Liposuction is a technique that reshapes and slims certain areas of the body by removing stubborn fat that has deposited there. The procedure seeks to improve the body’s proportions and contours, and it is known to provide predictable and consistent results.
There are many different methods of performing liposuction. The standard method is known as tumescent liposuction.
What Is Tumescent Liposuction?
It was in 1985 when tumescent liposuction first came into the picture. Since then, the technique has been a go-to for plastic surgeons who offer fat removal.
Tumescent liposuction is a method of liposuction that uses tumescent fluid – a solution featuring saline, epinephrine, and diluted lidocaine – to remove subcutaneous fat. This technique can often be carried out in the office according to a patient’s preference.
Typically, smaller areas of excess fat are treated in the office, medium to large areas are treated at a surgery center on an outpatient basis, and larger volumes of fat will typically require being monitored overnight at a facility.
Using the tumescent technique not only reduces blood loss and is a more predictable way to remove and sculpt the fat, it also numbs the area. Less anesthesia is required to safely and comfortably carry out this procedure.
The method involves the following:
• Numbing of the region using local anesthesia
• Constriction of capillaries using epinephrine to prevent surgical loss of blood
• Providing fluid to the body by using subcutaneous injection in place of IV fluids
Advantages of Tumescent Liposuction
Tumescent liposuction offers a number of advantages over the older traditional methods of liposuction:
• Reduced blood loss
• Less painful
• Minimized absorption due to vasoconstriction
• Flushing out of lipid-soluble lidocaine
• Less time-consuming because it is an outpatient procedure
For men, common areas treated by liposuction include the lower flanks (love handles), the abdomen, and under the chin.
In women, common areas for liposuction also include the abdomen, the waist, the lateral thighs (saddle bags), and under the chin.
Liposuction can be an excellent technique to reduce fat in the patient who does not have a lot of excess skin. In general, when someone presents with a large amount of extra skin, a longer incision is indicated to perform body contouring.
Tumescent Liposuction Steps
1. Use of tumescent anesthesia: Dr. Morwood administers a large amount of tumescent fluid into the fat deposits. The solution contains epinephrine, lidocaine, and huge volumes of saline. The saline causes fat deposits to swell, the epinephrine acts as a vasoconstrictor, and the lidocaine numbs the region. The process shouldn’t take more than an hour. The fluid permeates the fat layers. Dr. Morwood then makes very small incisions in the regions targeted for treatment.
2. Using microcannula liposuction: In this step, Dr. Morwood suctions out the fat using a micro cannula, which is like a large needle. While doing so, he can mold and shape and tailor the contours of the body. It is a very hands-on procedure, much like artistic sculpting, and as such, it requires both a scientific and artistic approach. The procedure goes quite quickly depending on the number of areas being treated and the volume of fat to be removed. The access incisions for this type of liposuction are quite small and typically leave inconspicuous scars.
In general, after microliposuction, people are encourage to rest and take it easy at home for three days and three nights, followed by a seven-day period of slowly increasing activity. By day 10, patients should slowly return to their regular exercise and activity routine.
Most patients are quite comfortable following the liposuction and do not require a lot of pain medicine after the procedure. Compression garments similar to aerobic workout clothing are very helpful during the healing period.
Schedule a Consultation to Find Out More
Dr. Morwood has over 20 years’ experience as a plastic surgeon, he is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and for years he has served as either the chief or vice chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery of Monterey.
For more information about Dr. Morwood or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us here.