This article is from the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery FAQ, by email@example.com (Robert Green) with numerous contributions by others.
The tumescent technique is a relatively new liposuction method that
can reduce post operative bruising, swelling and pain. Also, blood
loss is minimized during tumescent liposuction due to the effects of the
local anesthetic which is used.
In the tumescent technique, areas of excess fat are injected with a
large amount of anesthetic liquid before liposuction is performed.
The liquid causes the compartments of fat to become swollen and firm
or "tumesced." The expanded fat compartments allow the liposuction
cannula to travel smoothly beneath the skin as the fat is removed. This
can give multiple benefits -- extra precision for the surgeon, reduced
loss of blood for the patient, and extended pain relief after surgery,
which can reduce the need for pain medication immediately after surgery.