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The most often performed surgery for fat removal since the late ’80s…

Tumescent liposuction allows almost bloodless fat to be removed from the tissues. Because there is very little bleeding, the procedure is faster, relatively pain-free and safer, with minimal bruising and far less downtime than methods used decades ago.

A summary:

  • Since the 80s, tumescent liposuction has been the most popular method of liposuction
  • Tumescent liposuction uses tumescent anaesthesia
  • Tumescent anaesthesia is a form of local anaesthesia (using lignocaine/lidocaine) to numb the pain and epinephrine (adrenaline) to constrict the capillaries and prevent bleeding.
  • No general anaesthetic is required, and the patient can remain awake and mobile throughout the entire procedure
  • As tumescent anaesthesia reduces bleeding, bruising and swelling to the area, it helps with the healing time
  • All tumescent liposuction procedures are performed at our registered day clinic in South Yarra

Understanding tumescent liposuction

Lipo means related to fat, and liposuction is the process of removing fat.

The word ‘tumescent’ means swollen or engorged with blood. Similarly, tumescent anaesthesia is a technique commonly used in cosmetic procedures where fatty tissue is filled or engorged with large volumes of tumescent fluid. This fluid contains dilute local anaesthetic such as lidocaine, saline and epinephrine (adrenaline) to produce anaesthesia (pain relief), swelling and firmness in the targeted areas. The adrenaline constricts the capillaries and prevents bleeding, bruising and post-operative soreness – all of which improve healing time.

Tumescent liposuction procedure


Markers are drawn on the skin to outline the treatment area and ensure that the tumescent fluid is spread evenly, providing even results.

A syringe filled with tumescent fluid is inserted via a cannula into the skin, through the fatty layers, creating a tunnel. As the surgeon slowly removed the syringe, she deposits the anaesthetic fluid at regular intervals. Due to the lidocaine in the solution, this is a painless procedure.

Now that the area has become engorged, the surgeon can then go back in via the tunnel she has just created and start to vacuum the fat out with a specialised liposuction vacuum pump.

Throughout the procedure, Dr Feldman will have the patient stand, roll over and move in various positions to ensure that the results are even. Having a conscious, mobile patient is another benefit of local anaesthetic over general anaesthetic.

When the liposuction procedure is complete, the small incisions are taped together (no sutures are required as the incisions are so small), and the patient is immediately given an elastic support garment to wear to provide compression and encourage faster healing.

Is tumescent liposuction safe?


All surgical procedures carry risk. One risk is anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction to the lignocaine. This is why liposuction must be carried out at a registered day procedure by an experienced liposuction surgeon. Another risk is lignocaine toxicity, where the patient is injected with too much lignocaine. Dr Feldman is careful to only use the minimal amount of anaesthetic to avoid toxicity problems.

About our registered day surgery

Cosmetic Surgeon Dr Joni Feldman performs all her liposuction procedures at her registered day procedure centre, South Yarra Day Surgery, located in South Yarra, Melbourne (near Prahan, Richmond and Toorak).  The day surgery is accredited by Global-Mark for the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. This certification demonstrates an organisation’s compliance to the requirements of specific Australian industry codes of practice, ensuring more confidence in the clinic for both stakeholders and the community.

Treatments are performed discreetly in this stylishly appointed surgery with relaxing surrounds. Spacious and light, the building is easily accessible by public transport, with car parking available in the building.

For more information contact Dr Feldman’s office today