The concept of tumescent liposuction is surprisingly simple. Liposuction is a surgical technique that improves the body’s contour by removing excess fat deposits located between the skin and muscle.

Tumescent Liposuction involves local anesthetic and the use of a small blunt stainless steel tube, called a microcannula. The liposuction cannula, typically connected to a powerful suction pump, is inserted into the fat through small incisions in the skin, and fat is removed by suction as the cannula creates tiny tunnels through the fat. During the healing process after liposuction, these tiny tunnels shrink and disappear, resulting in an improved body contour.

What is the tumescent technique?

The tumescent technique for local anesthesia involves the injection of large volumes of very dilute lidocaine (local anesthetic) and epinephrine (drug that shrinks capillaries) into subcutaneous fat. The word tumescent means swollen and firm. With the tumescent technique, the volume of dilute lidocaine that is injected into fat is so large that the targeted areas literally become tumescent (swollen and firm). The tumescent technique produces profound and long-lasting local anesthesia of the skin and subcutaneous fat.

What are the benefits of tumescent liposuction?

Local anesthesia used in the tumescent technique for liposuction is so effective that patients no longer need intravenous sedatives, narcotic analgesics, or general anesthesia. As a result of the widespread capillary constriction caused by the epinephrine in the anesthetic solution, there is minimal bleeding during and after surgery. This is a major improvement in the liposuction technique compared to the older methods that simply use general anesthesia.

History of Liposuction

Liposuction was initially developed in 1978 in Italy and France, and introduced into the United States in 1982. Developed in the late 1980’s, the tumescent technique has proven to be safer than the older techniques that required general anesthesia, it has also proven to be less painful, has minimized post-operative recovery time, and has produced optimal cosmetic results.

What is the difference between Tumescent Liposuction and Vaser Liposuction

Tumescent liposuction is the medical procedure of removing fat under local anesthesia. All other titles are company’s trademarked names of devices/instruments (lasers, ultrasound devices, vibratory devices) that aid in the removal of fat under local anesthesia. They are all used as part of the tumescent technique, not in lieu of it.

Are some localized areas of fat resistant to diet and exercise?

Yes. Fat located in any area of the body, and especially the abdomen, hips, and under the chin is often resistant to diet or exercise. Similarly, after pregnancy, the fat on the abdomen and hips may persist despite concerted efforts at dieting and exercising.

Are some localized areas of fat inherited?

Yes. Localized accumulations of fat are often inherited and frequently impossible to eliminate by exercise or dieting. After the age of 30, an individual often gains fat according to a genetically predetermined pattern. For these people, liposuction is literally a dream come true. Liposuction is the only realistic means of significantly changing the body’s silhouette. In effect, liposuction is equivalent to being able to focus the effects of dieting to specific areas of the body.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction?

The best candidates for liposuction are in good health and have realistic expectations. Liposuction can provide a good candidate with a significant improvement, but it is unlikely to achieve perfection. There is no definite age or weight limit for patients. Many liposuction patients are of average size but are concerned about localized accumulations of fat.

Who is not a good candidate for liposuction?

A person who expects absolute perfection is not a good candidate for liposuction. Obese patients or patients who have not maximized their contours with diet and exercise are usually not good candidates for liposuction. A person who has a serious or poorly controlled medical problem is not a good candidate for liposuction.

Is liposuction a reasonable treatment for obesity?

Liposuction is not a good treatment of obesity. Liposuction is not effective, even as a last resort, for people who are unable to lose weight by dieting and exercise. Obese patients almost always regain the weight that is removed by liposuction unless there is a dramatic reduction in calorie intake (by dieting) or a significant increase in calorie expenditure (by exercising). Whenever large-volume liposuction has been used in an attempt to treat obesity by surgery, there has been a significant increase in the incidence of serious surgical complications. It is not safe to remove huge amounts of fat by liposuction. Thus, liposuction will not be of any significant benefit for an obese patient who believes that liposuction will aid in the effort to lose weight.

