Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent Liposuction

The Skinny on Tumescent Liposuction

Tumescent means “swollen.” The tumescent fluid is a medicated saline solution which is injected into your body’s fatty tissue along with a local anesthetic. Your fatty tissue reacts by getting swollen and your surgeon uses a cannula to suction out the fat--while blood vessels contract leading to less blood loss and bruising. This technique also goes by the names: standard liposuction, lipoplasty, suction-assisted liposuction, body contouring and liposculpture. It is common for the surgeon to inject the same amount of fluid as the amount of fat to be extracted.

Tumescent liposuction is already one of the more popular liposuction treatments. You will require a local anesthesia or perhaps a general anesthesia, depending on how large the area being treated is and how much fat will be extracted. This method creates smaller incisions in the fatty areas for insertion of microcannulas (hollow needle with small holes at end.) Prior to the tumescent technique, liposuction surgery involved larger cannulas requiring much larger insertion points leading to scarring and bruising of patients.

Tumescent Liposuction Surgery

Through the use of smaller needles, the surgeon will create a consistent and dependable rate of fat removal using his/her cannula. In this liposculpting technique, the stainless steel cannula hooks up to a machine offering a strong vacuum-suction once inserted into your fatty tissue. Your surgery will take about 4-5 hours total to extract the fat in the targeted area. The fat gets extracted through the cannula from the small incisions made in the skin. By sucking the fat out of the fatty layers, a thinner fat layer remains after surgery. A realistic goal for the tumescent liposuction technique is rapid recovery. With this steady extraction process, your scarring will be drastically reduced. These post-operative side effects are most commonly associated with traditional liposuction, but with less blood and fluid loss--tumescent reduces the risk of infection related to surgery.

First, your plastic surgeon will mark the treated areas with a marker to make sure there is accuracy during the procedure. You are given a local anesthetic which will numb the insertion location(s) for the cannula (hollow tube.) You can also request an IV sedative so that surgery while awake, is less acknowledged by the bran and it allows you to relax a bit more.

The Super ‘Wet’ Technique

Similar to how tumescent liquid affects the fatty tissue, this is a faster technique lasting only 1-2 hours. Additional anesthesia is needed with the ‘Wet’ or Super ‘Wet’ technique (general anesthesia or heavy IV sedation) since more blood is lost with this method than with similar procedures. If you were receiving the tumescent liposuction, surgery would take up to 4 hours longer. The amount of fluid injected for the Super ‘Wet’ liposuction procedure may be more than the amount of fat to be removed.

Recovery from Super ‘Wet’ and Tumescent Liposuction Surgery

Post surgery, the body part(s) that were treated are wrapped tightly to reduce further swelling, pain and any signs of bruising. Sometimes, special girdles and support hose (especially good when dealing with varicose veins) or bandages/tape are sued on the treated area(s) for your body. The garments/wraps will be placed for several weeks (sometimes up until a month post-op) after your surgery. By far, the most swollen bruised time of all is right after surgery and it lasts from 7-10 days for the patient. However, you may have to deal with fluid draining from the incision sites for a bit longer, sometimes up until a month post-op. Many times, antibiotics are given to patients to reduce the risk of infection since the tiny holes the cannula created still may be open for a while post-op.

Expect yourself to move a bit slower than you usually do. Most people can return to normal activities as soon as the treatment is finished, it may take several days or weeks however for you to return to your activity. Work can be considered a few days-a week after surgery, depending on how large the area treated is and your time off to recover may vary. Your plastic surgeon can better advise you as far as how long a proper recover will take for you and your body.

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