A very common cosmetic procedure today, Tumescent Lipo-contouring or Liposculpture is often the answer to improve body contours and to reduce stubborn pockets of fat of the stomach area, upper arms, neck, outer and inner thighs, inner knees, buttocks, waist, “love handles” (flanks), and back, as well as other areas like braline fat and armpit fat.
The term “tumescent” refers to putting a solution of salt water, numbing medicine (lidocaine), and a small amount of adrenaline directly into the fatty areas to be treated by lipo-contouringh. The fat absorbs this solution and is then ready to be removed carefully by lipo-contouring with either or both of SmartLipo or Tickle Lipo, which commonly is done using a machine to create the appropriate suction to remove the unwanted fat.
A long plastic tube connected to the suction machine is connected to a small cannula (small, blunt metal tube) which is inserted into the fat pocket areas through tiny skin incisions. There are new ways to get better results these days – Dr. Barnes was the first physician to use Tickle Lipo on the West Coast.
Tickle Lipo is based on vibrations set up by a special cannula that actually tickles many patients as he removes fat. The actual name is Nutational Infrasonic Liposuction. He also uses SmartLipo, a laser fiber that passes under the skin to result in additional fat reduction and more skin tightening due to tissue heating effects. Both of the new technologies result in better and faster results for his lipo-contouring patients and help get them back to work faster. He uses them together at times depending on the needs of each individual patient – some need more skin tightening so Dr. Barnes offers the SmartLipo in addition to Tickle Lipo body contouring.
Dr. Barnes holds the Tickle Lipo or SmartLipo cannula in his hand and carefully moves the tip of the cannula throughout the fat pockets and actually is “sculpting” the areas with vibration effects or heating effects of SmartLipo. Removing the right amount fat in the right way is as much an art as it is an important surgical procedure.
Dr. Barnes refers to this body and facial fat contouring procedures as “lipo-contouring” rather “liposuction” these days because new technologies offer new options and big benefits for his patients – Like SmartLipo Laser and Tickle Lipo. In addition, he uses his “Lipo-Laser” (Erchonia Low Level Therapy Laser) which also helps promote healing, decrease swelling and discomfort and he uses it over the treated areas after the procedure and the following visits.
Tickle Lipo and SmartLipo are very popular today because they result in faster procedures, less discomfort, less bruising, and are often done awake. Patient safety is always the number one priority.
After the tumescent lipo-contouring procedures, patients wear compression garments for a number of weeks (2-3) which greatly enhances the final results in terms of smoothness and natural appearance.
Many patients are working in a a day or two and working out the next day, but depending on the number of areas treated, sometimes our patients plan on a week off before returning to full daily activities. Most are always up and around doing things – even the next day – especially if Tickle Lipo and/or SmartLipo are used. The healing is much faster and there is less swelling, discomfort and bruising.
Often lipo-contouring is done awake but at times intravenous sedation is preferred – like when wisdom teeth are removed. The amount of post-operative discomfort varies with the amount of lipo-contouring is done and the specific patient. It is usually described as “soreness” for a number of days.