Walnut Creek dermatologist discusses tumescent liposuction
By Dr. Christine Lee
The power of “tumescent”
The name of this common liposuction method refers to “stiff and firm tissues.” A sterile tumescent solution is injected into treatment areas for comfort, safety, and effective fat removal. The solution contains local anesthetic, salt water, and epinephrine. Together, they cause blood vessels to constrict and fatty areas to firm up, which allows Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Lee, to have more control over contouring.
Unlike earlier techniques that used large cuts to access and remove fat, tumescent liposuction’s small incisions don’t leave unsightly scars. A skinny tube or cannula is inserted into these incisions painlessly. An attached vacuum sucks out fat, which is transported through the cannula.
Many patients can finally reduce diet- and exercise-resistant fat with tumescent liposuction. But, as with all procedures, not every patient is a viable candidate:
- Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. Generally, patients should already be within or around a healthy weight range.
- All surgeries carry some level of risks, but today’s lipo is overall far safer and can treat many more patients than earlier techniques that required general anesthesia.
- Many patients are alert and function just fine afterward, without feeling groggy or nauseous. Dr. Lee encourages walking around soon after to encourage healthy healing.
- It’s normal to notice some lumpiness, numbness, and swelling.
- You may return to work within a few days, if your job doesn’t require heavy labor.
- Regular exercise can usually be resumed within a week.