In the not so distance past, Liposuction, or the removal of fat by suction, was a fairly risky procedure. Patients were usually treated in hospital operating rooms , had i.v.’s and were put out under general anesthesia. The surgery was often bloody, sometimes requiring blood transfusions. The surgical morbidity was high and the healing time was long.
This all changed in the late 1980’s when two dermatologic surgeons, Jeff Klein and Patrick Lillis of Loveland, Colorado pioneered a technique known as tumescent liposuction. In tumescent liposuction, the unwanted fat compartment is inflated or “tumesced” with a mixture of saline and dilute lidocaine anesthetic and epinephrine–one tenth or less of the normal concentration. It turns out that this mixture not only provides excellent anesthesia, but also is not significantly absorbed into the blood stream. Think of it as a more complete form of local anesthetic. As an added bonus, the dilute anesthetic mixture also constricts the blood vessel layer to the fat, allowing the fat to be removed almost bloodlessly.
With these landmark modifications, liposuction has become an extremely safe procedure that can be performed in the office or surgicenter under tumescent anesthesia. No general anesthesia, i.v.’s or transfusions. And the healing time is a fraction of what it once was.
Dr. Mott was formerly trained in tumescent liposuction during his surgical fellowship, and has been performing the procedure for over 15 years. He also utilizes some of the same techniques for facial surgery when undesired fat needs to be removed during a facelift for the optimal result.