Liposuction has come a long way and is now proving itself to be – when using tumescent liposuction techniques – a very low-risk, high-reward cosmetic procedure for body contouring.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure whereby a skilled cosmetic practitioner contours the body by removing stubborn fat pockets via suction. Treatments vary between individuals, from a tiny pocket of double chin fat to more extensive body treatments. The most popular areas we treat with liposuction include the back, hips, thighs, breasts, and tummy.
What is tumescent liposuction?
Tumescent liposuction is a procedure whereby your practitioner fills the treatment area with a fluid anaesthetic mixture that numbs the area, firms the treatment area, and restricts blood vessels. The tumescent liposuction technique has an excellent safety profile because it constricts blood vessels to restrain bleeding and bruising, and only a local anaesthetic is required. These combined elements mean a quicker recovery, smoother results and a more straightforward overall treatment.
An extensive study looked into a large swathe of liposuction patients and the adverse events and complication rate in the cohort of over 9,000 patients. Out of this patient group, incredibly just 19 mostly minor side effects were noted.
The study was completed from 2003 to 2020 using the same clinical team of surgeons. There were no deaths or damage to deeper structures (muscles, nerves, blood vessels, lungs, abdominal organs). Compared with older liposuction techniques, this is remarkable and a true testament to innovations in procedures with pioneering surgeons at the helm.
Who invented tumescent liposuction?
Dr Jeffrey Klein, an American dermatologic surgeon, invented the tumescent liposuction technique in 1987. Klein has a very impressive background in dermatology, maths, biostatistics, and pharmacology, clearly a keen scientific mind. Klein developed the tumescent local anaesthetic technique and took it global, considerably impacting patient outcomes from liposuction treatments.
What’s so great about tumescent liposuction?
Before 1987, all liposuction was performed under general anaesthetic and was associated with significant blood loss and a lengthy recovery period. This new technique revolutionised liposuction, making it safer for patients and more straightforward for surgeons to get great results.
The switch to local anaesthetic for the procedure improved the safety profile of liposuction considerably since general anaesthetic comes with more significant risks. With local anaesthetic, the patient is awake the whole time.
The anaesthetic has the vital role of constricting blood vessels. When the tiny tube (cannula) is inside the tissue, blood vessels break during the treatment. The blood loss from these vessels is almost nonexistent with the tumescent technique. When compared with older methods, this is a definite improvement.
Recovery is also much less dramatic. Now, we may only need Paracetamol as post-treatment pain relief; patients are back at work in a couple of days, and there is minimal swelling and bruising.
Within just a few short years, the tumescent liposuction technique has become the norm worldwide. You can see how Dr Klein revolutionised liposuction, with ENRICH Clinic’s very own Dr Michael Rich trained under Dr Klein in the United States in these early days. Dr Rich has been performing the tumescent technique on patients for over three decades.
Dr Rich opened one of Melbourne’s leading dermatology and cosmetic clinics offering patients world-class liposuction techniques and innovative technology. Dr Rich is an acclaimed liposuction specialist, chairing the liposuction symposium at the World Congress of Dermatology and chairing the liposuction symposium for the Australian College of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Your surgeon matters; choose wisely
There are incredible liposuction surgeons across the globe, with our very own liposuction expert Dr Rich being one such esteemed doctor. When you’re choosing who to work on your body, we recommend finding a reputable liposuction surgeon who can not only perform the procedure but also offer you the follow-up care and accountability you require.
When procedures are performed elsewhere, including at discount overseas holiday locations, it presents some follow-up care difficulties, mainly when the outcome leaves a lot to be desired. Once you leave the country where you had your procedure, correcting mistakes becomes significantly more difficult.
If you’ve been overseas and had a liposuction treatment with results you’re not happy with, it becomes nearly impossible to get further care from that clinic. You could end up spending a lot more money and undergoing additional surgeries to get your treatment imperfections smoothed out at a local clinic in Australia. We recommend starting with the best, receiving the best in clinical expertise and a liposuction expert who takes full responsibility for their work. Attentive aftercare is also a perk of liposuction with Dr Rich.
Is liposuction safe?
All medical procedures come with risks, but as you can see, Dr Klein and all the doctors he’s trained since then (like Dr Rich) have changed the landscape of liposuction across the past 30 years. While there exist a few groups of patients for whom liposuction is not a viable option, most patients can safely undergo the procedure and achieve the results they were looking for.
If you’re not sure if liposuction is right for you, we have other body contouring options we can explore with you in a consultation. Contact our friendly reception staff to make an appointment.
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