On the other hand, an overweight person whose weight has been stable for many years and has certain problem-areas of fat may be a good candidate for liposuction. Liposuction in a large patient is reasonable when the goal is to improve a troublesome body contour area.

What is a successful liposuction surgery?

The surgeon’s goal is to obtain an optimal aesthetic result rather than to maximize the amount of fat removed. One of the most common causes for disappointment in the results of liposuction surgery is the removal of too much fat, which produces an abnormal or unusual appearance. The cosmetic success of a liposuction surgery is often the result of removing an amount of fat equivalent to less than a pound or two of butter from a woman’s saddlebag area or from a man’s love handle area. While this amount of fat is relatively small compared to a person’s total body weight, it does produce a dramatic change in the patient’s silhouette.

Does liposuction always remove cellulite?

Liposuction improves the silhouette of the body, but does not necessarily eliminate the pre-existing subtle “puckering” of the skin that is often referred to as “cellulite.” Liposuction does reduce the degree of cellulite to a minor degree but it is unlikely to produce a significant improvement or to completely eliminate cellulite.

Does liposuction decrease my risk of heart disease or diabetes?

Unfortunately, not. Liposuction of any kind only removes fat above the muscle and the result is purely cosmetic. Visceral fat or fat around one’s organs is associated with increased risks for the above conditions. No surgical procedure addresses this type of fat; only dieting.

Does liposuction produce permanent results?

After liposuction the body’s new shape is more or less permanent. If a patient does gain a moderate amount of weight after liposuction, then the figure will simply be a larger version of the new body shape. Fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. As long as the patient does not gain excessive amounts of weight, the new, more pleasing silhouette is permanent. Of course after liposuction the clock keeps ticking, and advancing age will produce the usual changes in the shape of the body associated with the aging process. If a person gains weight after liposuction, she/he will not accumulate as much fat in the treated areas as would have happened if liposuction had not been done. The myth of fat moving around after liposuction is still merely a myth.

Does the fat come back in other spots after liposuction?

If a patient does not gain weight after liposuction, then fat does not accumulate in other areas of the body. However, if a patient gains a significant amount of weight, say more than 10 pounds (5 kg), after liposuction, and then the fat must go somewhere. In fact, the fat accumulates in every area of the body in proportion to the amount of fat cells in each area. Areas where fat cells have been removed by liposuction will accumulate relatively little fat, while areas not treated by liposuction will collect relatively more fat. For example, if a woman gains weight after liposuction of her hips, outer thighs, and abdomen, then most of the fat will be deposited elsewhere such as the woman’s breasts, face, back and legs.

Does liposuction cause dimpling or indentations in the skin?

Dimpling and indentations in the skin is a known risk of liposuction. However skin irregularities are very unusual in the hands of a skilled surgeon with the tumescent technique. The use of large diameter cannulas tends to increase the risk of irregularities, while the use of microcannulas (less than 2.8 mm in outside diameter) reduces this risk. When large cannulas are used, any inadvertent passage of the cannula too close to the skin may leave a depression or furrow, whereas one pass too close to the skin with a microcannula will not leave a visible depression.

How much blood is lost during tumescent liposuction?

The tumescent technique is so effective at minimizing blood loss that the majority of patients lose approximately 15 to 30 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons) of blood during large volume liposuction. This is the same volume of blood that is taken for routine pre-operative laboratory studies. In the days before the advent of the tumescent technique, the biggest risk of liposuction was excessive loss of blood during surgery.

How does the tumescent technique reduce bruising after liposuction?

There are two reasons for this significant decrease in bruising. First, because there is so little blood loss with the tumescent technique, there is almost no blood that remains beneath the skin to cause bruising after surgery. The second reason for decreased bruising is that with the tumescent technique there is a considerable amount of post-operative drainage of the blood tinged anesthetic solution. The incisions are so small (about 1.5 mm) and do not require stitches. By allowing these wounds to remain open for two to three days after the surgery, most of the residual blood-tinged anesthetic solution drains out. This minimizes bruising and swelling and accelerates the rate of healing.

