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International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology

TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION

Tumescent liposuction is extremely effective in reshaping problem figure areas.  This type of liposuction is done completely with local anesthesia.  The “tumescent” aspect of the procedure involves infusing large volumes of dilute anesthesia into the treatment area.  After the area is numbed, the fat is removed by suction through small incisions in the skin using “straw-like” instruments called cannulas.  The body then replaces the fat with fibrous tissue which is very effective in pulling the skin tighter and making it less likely for fat to recollect in the same area.  Without weight gain, the effect is permanent.

This type of liposuction is extremely safe and is an office procedure.   With the use of local anesthesia, the patient is usually able to return  to normal activities within a few days.  The common untoward reactions of the procedure may include:
  • Reactions to the lidocaine with epinephrine
    • rarely, allergy
    • occasionally, dizziness and tachycardia
  • Bruising
  • Tissue bleeding
  • Transient skin sensitivity and/or cutaneous discomfort

Infection is rare.  As in any procedue, there can be scarring, and the final result may not be what the patient may have anticipated.

Tumescent liposuction is indicated to recontour areas of the body that are unattractive after dieting:
  • Love handles – fatty deposit on above the hips
  • Pear-shape figure – fatty deposits remaining on the thighs and hips, even though the face and waistline are now much thinner
  • Bulging abdomen
  • Sagging jowels
  • Over-sized breasts

Results from liposuction may require a year to be achieved, depending upon the area. The fibrous tracks caused by the cannula can also take up to twelve months to contract.  The patient needs to have realistic expectations, as  this is a contouring procedure and not a weight loss option, limited by bony structure, and muscle mass and tone on each individual patient.  There will be no completely flat or concave belly results.  If a patient is large, serial procedures may be needed, and no touch-ups should be performed before a year.

Jason Marquart, MD
Naomi Lawrence, MD
Marlton, NJ, USA

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