Tumescent Liposuction: What Is It, And Is It Worth The Risks?
All types of liposuction are surgical procedures to get rid of fat cells, and tumescent liposuction is distinguished only by the amount of wetting solution used. If you do not know what liposuction wetting solution is, you need to read on.
Many people like the thought of being thinner instantly, but they do not take enough time to fully research different types of liposuction, and may not be fully aware of the risks involved.
Why Do People Want Liposuction?
Certain areas of the body are resistant to exercise and diet. If you have struggled to keep weight off of a certain body part, and have become frustrated, you might look into liposuction for a quicker fix to the problem. The areas of the body that liposuction commonly removes fat cells from are: the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, chest, back, calves, ankles, upper arms, neck, chin, and sometimes breast reduction. It is a cosmetic procedure, and although we always want to look our best, it comes with possible risks to your health, and some permanent consequences.
Are You A Candidate For Tumescent Liposuction?
To be a candidate for tumescent liposuction, you need to be in good physical condition to be considered. If you have problems with restricted blood flow, diabetes, coronary artery disease, or autoimmune disease, you should not be considered for this surgery. It is important for you to prepare well, if you are a candidate. Do research, know and have a copy of your medical history, and list all medications that you are currently taking, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Know your surgeon, and make sure that he or she is board certified. Discuss reasons that you want this surgery, and know any results that you are to expect.
The surgeon marks area(s) on your body for fat cell removal. The wetting solution, consisting of sterile saline solution, lidocaine, and epinephrine, is injected into the affected area, causing the area to swell and stiffen. Lidocaine is a pain-relieving anesthetic, and epinephrine causes the blood vessels to constrict, so that there is not a great deal of blood loss. The surgeon will then make a small incision, and insert a very thin tube called a cannula. The cannula is attached to a vacuum, that suctions the fat cells and fluids from the area. Ultrasound assisted liposuction (UAL) is commonly used to rupture the fat cell walls, liquefying the fat for easier removal.
During the procedure you may have a local or regional anesthesia, and possibly a general anesthetic or sedative intravenous injection to calm, or relax you. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels will be monitored throughout the surgery, and it may last several hours, depending on the extent of fat being removed.
What To Expect After the Procedure
After the procedure, the surgeon may leave the incisions open to drain the fluid. You may be in the hospital or clinic from a few hours to a day, in order to check your body’s hydration, and to make sure that you are not in shock from a loss of fluid. You should expect some pain, swelling, and bruising, and you should not continue strenuous activities like exercising for a few weeks. The swelling usually subsides within one month, and you will see a leaner appearance in several months. You may receive a prescription for pain, and an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection.
Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks?
- The most common risks of liposuction are losing too much blood, and a reaction to anesthesia used. Some other complications and risks of tumescent liposuction are:
- The larger the area of fat cell removal, or multiple areas of removal during the surgery, the greater the risk of complications.
- You may have contour irregularities, where your skin appears wavy, rippled, or withered because of uneven fat removal.
- Poor skin elasticity, or unusual healing may be permanent, and skin may have a permanent “spotted” look, due to the cannula used during surgery
- Temporary sacs of fluid (seromas) may form, and may need to be needle-drained under the skin.
- You may experience temporary or permanent numbness in the surgical area, and temporary nerve irritation is also possible.
- Infection of the area is rare, but it is possible, and could be life-threatening.
- Pieces of loosened fat may break away, and become lodged in a blood vessel, gather in your lungs, or travel to the brain (fat embolism), which is a medical emergency.
- The cannula used to suction out fat cells may puncture an internal organ.
- You may experience kidney or heart problems, due to fluctuating fluid levels as wetting solution is being injected, then suctioned out.
Cosmetic Surgery Is An Option – It Is Your Personal Health Choice
If you do choose to have liposuction, do your research, and know the reasons why you want to have this surgery. Remember that it does not improve cellulite, dimpling, or any other skin surface problems. It will not help with stretch marks, and it may change your body’s fat distribution, meaning that the remaining fat may move to another part of your body.
This procedure works for many people, and many are completely satisfied, but it should not be considered lightly. If you do your homework, you will have a very good experience and reap the benefits of reducing fat cells through tumescent liposuction!