The tumescent anesthesia technique was developed by the American dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein in 1987. He is the author of Tumescent Technique: Tumescent Anesthesia & Microcannular Liposuction, a useful resource on all aspects of the tumescent technique. It covers a broad range of topics, ranging from step-by-step procedures to successfully perform this procedure, to postoperative care measures, and to possible complications.
The Advantages of Tumescent Anesthesia Technique
Wondering how this can benefit you? Alliance Cosmetic Centerlists 4 advantages of the tumescent anesthesia technique.
- Prolonged Local Anesthesia
A significant advantage of the tumescent technique is that patients experience little to no postoperative discomfort. In fact, multiple studies show that tumescent anesthesia results in extended postoperative analgesia. Treated areas remain at least partially anesthetized for up to 18 hours after the procedure. Due to this, local anesthetics that are longer acting and more cardiotoxic than lidocaine are no longer necessary [1, 2]. Furthermore, patients do not need post-operative analgesia after the procedure.
- Minimal Blood Loss
Through the tumescent technique, blood loss during procedures, such as liposuction, is minimized. The extensive vasoconstriction that results from dilute epinephrine generates about 12mL of whole blood from every liter of removed pure fat . According to studies, when the tumescent technique is used, patients typically lose more blood during the phlebotomy required for preoperative laboratory studies than during the liposuction procedure itself.
- Improved Aesthetic Results
Did you know? Certain areas of the body, such as the upper abdomen, the medial proximal thighs, and anterior thighs, are regarded as areas where good results by liposuction are relatively difficult to achieve . However, with the use of the tumescent technique, these “difficult areas” are treated with superior results. With the tumescent technique, the risk of skin postoperative irregularities is significantly minimized. With meticulous and careful infiltration, one can produce uniform tumescence, avoiding distortions and irregularities.
- Minimized Surgical Risk
When using the tumescent technique, blood loss has never been a problem. In cases where the tumescent technique was used for liposuction, the mean blood loss was less than 12 ml of whole blood per liter of pure fat extracted . On the other hand, liposuction by general anesthesia presents a major risk of fluid shifting out of the vascular space into the areas traumatized by the liposuction cannula and blood loss, resulting in an autologous blood transfusion .
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- de Jong RH, Ronfield RA, DeRose RA: Cardiovascular effects of convulsant and supraconvulsant doses of amide local anesthetics. Anesth Analg 61:3-9, 1982
- Tanz, RD, Haskett T, Loehning RW, Fairfax CA: Comparative cardiotoxicity of bupivacaine and lidocaine in the isolated perfused mammalian heart. Anesth Analg 63:549-556, 1984
- Klein JA: Reduced blood loss and optimal fluid balance for liposuction: Infiltration regional anesthesia by the tumescent technique.
- Illouz YG: Refinements of the lipoplasty technique. Clin Plastic Surg 16:217-232, 1989
- Hetter GP: Blood and fluid replacement for lipoplasty procedures. Clin Plast Surg 16:245- 248, 1989