Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that helps remove excess fat, shaping the body contours. Traditional liposuction is considered invasive surgery that involves the use of general anesthesia. Most people avoid getting the procedure due to the risks associated with anesthesia. Tumescent liposuction, also known as awake liposuction, can be performed without general anesthesia.
Understanding Awake Liposuction
Tumescent or awake liposuction is a procedure performed under local anesthesia. Also known as local liposuction, the procedure involves the use of saline, adrenaline, and local anesthesia before the fat removal. The saline injection used is two to three times more than the liquid and fat removed.
The procedure is safer than traditional liposuction while still providing the desired results. An advantage of the technique is that it helps prevent huge shifts in body fluids. A shift often occurs after the removal of large volumes of fat, which can cause low blood pressure.
During Awake Liposuction
Like regular liposuction, awake liposuction creates small incisions along the treatment area before fat cells are suctioned. Saline solution is infused to swell the skin, increasing the accuracy of fat removal.
Adrenaline in the solution functions as a vasoconstrictor that reduces the risk of bleeding. By using lidocaine instead of general anesthesia, patients can avoid such side effects as nausea, vomiting, hypothermia, and muscle aches. It also reduces the risk of headaches, sore throat, and delirium.
Benefits of Awake Liposuction
Awake liposuction is a good option for patients who need to remove three to five liters of fat. The benefits of the procedure include the following:
It does not involve general anesthesia, sparing patients from its related side effects. The procedure is completed much faster
The procedure is safer, with reduced risk of breathing complications, deep venous thrombosis, and other problems
It results in quicker recovery and less downtime. Most people can return to their daily routines after two or three days
The procedure reduces the risk of pain or soreness, bleeding, bruising, and rippling skin after surgery.
The procedure is more cost-effective than traditional liposuction. It does not include anesthesia costs and surgery center fees
Candidates for Awake Liposuction
The surgeon can help you determine if you are a good candidate for awake liposuction. Ideal candidates are individuals in good medical condition who are nonsmokers. People with underlying health conditions may not qualify for the procedure.
Good candidates are individuals within 30 percent of their recommended or ideal body weight. For best results, patients should have good muscle tone and skin elasticity. If you are searching for a weight loss treatment, the procedure may not be for you. Awake liposuction is not a cellulite treatment.
Potential Side Effects
As with all surgical procedures, awake liposuction has potential side effects. They include the following:
Mild burning sensation during the administration of the local anesthesia
Pain on the target site, which usually lasts several hours
Awake liposuction can take three to four hours, depending on the amount of fat removed. If you have stubborn fat in a small area, talk to your doctor about awake liposuction.
For more on awake liposuction, call Texas Plastic Surgery - Jaime R. Garza MD at 210.981.4490 to reach our San Antonio, Texas, office.