Tumescent Technique for Local Anesthesia Improves Safety in Large-Volume Liposuction

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The tumescent technique for local anesthesia improves the safety of large-volume liposuction (≥1500 ml of fat) by virtually eliminating surgical blood loss and by completely eliminating the risks of general anesthesia. Results of two prospective studies of large-volume liposuction using the tumescent technique are reported.

In 112 patients, the mean lidocaine dosage was 33.3 mg/kg, the mean volume of aspirated material was 2657 ml, and the mean volume of supranatant fat was 1945 ml. The mean volume of whole blood aspirated by liposuction was 18.5 ml. For each 1000 ml of fat removed, 9.7 ml of whole blood was suctioned. In 31 large-volume liposuction patients treated in 1991, the mean difference between preoperative and 1-week postoperative hematocrits was −1.9 percent. The last 87 patients received no parenteral sedation.

In a second study, a 75-kg woman received 35 mg/kg of lidocaine on two separate occasions, first without liposuction and 25 days later with liposuction; peak plasma lidocaine concentrations occurred at 14 and 11 hours after beginning the infiltration and were 2.37 and 1.86 μg/ml, respectively.

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