Tumescent Liposuction Overview

Tumescent Liposuction OverviewLiposuction, which is also known as lipoplasty or liposculpting, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed. Often, localized fat deposits may develop in various regions of the body. These regions usually persist in spite of proper diet and exercise, which contributes to the disproportionate appearance of the figure. Liposuction works by removing excess fat tissue, which reshapes body contours and creates a slimmer appearance.

Tumescent liposuction results are permanent. After puberty, we do not create new fat cells. When you gain weight, you expand the fat cells that you already have. Tumescent liposuction permanently removes fat cells to improve your body’s contour. Should you gain weight after liposuction, it goes to the fat cells that remain in your body. Localized fatty deposits that existed prior to liposuction can no longer become disproportional to surrounding areas of the body.

Common Liposuction Areas

  • Abdomen
  • Waist (Love Handles)
  • Flanks/Back
  • Hips (Saddlebags)
  • Neck/Face
  • Arms
  • Chest
  • Bra Roll
  • Outer Thighs
  • Inner Thighs
  • Buttocks
  • Knees

* Results may vary

Women frequently desire better contour for their abdomen, love handles, outer and inner thighs, hips, buttocks, back, knees and neck/chin region.

lipo2 female-body-outline

Men often request contouring of their flanks, love handles, chest, abdomen and neck line.

male-body-outline lipo3

Dr. Miller uses the LipoLite (laser-assisted lipolysis) technology frequently in combination with his tumescent liposuction procedures. This is a minimally invasive technology that liquefies fat for easy removal. It is a laser based procedure that breaks up and removes fat cells and directly contract collagen and tightens the skin.

Liposuction can be performed alone, or it can be performed with other procedures. It is not an effective treatment for cellulite, stretch marks, or obesity. Liposuction can be performed on multiple areas at one time. Dr. Miller follows accepted guidelines regarding safe volumes which may be removed in one procedure.


lipo4A good candidate for tumescent liposculpting should be healthy and relatively fit, have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone and be within 30% of their ideal weight.

Other criterion includes:

  • Patients with existing fatty deposits in areas that are not reduced by diet and exercise.
  • Patients who desire a better overall shape and contour and are within normal weight range.
  • Patients with certain areas that are out of proportion (such as thighs or hips) to the rest of the body.

LipoSculpting Procedure

While there are several different liposuction techniques, the tumescent technique is the most common type of liposuction procedure. Dr. Miller uses the tumescent technique because of its proven track record of:

  1. Excellent results
  2. Uncompromised safety
  3. Short patient recovery time
  4. Patient comfort

Prior to removing fat, tumescent fluid is injected into the treatment area through a small needle. This solution, which is composed of saline solution, lidocaine, and epinephrine, diffuses throughout the treatment area providing numbness and minimizing blood loss while facilitating fat removal.

lipo6 lipo7

The procedure can take between 1-3 hours, depending on the number of areas needing augmentation. Frequently, Dr. Miller will use an exciting new technology known as LipoLite to enhance the results of tumescent liposuction. Dr. Miller makes tiny openings in the skin in well-hidden areas that allow access to the regions of fat that are targeted for removal.

lipo5A liposuction cannula is then inserted into the fat layer beneath the skin which loosens and breaks apart the fat tissue in the area. A suction device hooked to the end of the cannula suctions the fat out of the body. The tiny incision sites are so small that they are allowed to heal without stitches. Leaving the incision sites open also facilitates the healing process.


Tumescent anesthetic is used which is a combination of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine. Advantages of tumescence include improved safety, comfort, and control of bleeding. An oral sedation medication such as Valium or Ativan is frequently used to enhance patient comfort.

Before and After Pictures

BW-before BW-after

* Results may vary

maria-before maria-after

* Results may vary


lipo8You may experience some pain, swelling, and bruising following the procedure. Your physician may suggest that you wear a compression garment for two to six weeks, which will be an important part of your recovery process. A compression garment is tight-fitting and holds the tissues together while providing comfort and support as you heal. The compression garment controls swelling by preventing fluid build-up in the treatment area and also helps the skin conform to the new contours of the body.

You will likely be able to return to work in a few days and resume normal activity in approximately one to two weeks. You may be able to notice an improvement in your appearance very soon after surgery. An even greater improvement should be noticeable within four to six weeks following the procedure, as the swelling subsides. The final results will most likely be noticeable in approximately three months. It is important to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine following the procedure as liposuction does not prevent weight gain.

Additional Aesthetic Procedures

Liposuction is frequently combined with additional cosmetic procedures such as fat transfer to the face, fat transfer to the breast, Brazilian butt lift, neck lift and laser skin resurfacing.

Liposuction FAQ’s

What is tumescent liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction is a liposuction technique that involves the use of tumescent anesthesia. Tumescent anesthesia is a form of dilute lidocaine (a very commonly used local anesthetic) that is prepared with saline, bicarbonate, and epinephrine.

Is tumescent liposuction safe?
Tumescent liposuction is widely regarded as the safest liposuction procedure available. The combination of conservative removal of fat, limited number of body areas done at one time, combined with excellent control of bleeding make tumescent liposuction the gold standard for liposuction.

What are the advantages of tumescent liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction has several advantages. This technique is very safe and effective. This preparation of lidocaine is very effective at making the targeted regions of the body numb. The epinephrine that it is mixed with constricts the blood vessels and blood loss during the procedure is minimal. The effects of epinephrine also help to minimize bruising. The bicarbonate that is mixed with the lidocaine helps to minimize the burning sensation as the anesthetic is infused.

Is liposuction a weight loss procedure?
No. Liposuction is a contouring procedure. It should not be considered as a weight loss procedure.

How many areas of the body can be worked on in one procedure?
Generally, two areas of the body can be contoured in one sitting. The limiting factors include the total amount of fat that can be safely removed and the amount of anesthetic required to make sure the patient is numb. Combinations of areas that are commonly performed include but are not limited to the abdomen and love handles, or the love handles and outer thighs. Dr. Miller performs a comprehensive history and physical examination of each patient and designs a treatment program that will meet each patient’s unique needs.

How much recovery time can I anticipate?
Most patients are able to return to work after 3-5 days. Patients will routinely experience drainage from the infusion sites for several days after surgery which helps facilitate the healing process. Patients are encourage to be up and walking around immediately following surgery and can gradually increase the level of exertion over the next two weeks.

Am I a good candidate for liposuction?
A good candidate for liposuction should be a healthy, relatively fit individual with firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone, and be within 30% of their ideal body weight. Other criterion includes:

  • Patients with existing fatty deposits in areas that are not reduced by diet and exercise.
  • Patients who desire a better overall shape and contour and are within normal weight range.
  • Patients with certain areas that are out of proportion (such as thighs or hips) to the rest of the body.

Is any type of dressing required?
Yes. Patients wear compression garments for a few weeks following surgery in order to facilitate the healing process.

Meet Dr. Miller

Meet Our Surgeon - Dr. Todd Miller

What draws Dr. Miller specifically to Facial Plastic Surgery is being able to provide patients with a unique skill set involving the head and neck. He has performed a vast number of facial cosmetic procedures. He has authored articles for national publications and made numerous presentations at national and regional meetings. He is a board certified member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. More...

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