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Tumescent Anesthesia

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Principles of Tumescent Anesthesia

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

You may not know it...

But tumescent liposuction is named primarily for the type of anesthetic that is employed during the surgery.

This article delves into many aspects of tumescent liposuction and how it's used to give you the physique that you've always wanted.

Let's get started.

When was tumescent anesthesia developed?

Early liposuction surgery was a bloody, painful, and "dry" procedure – that required significant recovery time after surgery. And the results that patients could expect to see after surgery were "hit and miss". Sometimes patient's figures flaws were corrected, but many times the body's contour was made worse after this early liposuction procedure.

A young dermatologist from southern California, Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein, revolutionized liposuction in 1985 with the tumescent technique.

Development of the tumescent technique.

Dr. Klein combined low concentrations of lignocaine and epinephrine mixed with large volumes of saline to create a local anesthesia. Dr. Klein injected this fluid cocktail into the treatment area of his patients to block pain during surgery, but he also discovered that blood loss during surgery was reduced and recovery from surgery was drastically improved.


This was just the innovation that history needed to move liposuction from a rare oddity of a surgery, into the mainstream of society. With a relatively straight-forward procedure and little inconvenience for patients – people from all over the world can improve their figure-flaws with liposuction surgery.

Klein's Solution (named for its inventor) has become the gold-standard for liposuction surgery. It is the point where modern innovation has begun and grown from since the 1980's.

What are the potential side-effects?

Despite its benefits, tumescent anesthesia is not without some risk.

One of the major risks when using tumescent anesthesia on a patient is fluid overload. This can have a devastating effect on some patients. Any fluid injected into a body must be processed at some level by the heart. Hearts have to work harder to circulate the extra fluid. For some patients with heart conditions the extra burden can prove fatal.

Another potential risk of tumescent anesthesia are side-effects associated with lignocaine or epinephrine. Some patients are sensitive to these medications, and should not be exposed to them during surgery.

For these reasons and others, it is really important to discuss your health profile with your surgeon in complete detail. This allows your liposuction doctor to recommend the proper surgery, and recovery protocol for you.

In Conclusion:

Tumescent anesthesia is an invention that has made liposuction a household word in our vocabulary today. But despite is many "pros" there are still some significant "cons" that must be considered before you have the surgery.

The best possible advice that we could give to anyone considering liposuction surgery – is to take your time to select a highly qualified, and experienced plastic surgeon for your procedure. Then tell him or her about your health history not withholding any important information.

Your safety depends on it.

This is a REEEE-A-A-A-LLY relevant video:

Meet Dr. Klein the inventor of tumescent lipo...

Tumescent Anesthesia References:

  • Venkataram Jayashree. "Tumescent liposuction: A Review. (CME)(Clinical report)." Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 1.2 (July-Dec 2008): 49. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.

  • Murray, Louann W. "Liposuction." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. 3rd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 2228-2231. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web 29 Mar. 2010.

  • "Tumescent liposuction: Standard guidelines of care. (Recommendations)." Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. 74.7 (Jan 2008): 54. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale July 2009.

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