Would Tradtional Lipo Be the Same As Tumescent Lipo?

I'm having a very difficult time deciding on which Lipo procedure. My doctor gave me two prices one for Lipo ( am I to assume or how should I ask if he is doing tumescent Lipo) or Vaser Lipo. The price for vaser was $1500 more so I'm leaning toward regular Lipo. I really want to know which you recommend.

Doctor Answers 3

Tumescent is a world of difference if done using no general anesthesia

Tumescent means a lot of different things to many people.  Strictly defined, it is just using dilute anesthesia to numb up the area that is to be liposuctioned.  It was invented by a dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey Klein, as a way to save patients the risks associated with general anesthesia and it turned out to be much safer (as proven in multiple studies) than the 'traditional' method. 

This is because general anesthesia has a definite risk to people if and when things go wrong in the process and that may not have anything to do with the liposuction but just what happens when people get put 'under'.  For this reason, tumescent liposuction has gotten a well deserved boost in most folks' minds.

The problem is that many doctors bandy about the term tumescent and redefine it to suit their purposes.  The easiest way that I know of to see if your doctor is truly doing tumescent liposuction is to ask them if you will be 'under' or in a hospital for your procedure.  If the answer is 'no' (ie that it is not done in a hospital and you won't be under or in some 'twilight' state), you are probably having the real tumescent liposuction.  If it is done in a hospital with general or twilight sedation then you are probably having traditional.

The other question is whether you will be able to go to work in a day or two.  If you can, then you are having true tumescent liposuction.  If you can't, then you are likely having 'traditional'. These are hugely important questions to ask and, of course, insist on seeing pictures of the doctor's actual patients (before and afters).  Good luck! 

Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Traditional liposuction is NOT Tumescent technique liposuction!

Traditional liposuction is the older style of using larger canulas under general anesthesia.  Tumescent technique lipo is the better method of local anesthesia and smaller canulas which tend to give more precise smoother results. Vaser is an ultrasonic machine which is more gimmicky such as laser lipos which have more risks and side effects and may or may not add in the breaking up of fibrotic fat tissue. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tumescent Liposuction vs. Vaser Liposuction

The word 'Tumescent' refers to injection of larger amount of dilute local anesthesia with epinephrine which creates a firm feel to the skin. This injection technique reduces blood loss, improves comfort for the patient during and after the procedure and creates a larger space to reduce fat more slowly and under better control. The addition of the Vaser system ( Ultrasonic Energy) helps to break up the fat to a certain degree with intense energy. However, only a limited amount of energy can be safely delivered to the tissues and therefore only a small amount of the fat to be removed is actually loosened up by the Vaser system. Eventually the fat is suctioned out with suction cannulas only without the use of the ultrasonic energy. At this point it is the skill and artistic ability of the surgeon and not the technology which will leave you with the results you want. I like adding ultrasonic energy to liposuction when there has been prior scarring or I'm working in a densely fibrous area. It is an expensive piece of equipment and for most first time patients I have not found it worth the cost and additional time it takes. This is just my opinion since I know of doctors who like the technology. Your surgeon should be able to tell you the pros and cons of either approach to help you decide. Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.