The Tumescent Technique

The Tumescent Technique

The Tumescent Technique and VASER® Lipo System

Tumescent means to become swollen. Tumescent liposuction involves the use of a diluted solution made up of epinephrine and lidocaine. This solution is injected into the fat underneath the skin, causing the area to swell and firm up. (*The surgeon then uses a small surgical instrument to suction away the excess fatty deposits).


The Tumescent Technique was developed in 1985 by Dr. Jeffrey A. Klien, M.D., a dermatologist from California. Prior to 1985, liposuction was quite a bit more risky, often causing so much blood loss that patients frequently required a blood transfusion. Vasoconstriction, resulting from the dilute epinephrine used in the Tumescent Technique, has virtually eliminated blood loss during the liposuction procedure. This method is now considered the safest, most effective form of liposuction.


Tumescent liposuction can significantly reduce some of the common side effects of older procedures. The epinephrine/lidocaine solution temporarily reduces the size of the capillaries, which results in significantly less blood loss. The majority of patients only lose about 15-30 ml of blood. It also helps reduce pain, bruising, and swelling post-surgery.


As with any surgery, there are risks associated with the tumescent technique; although the risks are minimal. If the amount of lidocaine in the solution is too high, a patient could get lidocaine toxicity. There is also a risk of fluid accumulation if too much solution is injected. These are risks a prospective candidate should discuss with his/her doctor prior to surgery.

Ideal Candidate

This surgery is not meant as a substitute for weight loss. The ideal candidate should have already achieved an ideal body weight and have elastic and firm skin. The procedure is most effective on a few problem areas which are difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise alone.

Dr. Klien’s discovery has significantly reduced the risks associated with liposuction. The Tumescent Technique has eliminated the need for blood transfusions common in older forms of liposuction procedures. In addition, these surgeries do not require hospitalization and general anesthesia is not used. Patients now recover faster, experience less pain, and receive optimal cosmetic results. The Tumescent Technique is the safest liposuction technique available, and has now become the world-wide standard of care.

VASER® Lipo System

By combining the Tumescent Technique with the VASER® Lipo System, patients can anticipate fast, consistent results and a quick recovery. This system is the only one available with the ability to differentiate between the targeted fat and the surrounding tissue, which means the surgeon can safely break up the unwanted fat while preserving the connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels.

VASER® stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. It was designed by Sound Surgical Technologies, LLC and received FDA clearance for body contouring in 2002. Although fairly new, this procedure is comparatively safe with thousands performed worldwide without serious complications.

How It Works

First, the tumescent fluid is injected into the fatty tissue around the area to be suctioned. The VASER® system then uses ultrasonic waves to cause the fat cells to break apart and emulsify. This allows for easy removal of the fat using either a cannula or a massage.

Areas That Can Be Treated

This technique can be used anywhere where there are small pockets of extra fat. The most common areas include: abdominals, thighs, knees, buttocks, arms, love handles, breasts, hips, back, neck and chin.

Amount of Fat That Can Be Removed

It is important to remember that liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. The amount of fat that can typically be removed is equivalent to the amount of loose hanging fat you could grab on your belly if you stood up and bent forward. Some fat in the area is left untreated, so with significant weight gain this remaining fat will expand. It is important to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits in order to retain optimal results.


As with all cosmetic surgeries, results will vary per patient. Most patients start to see results immediately; however, final results may not be seen for up to 6 months. Results vary depending on the amount of fat removed and the number of sites treated.

Ideal Candidate

Again, this is not a substitute for weight loss. The ideal candidate is at a healthy weight seeking to treat stubborn areas difficult to lose with diet and exercise alone.

For more information please contact me,
Dr. Thomas Su M.D.
Artistic Lipo Sculpting Center
tampa smart lipo

Author: Dr. Thomas Su
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