Most people mistakingly associate cosmetic surgery with Plastic Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery is comprised of a broad group of procedures to rejuvenate the skin, structure and shapes of the face and body. These procedures are performed by many specialties including dermatologists. In the early 1990’s a huge paradigm shift occurred. Patients were seeking less drastic results in a safer environment to minimize the risks associated with general anesthesia. Not too long before this shift, a dermatologist named Jeffrey Klein, brought forth tumescent anesthesia, a local form of anesthesia which made it possible to have procedures such as liposuction, possible in an office on a fully conscious patient in the office setting. This, along with the explosion of research and technology, put dermatologists like my self in the best position to provide these “minimally invasive” procedures that patient’s wanted and were seeking. Dermatologists were the pioneers of these procedures including, tumescent liposuction, Lasers, injectable fillers, and hair transplantation to name a few. Much of the research and studies in these areas was performed by dermatologists. I had the pleasure of training under Dr. Klein in the 90’s, where I learned the art of utilizing tumescent anesthesia for liposculpture.
The use of tumescent anesthesia was and still is the cornerstone of my practice, since it allows me to perform procedures in a much safer environment for my patients. It has many advantages. First, it allows for total avoidance of the cost, risk, and downtime of sedation or general anesthesia. Secondly, it provides a profound numbing effect, which keeps my patients comfortable enough to have the procedure while awake. Additionally, since it is a dilute lidocaine solution with epinephrine, it provides bleeding control, which minimizes risk of hemorrhage and bruising. It provides hydration to replenish the insensible fluid losses of surgery, and finally, it expands the skin and fat layer away from vital structures during the procedure.
I currently use tumescent anesthesia for skin cancer removal, liposuction, C02 laser resurfacing, mini-lifts, and hair transplantation. I am very proud to have learned this technique, and I am very grateful to the leaders in my field like Jeffrey Klein. This technique allows me to deliver safety and results to my patients.