Tumescent liposuction

Some people have problems related to excessive fat deposits in specific areas of the body, including the hips, abdomen and buttocks. This unwanted fat under the skin can be removed by means of a vacuum suction cannula, using a surgical procedure called liposuction.

What is tumescent liposuction?

In case of tumescent liposuction a large amount of infiltration fluid is injected into the target area through a needle tubed to a container with the solution. Tumescent liposuction is usually performed in patients who require just a local anesthesia. This intervention takes more time than conventional liposuction (it runs for three hours in maximum, mostly two hours only). As the injected fluid contains a certain amount of anesthetics (lidocain usually) besides saline solution and adrenaline (to contract vessels), further anesthesia is not necessary. The anesthetic drug contained in the infiltrative solution has an anesthetic effect; however, it also has a lipophil effect and therefore causes surface destruction of the fat cells that are freely sucked by thin (2 mm) cannulas. Usually, 2-3 times more liquid than the volume of the sucked fat is used.

The technique received its name for the swollen state of the fatty subcutaneous tissue (tumescence in English). This edema that is obviously temporary makes using of thin, round cannulas possible. However, if the tissue were not infiltrated, the cannulas would have to be double or triple the diameter. Before the suction it is necessary to wait for about 40 minutes for the anesthetic effect. Then the fat is sucked by liposuction cannulas. The advantages of tumescent liposuction include local anesthesia, application of large amounts of fluid, lidocain lipophil effect, positioning of patient during the procedure and final suction completed in standing position. The procedure takes longer time than the conventional liposuction and it is not recommended to suck several large areas or whole body in one session. Tumescent technique together with a vibration cannula is considered the most effective and the gentlest liposuction method. It is a combination of tumescent and power-assisted liposuction.