How Tumescent Liposuction Is Performed

Buttock and Breast Augmentation (NYC), Park Plaza Plastic Surgery New York (NY)

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 300,000 liposuction procedures are performed each year, making it one of the most popular cosmetic options available. The most popular form of liposuction is called tumescent liposuction and is deemed the safest and most effective. During your initial consultation, Dr. Lefkovits will go into detail with how tumescent liposuction is performed and explain all the benefits and possible complications with the procedure.


Liposuction is not an alternative weight loss solution. Only five liters of fat can be safely removed from your body at any one time as an outpatient. The procedure is designed to remove the subcutaneous layers of fat from areas of your body that prove resistant to diet and exercise. You are a good candidate for tumescent liposuction if you are in good overall health, have already reached your weight loss goals, and have satisfactory skin tone or elasticity.

During the Procedure

Dr. Lefkovitz injects a solution into the treatment area to prepare the fat cell for removal. The solution causes the fat cells to expand (tumesce). The amount of solution to be injected is approximately one to two times the volume of fat that is to be removed so it must be introduced slowly.

The solution is made of the following components in specific ratios:

  • Saline - basically salt water that matches your body's fluid composition very closely
  • Lidocaine - a type of local anesthesia
  • Epinepherine - a vaso-constrictor used to control bleeding

After the solution is introduced, Dr. Lefkovits inserts a small cannula through tiny incisions in the treatment area. This cannula is hooked up to a small suction canister and he proceeds to vacuum out the unwanted fat cells. The saline solution and the movement of the cannula break up the resistant cells for easy removal. The body reabsorbs broken cells that are not removed after a few weeks when the results of the procedure are fully realized.

After the Procedure

Tumescent liposuction surgery can be performed on an inpatient basis if necessary, but is most frequently performed as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. The improvement should be noticeable immediately, but the full results may not be known for up to twelve weeks as the body reabsorbs the remaining fat cells and swelling subsides. You can begin to exercise in two weeks.

Liposuction is often performed in conjunction with other body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck. In those cases, the recovery time is dictated by those procedures as well.

Learn more about tumescent liposuction on our frequently asked questions about tumescent liposuction page.

If you would like to find out how to get rid of excess fat pockets that have been resistant to diet and exercise, please contact New York City tumescent liposuction specialist Dr. George Lefkovits.