Awake anesthesia in Lipo Sculpting

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when doing LIPO seminars is how we do this without general anesthesia.  Our minimally invasive LipoSculpting uses what is known as Tumescent Anesthesia.  Basically we mix Xylocaine (Lidocaine) into an IV bag of normal saline and add Epinephrine and Bicarbonate to the mixture.  The Xylocaine is the same numbing medicine used by just about all doctors for doing minor skin lesion removal or for sewing up a wound.  It is also used in spinal and epidural preparations.  It is very similar to what your dentist uses when numbing your mouth.  We very carefully calculate the maximum amount of Xylocaine that we can use based on your weight and medicine profile.  The epinephrine is used to make the small blood vessels in the fat “spasm” closed so that it will minimize any blood loss during the procedure.  In addition it helps to slow the absorption of the Xylocaine so that the numbing is slow to wear off.  The bicarbonate is a buffering agent to raise the pH of the solution so that it won’t sting going in.

This solution is then placed under the skin of the area you are having sculpted.  We do this through small puncture holes strategically placed in your skin.  There is NO cutting or incisions involved.  The numbing solution works rapidly to numb the area but at the same time acts to spread out the fat so it is more easily treated and suctioned.  Yes, it provides complete numbing of the area without the need for general anesthesia.  More can be added during the course of the case if needed.  We do give you oral meds pre-procedure that will relax you and sometimes let you doze off during the case.  Nice thing is that you don’t have an anesthesia hangover afterwards.  Also nice is the excellent safety profile of this type of anesthesia.

Dr. ODell