Tumescent Liposuction Vs. Liposuction Surgery

What's tumescent liposuction and how's it difft from normal lipo?

Doctor Answers 32

Tumescent liposuction allows for better results and is safer than traditional liposuction

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Tumescent liposuction is local anesthesia (not general anesthesia) and is associated with those docs who tend to do more up to date liposuctions. It is safer and usually gives better results since docs who do it tend to use the smaller micro canulas.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
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ALL liposuction IS SURGERY, and Well Done liposution always is tumescent

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Hi there-

The term "tumescent" simply means that a large amount of medicated fluid is first injected into your fatty tissue layer to improve the safety and effectiveness of the liposuction procedure.

A well trained surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery will ALWAYS use this step, regardless of the machine they prefer to do the surgery.

Make no mistake about it- no matter where it is being done, and no matter what type of anesthesia you have, or who is doing it, liposuction IS surgery, and Smart Lipo, Cool Lipo, Pro Lipo, Body Jet Lipo, VASER lipo- they are ALL liposuction.

So be careful who you let do it on you, and please realize that there are many people who would be happy to take your money and do this surgery on you- but you will only have one chance to have it done safely and correctly.

Don't be fooled by marketing hype- choose your surgeon carefully.


Tumescence is a preparation not liposuction

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Tumescence is not liposuction at all but a preparation of the fat for removal used in almost all cases. The technigque involves filling the fat with a dilute solution of lidocaine (an anesthetic) and epinephrine (to reduce bleeding and bruising). It also makes passage of the liposuction cannula (the tube that removes the fat) physically easier for the surgeon.

Tumescent is "normal" lipo

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Tumescent liposuction is the technique to which all other methods are compared. It is safe and effective. First there is injection of fluid into the fat that causes blood vessels to shrink and gives pain relief which minimizes the amount of additional anesthesia required. All of the other techniques use tumescent fluid, and are followed by the suction component of the tumescent liposuction. The only difference is that laser, smart, jet, power, tickle and all of these other tools add a step in between the tumescent and the suction to melt or otherwise break up the fat. This extra step is not necessary to achieve good results, it adds risk, and is often a gimmick. Tumescent is normal lipo.

Tumescent liposuction

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Tumescent liposuction involves applying fluid with medicine for controlling bleeding and decreasing pain in
the area prior to liposuction.  We have learned over the years that this allows safer and easier removal of fat, much less bleeding, and is much more comfortable for you. Most plastic surgeons use this technique for liposuction.

Traditional Liposuction vs Tumescent Liposuction

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Traditional liposuction represents a historical procedure which has been largely replaced by tumescent liposuction.  The procedures are essentially the same with one exception, before starting the actual liposuction procedure fluid is infused into the subcutaneous tissue when tumescent liposuction is performed.  This fluid is rich in epinephrine and lidocaine.
This approach offers several advantages over traditional liposuction.  The lidocaine minimizes pain in the immediate post-operative period.  The epinephrine causes small blood vessels to constrict, which results in less post-operative bleeding and bruising.  Since there is less bleeding, larger volumes of aspirate can be removed with this technique.
This offers several advantages over traditional liposuction.  These include more aspirate removed, less bleeding, less bruising and better overall results with greater contour improvement.  For these reasons, the vast majority of liposuction cases are performed utilizing tumescent technique.

Tumescense is part of all liposuctions

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Tumescence is one step that is taken in all liposuctions. It is name given to infusion of lipodeposits with a solution of week Epinephrine to reduce bleeding. Sometimes local anesthesia is also added to this mixture.
Liposuction is done after tissues have been puffed up with this fluid and vasoconstriction has been obtained.
Thus some degree of tumescence is there in each and every liposuction 

Tumescent Liposuction

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Tumescent liposuction when performed according to modern protocols is a safe procedure that uses a dilute form of injectectable anesthetic streamed into the fat compartment prior to suctioning out fat by the use of a vacuum device and small straw like instruments, microcannulas,  to provide a painless experience for most patients.

Compared to standard liposuction with heavy sedation or general anesthesia which also may involve the use of larger cannulas, Tumescent Liposuction is the safest form of liposuction with the quickest and least painful recovery. 

Tumescent lipo is the same as “normal” lipo.

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The majority of plastic surgeons use tumescent liposuction as their method of choice, so when you hear a reference to liposuction, it’s almost always going to be tumescent liposuction. That being said, if you are considering lipo, definitely ask your surgeon which method he or she will be using so that you’re aware. You should also know that all liposuction is a type of surgery; it seems so commonplace that a lot of patients assume that almost any doctor can effectively perform it. This is incorrect. The best liposuction results are seen from a board certified plastic surgeon who regularly performs the procedure.

Tumescent Liposuction Vs. Liposuction Surgery. What's the difference?

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The word tumescent refers to injecting a specific fluid into the area to be liposuctioned prior to doing the liposuction. This was formulated by Dr. Jeffrey Klein in the 1980's. The idea was and still is brilliant. The fluid infiltrated into the area contains an anesthetic and epinephrine, which constricts the blood vessels. The word tumescent refers to injecting the area until it is tight with the fluid. The result is ,much less bleeding, less bruising, and the ability to perform the procedure under local anesthesia. The recovery time is shorter as well.

Most liposuction  surgeons use a similar formula but may infiltrate less fluid than the amount to make the skin tight. This is called super-wet or just wet. It still results in basically the same effect, but may require a general anesthetic if less then the tumescent formula is used.

The micro cannulas are very small cannulas and are used by most plastic surgeons that I know. This is the choice of the plastic surgeon and unrelated to the tumescent fluid.

All in all, I have found through the years that the primary ingredient in getting a good safe result with liposuction and any procedure for that matter depends upon the skill, experience and caring personality of the surgeon.

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.