Liposuction definition is derived from the word lipo and suction word derivates. Lipo is derived from the Greek word lipos which means fat. Suction is defined as the creation of a vacuum that can be created by negative pressure. When placed together, liposuction defines the act of removing fat using vacuum negative pressure. This pressure is created by a vacuum pump and administered to the soft tissues in the human body to remove fat.
Liposuction definition is intuitive in that surgeons may remove fat by creating a vacuum negative pressure. This negative pressure is then applied to the soft tissues through a hose that is connected to hollow cannulas. The hollow cannulas contain holes at the tip through which the fat is retrieved. Before suctioning the fat, the soft tissues are injected with a solution, called a tumescent solution. The tumescent solution contains lidocaine, a numbing agent, and epinephrine, a constricting compound that closes off the small vessels in the soft tissues. The effect of injecting the tumescent solution is that patients can have less discomfort following liposuction and can expect less leakage of blood products. Limiting leakage of blood products provides not only a safety role but also serves to minimize pain. This is because blood products activate sensory pain nerve endings.
Following injection of a tumescent solution, the fat is suctioned out as above. If patients undergo liposuction under general anesthesia, the volume of tumescent solution injected and removed is 1:1, called wet tumescent liposuction. This makes for a more controlled and safer volume fluid balance as the fluid injected and removed are equal. When liposuction is performed under local anesthetic solution, then the volume of injection to removal is threefold, or 3:1 termed super wet tumescent liposuction. Increase infiltration of tumescent solution serves to provide more lidocaine intended to provide pain control for patients that are awake during surgery. However, patients undergoing super wet liposuction techniques are more vulnerable to fluid shift concerns.