How much does Liposuction Cost?

The cost of liposuction is dependent on the number of areas and the duration of the surgery as well as the liposuction technique. The surgeon’s fee (at Esteem Cosmetic Studio) is $2750 for the 1st area followed by $1650 for every subsequent area. The surgeon’s fee for Vaser liposuction is $3900 for the 1st area followed by $1900 for evry subsequent area. The additional fees that would apply would be theatre fee (based on duration), anaesthetist fee (based on duration of surgery) and post surgery compression garments.

Should I Base My Decision on the Cost of Liposuction?

Decisions about liposuction should not be based solely on the cost of liposuction. The cheapest procedure might mean that the surgeon does the procedure quickly and incompletely. Liposuction is a hand-crafted art form. It is more reasonable to base your decision about liposuction on the surgeon’s reputation, the surgeon’s apparent skill and facility, the surgeon’s experience and the surgeon’s ability to communicate with you in a manner that is professional, sincere, comfortable, and unhurried. Five years after your liposuction, you will probably not remember the exact amount you paid for the surgery, but you will be aware of the quality of the results for the rest of your life. The most common source of disappointment following liposuction is dissatisfaction with the degree of improvement (“it looks as if nothing was done”) or unhappiness with uneven lumpy-bumpy results. The liposuction cost should not be the main basis for your choice of surgeon. Do not put your body on the bargain rack.

How much weight can I lose by liposuction?

Patients should not expect to lose a dramatic amount of weight with liposuction. However, because fat is removed from cosmetically important areas, liposuction should produce significant improvements in aesthetic appearance, as if you lost a significant amount of weight.

What can I expect if I get pregnant after liposuction?

Pregnancy does not permanently alter the results of liposuction. If a woman has liposuction and subsequently becomes pregnant, gains weight, gives birth and finally loses the excess weight of pregnancy, then her original liposuction improvements will return, just as if she had never been pregnant.

Will liposuction improve the stomach I acquired after my last baby?

Yes. Liposuction typically provides excellent improvement of the abdomen after pregnancy. In fact, for the vast majority of patients, liposuction provides a better and more natural appearance than a tummy tuck.

How long will it be until I see results?

Most patients will see 90% of their ultimate liposuction results within one to four months after surgery. For the first few weeks after surgery there is postoperative swelling. The rate at which this swelling subsides depends on the surgeon’s surgical technique and method for postoperative care.

What are the risks of liposuction surgery?

As judged by current worldwide experience, liposuction is amazingly safe. Rare problems that can potentially occur with any surgical procedure include infections, bleeding, skin ulcerations, and nerve injury. The tumescent technique minimizes these risks. As with any surgical procedure, liposuction is associated with certain common side effects such as bruising, swelling and temporary numbness. Although irregularities of the skin are possible following liposuction, this side effect is minimized by tumescent liposuction using microcannulas and the skill of an experienced surgeon.

How long does it take to complete a typical liposuction procedure?

The average patient will be in the surgical facility for 3 to 4 1/2 hours. However, the actual surgery may only require 2 to 3 hours. The length of time that it takes to complete a liposuction depends on the size of the patient, the number of areas being treated, and the type of anesthesia being used. Because it takes a certain amount of time to inject local anesthesia, it usually takes longer to do liposuction using local anesthesia than it does using general anesthesia. We are sculpting not debulking.

Is the procedure painful?

Getting the procedure is similar to getting dental work done. The only part that is uncomfortable is getting the local anesthesia injected. Patients are given a variety of mild sedatives including Demerol and Valium to make them comfortable during the numbing process. Individuals are awake enough to get up for a bathroom break but sedated enough to sleep soundly through the procedure. Once the patient is numbed, there is only a sensation that something is being done without any discomfort. The sensation is of movement only. Patients do not have to visualize what is being done unless they request to visualize the procedure.


The Esteem Cosmetic Studio website provides general information about cosmetic surgery. General information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment, and should not be accepted in place or in preference to a consultation with a surgeon.

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