Liposuction is a procedure that removes excess fat from the body using a vacuum-like technique. Also called lipoplasty or liposculpting, our office performs the tumescent liposuction procedure. This type of liposuction is minimally invasive with smaller incisions than most other types of liposuction, making it possible to perform the procedure under only a local anesthetic and perhaps mild sedation. As a result, tumescent liposuction provides a faster recovery time.
Performed since the 1980s, tumescent liposuction is considered one of the safest and most accurate of liposuction techniques. Like other types of liposuction, it can remove unwanted deposits of fat and smooth the contours of the body.
Tumescent liposuction can treat the following:
- Knees and lower legs
- Waist – love handles
- Male breasts (gynecomastia)
The Advantages of Tumescent Liposuction
The term “tumescent” refers to the local anesthesia, as well as the ability of the anesthetic to constrict the blood vessels and prevent unnecessary loss of blood during the procedure. The lidocaine anesthetic, which is injected into the fat to be removed, actually “tumesces” (swells and firms) the tissue. This process allows the surgeon to remove more fat with precision and accuracy.
As a result, the healing process is faster, and you will experience less inflammation and bruising than with other kinds of liposuction.
Tumescent liposuction also does not require the replacement of fluids through an intravenous tube, which is necessary with other liposuction methods.
From the surgeon’s perspective, tumescent liposuction allows him or her more control over the process.
What to Expect from Tumescent Liposuction
In tumescent liposuction, a small, very thin stainless steel suction tube called a cannula is inserted through the small incisions where the unwanted fat is to be removed. The cannula is attached to a special high pressure vacuum that then suctions out the fatty tissue.
The numbness from the local anesthetic continues for a period of up to 36 hours after the surgery, alleviating the need for immediate pain killers. You will need to wear compression garments under your clothing for a short time after your procedure.
Most people are able to return to work and other activities within 2 to 7 days after tumescent liposuction. Due to the small size of the incisions, few stitches are required, and scarring is generally minimal.
The results take at least 10 days to show and as much as a month in some cases. Most people continue to see an improvement in their appearance for about a year after tumescent liposuction.
If you have several areas you wish to treat, you may have more than one tumescent liposuction procedure, but it is recommended to have them at least 90 days apart.
Liposuction is not recommended for people who are substantially overweight, as none of the available methods are a substitute for exercise and weight reduction.
Contact our office at (415) 362-2238 to find out more about tumescent liposuction in San Francisco.