A recent major improvement in technique involves the injection of large amounts of fluid into the fatty tissue at the start of the operation.
This fluid contains medication designed to limit blood loss and reduce postoperative discomfort. The technique, called the tumescent technique, has allowed safer removal of larger amounts of fat with less post operative pain and bruising. The decrease in surgical blood loss resulting from this technique has allowed us to safely remove larger amounts of fat, and has also made the recovery period much easier for patients.
Years ago, when the removal of large volumes of fat was anticipated, patients were asked to “bank” one or two units of their own blood to be replaced during surgery. This is called autologous transfusion. With the advent of the tumescent technique, autologous transfusion has become extremely rare.
Blood replacement is not needed for routine liposuction surgery today.
Liposuction surgery is well-suited to an outpatient facility. The operation is carried out under general anesthesia. Pain is usually quite moderate and can easily be controlled with oral medication. However, vigorous exercise or rapid body movements during early recovery can increase swelling and pain significantly.