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Understanding the Difference Between Tumescent and Traditional Liposuction

Understanding the Difference Between Tumescent and Traditional Liposuction

Tumescent liposuction provides all the fat removal and body contouring benefits of liposuction but decreases the associated risks and offers a better outcome than traditional methods.

Acclaimed dermatologic surgeon Jeffrey Klein, MD, provides tumescent liposuction at his thriving practice — HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California. That seems only fitting since Dr. Klein invented tumescent liposuction as a better alternative to traditional liposuction.

Once Dr. Klein shared his research and clinical trial findings in various highly respected medical publications, surgeons around the world adopted his method. Dr. Klein authored the textbook “The Tumescent Technique” and has trained almost 1000 surgeons from around the world since 1994. Tumescent liposuction is now considered the gold standard for removing fat and reshaping your curves with liposuction. Find out why.

General anesthesia not required with tumescent liposuction

General anesthesia, the kind that anesthetizes your brain and essentially puts you to sleep, is of great benefit and value during certain surgeries and other medical procedures. It does carry certain risks, however, and requires careful management of your breathing and other vital functions that your brain normally controls. Traditional liposuction typically requires general anesthesia.

Whenever possible, surgeons prefer to use a local anesthetic for pain control during a procedure because it’s safer. A local anesthetic effectively blocks pain in specifically targeted areas but otherwise leaves your brain in charge. Avoiding the use of general anesthetic minimizes complications such as nausea and vomiting, and deep vein thrombosis (which can lead to stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary emboli).

Your blood pressure, respiratory rate, and other vital functions are still carefully monitored, but surgical risks are greatly reduced with local versus general anesthesia. Tumescent liposuction requires only a local anesthetic and Dr. Klein’s patients have never experienced any significant adverse reaction.

Klein Tumescent Liposuction must not be confused with the “wet technique”, a procedure some surgeons claim is the tumescent technique, but is actually a combination of the two types of liposuction. General anesthesia or IV sedation is often used in conjunction with tumescent local anesthesia, and as such, the risks and complications with General Anesthesia or IV sedation remain.

Faster recovery with tumescent versus traditional liposuction

Tumescent liposuction is an outpatient procedure that Dr. Klein, or his highly-skilled colleague, Norma Kassardjian, MD, performs in the state-of-the-art, surgical suites in HK Dermatology’s office-based accredited ambulatory care facility (AAAHC). Without the risks associated with general anesthesia, you can expect to be home resting and relaxed a few hours after tumescent liposuction. Traditional liposuction usually requires an overnight hospital stay as you recover from the effects of the procedure.

The Klein Tumescent Liposuction utilizes tiny microcannulas, thereby reducing the risks of irregularities that are associated with larger cannulas. The tiny microcannulas are 2.5 mm (⅛ inch) in diameter and require only 1.5 to 2 mm incision that becomes virtually invisible. Larger cannulas require larger incisions. Large incisions must be placed in inconspicuous sites, which often limit complete access to the targeted areas of fat. Compared with traditional liposuction, you can also expect a quicker recovery overall with tumescent liposuction, which results in less bleeding during the procedure and less bruising, swelling, and other painful issues afterward.

The benefits of tumescent liposuction start with an injection

Dr. Klein’s tumescent liposuction method requires an injection into the targeted treatment region. Delivered to the subcutaneous layer of fat that lies between your skin and muscles, the injection contains a carefully formulated mixture of lidocaine, epinephrine, and sodium bicarbonate, along with a saline solution to aid in fat removal. The lidocaine prevents pain. The epinephrine in the mixture causes blood vessels in the area to temporarily constrict, significantly reducing blood loss during the procedure and greatly reducing the risks associated with tumescent versus traditional liposuction under general anesthesia. For you, decreased bleeding means less bruising, swelling, and pain following the procedure — and a faster return to normal activities. The sodium bicarbonate virtually eliminates the stinging that can be associated with the injection of local anesthetic. The subcutaneous infiltration of the Tumescent Lidocaine solution using the Klein Technique is virtually painless. Most patients merely experience a sensation of pressure.

One important difference between Klein Tumescent Liposuction and other types of liposuction is the use of multiple 1-2 mm open incisions and bimodal compression to promote drainage. Most other types of liposuction involve closed, sutured incisions and drains, which are inconvenient and increase the risk of infection. True Klein Tumescent Liposuction promotes drainage and leads to dramatically less bruising, swelling, inflammation and postoperative pain with much faster healing times.

Tumescent liposuction offers improved fat removal and body contouring control

The injection solution used in tumescent liposuction also causes the fatty subcutaneous tissue layer to swell and become firm. This firming action gives your HK Dermatology surgeon better control when it comes to removing unwanted fat and reshaping your curves.  Tumescent liposuction using microcannulas is the least likely to cause any significant or noticeable post-surgical irregularities of the skin.  By magnifying the fatty compartment, the tumescent technique permits more accurate removal of fat, with greater assurance that the liposuction cannula will not inadvertently approach too near the undersurface of the skin and thereby cause irregularities.

When performed by a skilled physician, tumescent liposuction safely and effectively removes fat from larger areas such as the belly and thighs, as well as the sometimes difficult-to-treat regions of your arms, chin, and neck. Breast Reduction by Tumescent Liposuction provides a minimally invasive reduction of the fatty tissue in breasts and is especially effective in post-menopausal women. After menopause, most breast tissue is composed of fat. Dr. Klein’s technique is an excellent alternative to traditional breast reduction offering much faster healing, less postoperative discomfort, with the associated scarring of traditional breast reduction.

Tumescent liposuction offers excellent fat removal and body contouring for both men and women. For more information about what it can mean for you, schedule a visit at HK Dermatology today, where tumescent liposuction was perfected. Call the office or book your visit online today.

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