Tumescent Technique Liposuction
Highlights of your Procedure Day
Shortly after arrival, you will change into an operative gown. Pictures will be taken. The area(s) to be treated with liposuction are marked with a felt-tipped pen. Your weight and vital signs will be taken and recorded. A blood pressure cuff may be placed on one arm. A small instrument may be placed on one of your fingers to monitor oxygen levels in your blood.
A mild sedative is given
It may seem somewhat ironic, but experience has shown that giving mild sedation permits better local anesthesia than when patients are heavily sedated. This is because an awake, but drowsy, patient is more capable of detecting subtle areas of incomplete anesthesia. A heavily sedated patient might easily ignore an incompletely anesthetized area, and then feel more discomfort when liposuction is actually done. Therefore, minimizing sedation actually maximizes patient comfort. Usual sedation consists Ativan or Valium given orally.
Skin and fat are anesthetized
Using tiny needles, the nurse/physician will anesthetize the skin at sites where the numbing cannulas will be inserted to anesthetize the subcutaneous fat. The actual injection of the anesthetic solution is almost painless. Patients usually experience a slight prickling under the skin as the area becomes numb. After completing the infiltration of the local anesthetic but before the actual liposuction begins, you will be allowed a washroom break and/or be allowed a light snack.
Once an area has been infiltrated with a large volume of anesthetic solution, it is usually completely numb. However, there may be small areas that are only 50% or 75% numb. In order to check that the entire area is 100% numb, a small blunt tipped cannula is passed throughout the area. If an incompletely anesthetized area is encountered, the patient will feel mild discomfort. By indicating where the slight tenderness is encountered, more anesthetic solution can be infiltrated exactly where it is needed. Thus, with the patient’s alert cooperation, 100% numbness is achieved. Gentle liposculpture now proceeds until the final aesthetic contour is achieved. This takes 1-3 hours depending on size and number of sites to be treated.
Getting ready to go home
After completing liposuction, a compression garment will be placed on the areas. Vital signs are retaken and once you feel 100 percent, you are ready to get up and go home. The incisions are so small that stitches are generally not used. Your medications and post-operative instructions (both verbal and written formats) will be given to you. You will also be contacted the following day. Although you may feel well enough after surgery to drive yourself home, you will not be allowed to do so because the Ativan or Valium can cause some drowsiness.