The Effectiveness of the Tumescent Liposuction Technique

By Sheryl Pilcher on May 07, 2014

San Antonio Tumescent LiposuctionWith a skilled plastic surgeon, any liposuction technique can yield satisfying results with few risks. Nevertheless, certain side effects and possible complications may give patients pause to consider exactly what the treatment entails. We value each of our patients’ concerns and aim to both educate them on our procedures while also mitigating each procedure’s risks. To this end, we offer the surgical techniques that we believe will give you the safest, most comfortable experience possible. 

For those seeking liposuction in the San Antonio area, our practice offers the added benefits of tumescent liposuction. As noted below, a tumescent solution can boost the effectiveness of the procedure as well as a patient’s general satisfaction throughout the treatment process.

The Tumescent Solution

Tumescent solution is composed of lidocaine, a common local anesthetic, and epinephrine. Together, these are injected into the subcutaneous tissues of a surgical site, constricting blood vessels and forcing nearby tissues to temporarily become swollen and firm. These effects allow a surgeon greater ease of access to fatty tissue, which in turn makes for a cleaner, more comfortable, and often more effective surgery. The solution causes no damage to tissue and in fact tends to reduce trauma from surgery. Although tumescence is often used in conjunction with other techniques, such as ultrasound-assisted liposuction or SmartLipo, it is equally effective as a complementary preparation for any traditional liposuction procedure.   

Candidates for Tumescent Liposuction

The use of tumescent solution does not limit anyone’s candidacy for liposuction, making it an easy and often preferable addition to treatment. Although some people may be allergic to the lidocaine used in the solution, such allergies are exceedingly rare, and lidocaine may be interchangeable with a comparable anesthetic.  

Candidates should therefore fulfill the typical requirements for liposuction - namely, good overall health and a desire to improve body contours through the removal of excess fat. Patients who suffer from systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease should speak with their doctor about how such illness may affect their plastic surgery. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and any conditions that inhibits the immune system should also be considered a risk factor.

Additionally, patients should strive to achieve an ideal and stable body weight before undergoing liposuction, as any significant weight loss or gain could interfere with the long-term results. Women who plan on becoming pregnant in the near future should consider holding off on surgery until after childbirth.

Tumescent Liposuction Surgery

Tumescent liposuction is performed just like a regular liposuction procedure, but with the addition of the tumescent injection.

  • First, local anesthesia is used to numb the body for the incision. When the patient is ready, a small incision will be made near the site of liposuction.
  • Through this incision, tumescent solution will be injected into fatty tissue, causing it to tighten and swell.
  • A thin tube will then be inserted into the body and moved back and forth along unwanted fat, breaking it away from adjacent tissues.
  • The excess fat will be removed through the tube, and remaining tissues will be contoured for a smoother, more desirable look.
  • When the area has been sufficiently contoured, the incision will be closed.

Soon after surgery, the tumescence will wear off and the area will begin to heal.

Benefits of Tumescent Liposuction

The benefits of tumescence are numerous, beginning during surgery and continuing throughout the recovery process:

  • Minimal bleeding: Since blood vessels are constricted from the effects of epinephrine, patients experience very little bleeding during and after surgery.
  • Milder side effects: Due to less bleeding and fluid build-up, patients benefit from milder post-surgical bruising and swelling. This makes for an easier and quicker recovery in general.
  • Increased comfort: Tumescent solution results in an excellent anesthetic during surgery, and often eases patients’ discomfort in recovery due to a more accurate procedure.
  • Improved results: When fat tissue is swollen, it is easier to target for liposuction, resulting in less damage to surrounding tissues and more precise contours.

Call Our Office

To learn more about the advantages of tumescent liposuction, as well as any of our available cosmetic services, call or email our office.

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San Antonio Office

255 E Sonterra Blvd
Ste 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

More Info Directions (210) 654-9900