Jefferson University Hospitals

Tumescent Liposuction

If you would like to contour certain areas of your body by removing fat deposits, tumescent liposuction may be an option for you. Sometimes referred to as liposculpture, our physicians can safely and effectively remove a precise amount of fat from almost any part of the body.

Tumescent liposuction can permanently eliminate problem areas such as "saddle bags" or "love handles." Other commonly treated areas include the abdomen, upper arms, outer and inner thighs, knees, neck, breasts, waistline and buttocks.

What Does Tumescent Liposuction Involve?

Several small (1/4-inch) incisions are made in the skin, through which the surgeon inserts a little tube or cannula, attached to a suction device for removing unwanted fat. Your surgeon then carefully sculpts and removes fat to produce a new, contoured shape. The entire procedure usually takes less than 3 hours.

The skill and artistry of the surgeon is one of the main determinants of the final result from liposuction. This procedure is done under a local anesthesia and is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only a few incisions, as opposed to traditional liposuction where you are put under a general anesthesia.

Can the Fat Come Back?

Fat cells enlarge with weight gain. After liposuction, most fat cells are removed permanently. Any significant weight gain would usually result in enlargements of untreated areas.

Maintaining Good Results

It is very important that all patients considering liposuction be on a combination of diet and exercise before the procedure in order to have good results. This is even more important after the procedure.

What to Expect After Tumescent Liposuction

There is minimal pain or discomfort postoperation. Drainage from suction sites continues for approximately two to three days and then ceases. These sites heal with minimal scarring and are usually hidden in natural folds. Minor swelling may persist for up to two to three months after which one can expect to see the final sculptured result.

Patients must wear a compression garment, similar to a tight girdle, for one week following the procedure, and then 8 to 10 hours a day for the next one to two weeks to enhance healing. This helps the skin to assume its new, sculpted shape. Patients are able to resume normal physical activity in seven to 10 days after the procedure.