Marina del Rey
Dr. David Stoker
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Liposuction technology has evolved substantially over the past 2 decades. Throughout this time, the tumescent technique has always been a critical first step for liposuction procedures. Surgeons now employ a variety of methods that may be considered tumescent liposuction. At my Los Angeles practice, I perform many of these methods. Here, I'll discuss these options in some detail.
In considering techniques, it's important to note that the surgeon performing the procedure is the most important determinant of results. Patients should choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with significant experience in body contouring to optimize their results.
Tumescent solution is a dilute local anesthesia solution, containing lidocaine and adrenaline, which is used to treat the fatty tissues under the skin before liposuction is performed. This tumescent solution was a major advance in the 1980's because it allowed surgeons to remove larger volumes of fat with much less blood loss and improved patient comfort. All modern liposuction techniques utilize tumescent solution pre-treatment as a way to improve safety and control during the procedure.
The amount of tumescent solution that is injected varies widely depending on the surgeon. I find that the best option is to use moderate volumes of tumescent fluid along with intravenous sedation ("twilight sedation") or "light" general anesthesia. This provides optimal safety and comfort during the procedure for most patients.
Tumescent liposuction is advantageous because it:
The 3 key ingredients in tumescent solution include lidocaine, epinephrine and saline. Lidocaine is the anesthetic that causes numbness and blocks the sensation of discomfort. Epinephrine, otherwise known as adrenaline, is also produced by our bodies. When injected, it causes blood vessels to shrink in diameter temporarily. It's important to help minimize bleeding and bruising. Saline is the last component. It's the same solution that I use for intravenous fluid and is already a part of every cell in our bodies.
The primary risks from tumescent technique include fluid imbalances and lidocaine toxicity. Fluid imbalance risk may be minimized by using moderate fluid volumes and careful assessment of intravenous fluids. Board-certified plastic surgeons are the best qualified physicians to optimize fluid balances. Lidocaine toxicity is easily avoided by staying within the established safe dose parameters. When many areas are treated at once, it's better to use supplemental intravenous anesthesia to avoid larger and potentially problematic doses of lidocaine.
In my detailed consultations with patients, I guide them through these options to set safe and achievable goals for body sculpting. To learn more about tumescent liposuction, request a consultation online or call our office at (310) 300-1779.