Tumescent fluid is a solution that eases the removal of fat during liposuction. Tumescent means “swollen,” and tumescent fluid causes the treatment area becomes firm and fat cells engorged so that they can be removed with less damage to the surrounding tissues. The dilute solution also numbs the area and minimizes bleeding.
Each of the components in tumescent fluid serves an important role in aiding in the efficiency and safety of liposuction. It helps patients to remain comfortable throughout their procedure, and even ensures a faster recovery once it is complete. Tumescent fluid allows for the safest, most effective fat removal, and has been used since the 1980s in surgical procedures. Today, it is also used in more advanced liposuction techniques like VASER.
Before and After Photos
Tumescent fluid causes rigidity and distention in the treatment area. This allows surgeons more access to the fatty tissue that needs to be removed during liposuction, and prevents damage to the surrounding tissues. So, tumescent fluid is pretty important! Before tumescent fluid was used during liposuction, surgeons performed the “dry technique,” and because of the damage to surrounding tissues, patients would lose a significant amount of blood during surgery and often require blood transfusions. In 1985, Dr. Jeffrey Klein introduced the use of tumescent fluid, which was formulated to avoid this dangerous complication. The addition of tumescent fluid was a groundbreaking development for this popular body contouring procedure, and became described as the “wet technique.”
A tumescent solution is a combination of lidocaine, epinephrine, bicarbonate, and saline. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that keeps the patient comfortable even after the procedure has been completed, and can help avoid the need for general anesthesia. Epinephrine, or adrenaline, causes blood vessel walls to contract, which reduces bleeding during surgery. This vasoconstriction also prolongs the anesthetic effects of the lidocaine because it is not absorbed as quickly. So, surgery can be performed for an extended period of time and postoperative discomfort is delayed. The addition of bicarbonate to the solution neutralizes the acid in the lidocaine, and prevents an uncomfortable stinging effect after injection.  Saline acts to dilute the lidocaine and epinephrine and ensures that they evenly permeate the tissue. The amount of tumescent fluid used can be modified based on the volume of fat needing to be removed, and the area being treated. 
Tumescent fluid can be injected into the fat in a number of ways. Common methods include syringes, pressure cuffs, and power pumps, and pressure is an important part of this infiltration as it ensures even distribution. 
VASER Lipo with Tumescent Fluid
Tumescent fluid is a crucial part of VASER lipo. After the fluid is injected, the ultrasound waves emitted from the device cause the formation of bubbles. It is these bubbles that help disturb the fat cells in within the treatment area and separate them from connective tissue. The separation makes it easier for the surgeon to then suction away the fat cells allowing for a gentler procedure.
Tumescent fluid is an important part of all liposuction methods performed today. It allows for the precise and efficient removal of the targeted fat cells without the need for general anesthesia with minimal to no blood loss. By avoiding general anesthesia, there are fewer associated risks and the body has an easier time recovering.
Further, tumescent liposuction techniques performed by Denver’s liposuction experts achieve 50-100% more fat removal than Advanced Body Sculpting Institutes’ competitors.
Candidates for tumescent liposuction at Advanced Body Sculpting Institute in Denver, CO are those who wish to surgically remove fat after not seeing desired results through dieting and exercising. These potential candidates should be close to their ideal body weight and have pockets of fat they want to be removed to reveal their ideal figure. Patients should not be clinically obese with the goal of weight loss; liposuction is not a weight-loss treatment. It is reserved for those who have localized fat deposits they cannot slim through their own hard efforts.
You’ll discuss your options and the best liposuction approach to meet your goals during your personal consultation. You and your surgeon will have an informative and honest conversation about your cosmetic concerns, your goals, and your medical history. You’ll receive an examination of the areas that you’d like to treat. Then, we’ll be able to recommend the best body contouring approach, and whether you are a good candidate for liposuction. No two cases are alike; a personalized surgical plan will be created for your specific case.
