Safety of liposuction using exclusively tumescent local anesthesia in 3,240 consecutive cases

Dermatol Surg. 2009 Nov;35(11):1728-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01284.x. Epub 2009 Jul 29.


Background: Many surgeons consider liposuction using tumescent local anesthesia (TLA) to be a safe technique, but when TLA has been combined with other techniques, such as general anesthesia or intravenous medication, or when the guidelines associated with TLA have been violated, serious complications and deaths have occurred. This has resulted in uncertainty concerning the safety of liposuction using TLA, which this article seeks to resolve.

Objective: To investigate whether liposuction using TLA is a safe procedure.

Methods: The same surgeon performed liposuction using exclusively TLA in 3,240 procedures. Detailed records were kept of the complications that occurred.

Results: In a series of 3,240 procedures, no deaths occurred, and no complications requiring hospitalization were experienced. In nine cases, complications developed that needed further action.

Conclusions: Liposuction using exclusively TLA is a proven safe procedure provided that the existing guidelines are meticulously followed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, Local* / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Anesthetics, Local / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Local