The Tumescent Liposuction Technique

Sometimes, diet and exercise can only do so much. If you’ve tried everything to tone your body, but still can’t achieve the form you want, liposuction can finish the job you started. Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S helps Long Island and Manhattan patients achieve their ideal body contours with the help of the liposuction procedure. For those hoping to trim their excess fat while minimizing side effects during and after the operation, tumescent liposuction may be a suitable solution.

What Is Tumescent Liposuction?

During a tumescent liposuction procedure, patients are first injected with a mixture of lidocaine and epinephrine at the site of operation. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic, preventing pain or sensitivity in the region, while epinephrine induces temporary swelling and firmness.

Once the patient is anesthetized, an incision will be made in preparation for the liposuction itself. Using a small tube called a cannula, the surgeon will remove unwanted fat from the body while creating a smoother appearance beneath the skin.

When the procedure is complete, the incision is sewn and an elastic compression garment is placed over the area to promote healing.

Benefits of the Tumescent Procedure

The primary difference between tumescent and traditional liposuction is the type of anesthesia used. Whereas conventional liposuction employs general anesthesia, putting the patient to sleep during operation, tumescent liposuction utilizes a local anesthesia that can provide additional benefits for some patients.

  • Outpatient procedure: Since patients are not “put under” for this procedure, they may leave the same day it is performed. Those who have increased risk factors for general anesthetic will especially benefit from this difference. Although patients will likely feel well enough to drive themselves home, local anesthesia can prompt some drowsiness, and it is therefore safest to have a friend or family member assist with driving.
  • Less bleeding: The epinephrine used in tumescent liposuction dramatically reduces bleeding and keeps blood vessels from rupturing. As a result, the amount of blood lost in surgery is so slight that intravenous fluid is not necessary afterward. Bruising and swelling are also minimized during the recovery process.
  • Easier for the surgeon: With the tightening and swelling of tissue, surgeons can more easily maneuver and produce better counter lines along the body. As swelling decreases, the body maintains those curves, but in a more natural and desirable form.


The local anesthesia lasts for a few hours, after which patients may feel mild discomfort from the operation. This should be manageable with over-the-counter painkillers if desired. Unlike general anesthesia, patients should experience little to no nausea.

Over the course of the first week, swelling will steadily subside and patients will begin to see the results of the procedure. If swelling, bruising, or pain persists, please contact us for a follow up visit. Most patients are able to return to work within a few days, though moderate and strenuous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks.

Throughout the initial stages of recovery, it is important to wear the elastic garment. You will be instructed when to discard it, usually after two or more weeks have transpired. After three to six months, you will see the full benefits of your liposuction treatment.

Contact Our Office Today

As a prominent plastic surgeon, Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S comes with a wealth of experience and training, dedicated to delivering only the highest quality of cosmetic procedures. Schedule an initial consultation today!

If you are considering cosmetic surgery as a way to shed those persistent bits of fatty tissue, schedule an appointment to see if tumescent liposuction is the right choice for you.

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