Call Advanced Body Sculpting Institute in Denver, CO at (303) 708-8770 to schedule your tumescent liposuction consultation. Your beautifully sculpted body awaits you.
To best prepare for tumescent liposuction, you must refrain from smoking, drinking, and taking certain anti-inflammatory medications and herbal supplements. Following your preoperative instructions will help avoid unnecessary swelling and bruising, and allow you to enjoy a more comfortable healing process with optimal results.
Rest and relaxation are important during the healing process, so to set yourself up for success, you should make sure all prescribed medications and other recovery items are picked up and purchased prior to the day of surgery. That way you can take it easy for a smooth, easy recovery.
Liposuction usually takes two to four hours depending on how many areas are being treated. The process begins with the injection of the tumescent fluid solution. The surgeon will then wait about 15 minutes for the solution to fully take effect. During this period, the surgeon will mark and create entry points for the cannula. The thin cannula is then inserted into these tiny incisions to access the swollen fat for removal.
The cannula is moved to and fro so that the unwanted fat is removed effectively, and smooth contours can be achieved. If VASER is being performed, ultrasound waves are emitted to agitate the tumescent fluid, and create further cavitation in the fatty tissue so that it can be removed, and that remaining fat will be structurally compromised and collapse. A compression garment will be wrapped around the treatment areas to prevent swelling and ensure smooth, even results.
Because of tumescent fluid, liposuction is faster, and less traumatic, so patients have a much more comfortable recovery than in the early days of this cosmetic procedure. The lidocaine in the residual tumescent fluid continues to keep the treated areas numb, and less blood flow allows it to stay in place longer, so patients can remain comfortable after their surgery is complete.
Entry points are small enough to remain open safely, allowing for optimal drainage, and, in turn, less swelling. Compression garments also help lessen these effects. 
When any residual swelling subsides, and you’ve finished the healing process, you’ll be able to enjoy the results of your liposuction procedure, and the advantages that tumescent fluid has provided. These results are long-lasting, and if you maintain ideal eating habits and exercise you’ll be able to continue the rest of your life with improvements that you can be proud of!
Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
Brazilian Butt Lift
A Brazilian Butt Lift is a procedure that utilizes unwanted fat removed with liposuction. The fat is then purified and artfully injected into particular locations on the buttocks that will improve the shape, increase the size, and enhance the overall contour.
Our Denver body sculpting experts can enhance your post-baby body with a Mommy Makeover. If you have given birth, your stomach may have loose, stretched skin or stubborn “baby” weight. While your little miracle was definitely worth it, the desire to correct the cosmetic results of having a baby is definitely understandable. A Mommy Makeover is a combo procedure that includes multiple body sculpting procedures. Most often, VASER lipo and a tummy tuck are performed, but it does not have to be limited to just these procedures. A Mommy Makeover can also include procedures like a Brazilian Butt Lift.
The goal of a Mommy Makeover is to provide mothers with beautiful results that suit their unique figures.
The price of tumescent liposuction depends on which liposuction method is used in combination with tumescent fluid. The number of areas will also affect the price. For a limited time, Advanced Body Sculpting Institute is offering 50% off of the third treatment area. Contact us to see when this offer expires.
Is tumescent fluid safe?
Tumescent fluid actually makes liposuction procedures safer. The special combination of components has specific purposes, as discussed previously in this blog. Tumescent fluid is designed to make liposuction surgery easier and recovery smoother.
- Venkataram J. Tumescent liposuction: a review. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2008;1(2):49-57. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.44159
- Sarkar A, Chatterjee SS. A simple method of injecting tumescent fluid for liposuction. Indian J Plast Surg. 2011;44(3):498-500. doi:10.4103/0970-0358.90837
- Klein JA, Jeske DR. Estimated Maximal Safe Dosages of Tumescent Lidocaine. Anesth Analg. 2016;122(5):1350-1359. doi:10.1213/ANE.0000000000001119