important items should be close by during this period for easy reach, preferably at the side of the bed. Drinking adequate amounts of water is also very highly recommended. Alcoholic beverages are an absolute no-no before and after the procedure.


Most tumescent liposuction patients recover in a few days after the procedure. Some may take longer, but most will be back to their everyday tasks after a few days.  The patient should remember though to have a quiet time immediately following the procedure.


Tumescent liposuction is considered an affordable procedure because of the simplicity of the procedure. Technology has advanced the science of liposuction that the processes and methods are accessible to the greater public. Still, always be aware of the services that are being done and most importantly of the corresponding methods and processes that are done to have the certainty of success. Safety, of course, is the most important factor of all.


Research the surgeon and check if they have good or negative reviews. Forums can usually provide detailed feedback of a surgeon’s work. Social networks can also provide positive or negative feedback. Always remember that health and safety are the most important aspects to be taken into consideration when getting a tumescent liposuction. Knowing that liposuction is permanently altering the body, finding an affordable yet reputable surgeon which is skilled enough to provide the expected results, with the least amount of risk, at the most affordable price in the most convenient place, would be the perfect formula in getting tumescent liposuction.


Before tumescent liposuction was discovered, traditional liposuction was hard, expensive and risky. Today, the availability of tumescent liposuction enables people to have the procedure done and be back to work the next day, with less risk and more beautiful results.


What is Tumescent Liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction is a technique used to remove fat deposits from the body.  Basically, a liquid is injected into under the skin which swells the fat cells making them easier to remove.


Does Tumescent Liposuction Hurt?
No, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the procedure is being performed.  The patient is awake during the procedure.  The use of a local anesthetic eliminates the risks that come with general anesthetic.


Is Tumescent Liposuction Safe?
Absolutely, it is actually one of the safest liposuction techniques today, that’s why it’s so popular.  There is less bleeding, less swelling, less nausea, smaller incisions, less scarring (if any), and a reduced recovery time.


How much does Tumescent Liposuction Cost?
It is hard to give a definite price as each person’s situation is unique, however, it is very popular, and very much affordable.  It costs much less than other liposuction procedures, and can deliver the results you want with less risk.  Contact your doctor or surgeon to find out if tumescent liposuction is right for you.

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