Saline-Assisted Liposuction: Tumescent
Fluid Injection, a technique in which a medicated solution is injected into fatty areas before the fat is removed, is commonly used by liposuction specialist Dr. Zevon as well as many other plastic surgeons today. The fluid—a mixture of intravenous salt solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic) and epinephrine (a drug that contracts blood vessels)—helps the fat be removed more easily, reduces blood loss and provides anesthesia during and after surgery. Fluid injection also helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.
The amount of fluid that is injected varies depending on Dr. Zevon’s preference.
Large volumes of fluid—sometimes as much as three times the amount of fat to be removed—are injected in the tumescent technique. Tumescent liposuction, typically performed on patients who need only a local anesthetic, usually takes significantly longer than traditional liposuction (sometimes as long as 4 to 5 hours). However, because the injected fluid contains an adequate amount of anesthetic, additional anesthesia may not be necessary. The name of this technique refers to the swollen and firm or “tumesced” state of the fatty tissues when they are filled with solution.
Saline-Assisted Liposuction: Super-Wet
The super-wet technique is similar to the tumescent technique, except that lesser amounts of fluid are used. Usually the amount of fluid injected is equal to the amount of fat to be removed. This technique often requires IV sedation or general anesthesia and typically takes one to two hours of surgery time.