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Various Liposuction Techniques

Some procedures inject a special solution into the areas to be suctioned. The area is suctioned after the solution has caused the fatty tissue to swell. The solution might contain a local anesthetic to numb the area, a chemical to temporarily shrink capillaries to minimize blood loss, and a drug to decrease bruising and post-surgery swelling.

Other liposuction techniques include “ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty,” where fatty tissue is broken up by ultrasound before being removed by suction, and the “super-wet technique.”

The super-wet technique is similar to the tumescent, except that less fluid is injected; the amount is usually equal to the amount of fat removed. This technique requires IV sedation, or general anesthesia.

Tumescent micro-cannula liposuction uses extremely small tubes to sculpt the fat, sometimes requiring smaller skin incisions. This technique takes out smaller amounts of fat with each extraction, offering more control.

In addition to the local anesthetic in the tumescent solution, some doctors offer intravenous sedation. General anesthesia should be avoided when possible because it carries a greater risk.

Plastic surgeons may use more than one type of procedure when performing a liposuction. This might include a dry or tumescent technique, along with other variations of liposuction.

If a surgeon requests a client to donate blood prior to surgery, chances are he or she will use either a technique other than tumescent or other liposuction techniques in addition to it. According to Dr. Klein, the request for blood may be in anticipation of a blood transfusion.

There are also various instruments that can be used during the procedure. Many doctors use a traditional cannula — about the diameter of an adult’s little finger. When performing a facial liposuction, using a smaller cannula (1/8-inch or smaller) may increase overall surgery time, but incisions will be smaller and the risk of skin disfigurement greatly reduced. Puckering and other blemishes to the skin are mostly the result of the use of a larger-size cannula, frequently used during total-body liposuction to decrease surgery time.

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