One of the biggest differences between tumescent liposuction, patented by Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California, and traditional liposuction is that tumescent liposuction doesn’t require the risks of general anesthesia. Dr. Klein invented this procedure to help patients reduce stubborn fat from their face, belly, arms, thighs, and other hard-to-reduce places. He also removes lipomas (benign fatty tumors) of various sizes beneath your skin.
Understanding the tumescent technique
Dr. Klein’s tumescent technique remains the only liposuction procedure that can be performed without general anesthesia or IV sedation. He utilizes large amounts of a dilute anesthetic solution in targeted areas to remove maximum amounts of fat with minimal loss of blood. The lidocaine and epinephrine within the local anesthesia further diminish complications, reducing the rate of absorption into your system.
Dr. Klein’s technique also dramatically decreases blood loss compared to traditional liposuction. Microcannulas are used to remove many tunnels of fat. The small round incisions, known as “adits” are left open to drain the local anesthetic over the next few days and does not require prolonged use of compression to collapse the tunnels. Compression is usually worn for less than a week. Recovery time with tumescent liposuction, about a few days, is also generally shorter. Most patients are able to return to light activities and work within 1 to 2 days.
Dry versus wet liposuction
Prior to Dr. Klein’s tumescent liposuction technique, surgeons utilized a dry procedure that caused more bleeding. Traditional liposuction actually causes more pain overall, even though patients undergo general anesthesia. We’ve reduced the discomfort of local anesthesia even further by incorporating a buffering medication into the mix. The tumescent solution provides a safer experience all around.
What happens during the procedure
By injecting large amounts of saline solution, many times more than the volume of fat and liquid removed from your body, Dr. Klein:
- Avoids shifts in your body fluids
- Reduces your chances of low blood pressure
- Reduces your chances of deep vein thrombosis and blot clots
- Minimizes any side effects, such as nausea and headaches, that may occur under general anesthesia
During the procedure, Dr. Klein makes small incisions, then suctions fat cells with a microcannula tube. His tumescent technique requires smaller incisions and cannula than traditional liposuction. When done, he applies dressings and compression garments to the area. Unlike traditional liposuction, this technique requires no sutures and no drains.
Preparing for your procedure
You will need to avoid blood thinners and certain medications that may inhibit metabolism of lidocaine for 7-14 days before surgery. Smokers should also abstain for two weeks before surgery, as smoking slows healing. Since no general anesthesia is used, you are actually encouraged to eat a light breakfast before coming for surgery. You will need to arrange for someone to help you change your dressings the morning following surgery.
The tumescent solution
The first documented liposuction took place in 1977 in Italy using large, blunt-tipped cannulas. We’ve come a long way since then. Dr. Klein perfected his tumescent technique during the 1980s. He and Dr. Kassardjian have subsequently performed more than 14,000 procedures in our San Juan Capistrano office without any serious complications.
When you’re ready to gently and safely remove stubborn fat, or discuss other dermatological or cosmetic issues, contact Dr. Klein and HK Dermatology at 949-248-1632, or book an appointment online.