Dry Technique


Dry Technique (no longer used) required general anesthesia. The dry technique derived its name from the fact that it did not use injections of local anesthesia into the fat before liposuction. This technique was abandoned because of the excessive blood loss it caused. Blood composed approximately thirty percent (30%) of the tissue that was removed by liposuction using the dry technique.

Comparing Dry and Tumescent Techniques

The following two abstracts are excerpts from two articles published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, and are provided to help you compare the differences in blood loss associated with the dry technique and the tumescent technique for liposuction. With the older dry technique for liposuction every patient required hospitalization, general anesthesia and blood transfusion because of the significant blood loss. The newer tumescent technique permitted liposuction in an office setting, totally by local anesthesia, and without any blood loss.

• Large-Volume Suction Lipectomy: An Analysis of 108 Patients (by Eugene H. Courtiss, M.D., et al., Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA).

We have treated 108 patients who had over 1500 ml of material removed. All patients were treated in the hospital; 44 percent were admitted after surgery. A total of 227 units of autologous and 2 units of homologous blood were transfused. As measured by a computerized monitor, the average amount of blood in the material removed from thighs was 30 percent; from abdomens, the blood loss was 45 percent. No complications were encountered. A few patients developed undesirable sequelae, the most common of which was seroma formation, which occurred in 19 percent of those who had suction of abdominal-wall fat. (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, volume 89, pages 1068-1079,1992).

• Tumescent Technique for Local Anesthesia Improves Safety in Large-Volume Liposuction (by Jeffrey A. Klein, M.D., Capistrano Surgicenter, San Juan Capistrano, CA).

The tumescent technique for local anesthesia improves the safety of large-volume liposuction ( 1,500 ml fo fat) by virtually eliminating surgical blood loss and by completely eliminating the risks of general anesthesia. Results of two prospective studies of large-volume liposuction using the tumescent technique are reported. In 112 patients, the mean lidocaine dosage was 33.3 mg/kg, the mean volume of aspirated material was 2657 ml, and the mean volume of supranatant fat was 1945 ml. All patients were treated as outpatients. There were no hospitalizations. There were no transfusions. There were no complications. There were no seromas. The mean volume of whole blood aspirated by liposuction was 18.5 ml. For each 1000 ml of fat removed, 9.7 ml of whole blood was suctioned. In 31 large volume liposuction patients treated in 1991, the mean difference between preoperative and 1-week postoperative hematocrits was -1.9 percent. The last 87 patients received no parental sedation.(Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, volume 92, pages 1085-1098,1993).