Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 574–588 | Cite as

Safe Total Corporal Contouring with Large-Volume Liposuction for the Obese Patient

  • Lakshyajit D. DhamiEmail author
  • Meenakshi Agarwal
Original Article


The advent of the tumescent technique in 1987 allowed for safe total corporal contouring as an ambulatory, single-session megaliposuction with the patient under regional anesthesia supplemented by local anesthetic only in selected areas. Safety and aesthetic issues define large-volume liposuction as having a 5,000-ml aspirate, mega-volume liposuction as having an 8,000-ml aspirate, and giganto-volume liposuction as having an aspirate of 12,000 ml or more. Clinically, a total volume comprising 5,000 ml of fat and wetting solution aspirated during the procedure qualifies for megaliposuction/large-volume liposuction. Between September 2000 and August 2005, 470 cases of liposuction were managed. In 296 (63%) of the 470 cases, the total volume of aspirate exceeded 5 l (range, 5,000–22,000 ml). Concurrent limited or total-block lipectomy was performed in 70 of 296 cases (23.6%). Regional anesthesia with conscious sedation was preferred, except where liposuction targeted areas above the subcostal region (the upper trunk, lateral chest, gynecomastia, breast, arms, and face), or when the patient so desired. Tumescent infiltration was achieved with hypotonic lactated Ringer’s solution, adrenalin, triamcinalone, and hyalase in all cases during the last one year of the series. This approach has clinically shown less tissue edema in the postoperative period than with conventional physiologic saline used in place of the Ringer’s lactate solution. The amount injected varied from 1,000 to 8,000 ml depending on the size, site, and area. Local anesthetic was included only for the terminal portion of the tumescent mixture, wherever the subcostal regions were infiltrated. The aspirate was restricted to the unstained white/yellow fat, and the amount of fat aspirated did not have any bearing on the amount of solution infiltrated. There were no major complications, and no blood transfusions were administered. The hospital stay ranged from 8 to 24 h for both liposuction and liposuction with a lipectomy. Serous discharge from access sites and serosanguinous fluid accumulation requiring drainage were necessitated in 32 of 296 cases (10.8%). Minor recontouring touch-ups were requested in 17 of 296 cases (5.7%). Early ambulation was encouraged for mobilization of third-space fluid shifts to expedite recovery and to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Follow-up evaluation ranged from 6 to 52 months, with 38 (12.8%) of 296 patients requesting further sessions for other new areas. Average weight reduction observed was 7 to 11.6 kg (approx. 4 to 10% of pre-operative body weight). Meticulous perioperative monitoring of systemic functions ensures safety in tumescent megaliposuction for the obese, and rewarding results are achieved in a single sitting.


Large-volume liposuction Megaliposuction Obese Tumescent technique 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanavati Hospital and Vasudhan Arjin Cosmetic Surgery and Laser CenterMumbaiIndia

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