CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Aug. 7, 2000
UI Dermatology Clinic offers low-anesthetic, outpatient liposuction procedure
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care dermatologists have stepped
up their use of a low-anesthetic technique to perform liposuction on an outpatient
basis. The UI Dermatology Clinic began offering the procedure last fall on
a limited basis.
Known as pure tumescent technique, the procedure uses diluted lidocaine
as a local anesthetic and epinephrine to reduce bleeding. The pure tumescent
technique eliminates the need for intravenous medication or fluid replacements
and allows rapid recovery following surgery. UI dermatologists using the pure
tumescent technique are certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
"There is a place for both pure tumescent technique and full anesthetic
use in liposuction," said Duane C. Whitaker, M.D., UI professor of dermatology
and head of dermatologic surgery. "Our goal in dermatology is to use
the pure tumescent technique, which has two major benefits. The local anesthesia
is very comfortable for the patient and, most important, it is extremely safe."
The UI dermatologists will usually treat a limited area, such as the hips
or abdomen, in one outpatient session or treat a larger area through several
With the pure tumescent technique, many patients can go to work or resume
other normal activities the same day following treatment, said David A. Davis,
M.D., UI associate in dermatology.
The pure tumescent technique was developed in 1987 by a dermatologic surgeon.
After the local anesthetic is injected into the area to be treated, the dermatologic
surgeons insert canulas, or metal tubes, through tiny incisions made in the
skin. Excess fat is drawn through the canulas, with care taken to sculpt the
body. Because patients remain alert, some choose to observe the procedure
as it is done.
"The ideal candidate for the procedure is close to his or her ideal
body weight but has persistent problem areas of localized fat that they can't
exercise off," Davis said.
Whitaker emphasized that the liposuction treatment is not a treatment for
obesity or being overweight.
"People need to be doing their best to control their weight through
diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle," Whitaker said.
Many people have their abdomen, waist and thighs reduced. Through a series
of procedures, people can have their entire torso or larger areas treated.
Other treatment areas include the arms, face and chin/neck areas. The female
to male ratio of patients seeking treatment is about 10 to 1.
People must be in good overall health and not have any chronic or unstable
health conditions to be candidates for the pure tumescent technique of liposuction.
Post-treatment includes the use of special bandages and spandex garments
on the affected skin and a minimum of one follow-up visit. Physicians will
also prescribe Tylenol and sometimes a muscle relaxant. Insurance does not
cover the procedure.
As with all medical conditions, it is best to seek the advice of your family
physician before making any changes to your health routine.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.