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Safe Extensive Tumescent Liposuction With Segmental Infiltration of Lower Concentration Lidocaine Under Monitored Anesthesia Care

Wang, Gang MD; Cao, Wei-Gang MD, PhD; Li, Sheng-Li MD, PhD; Liu, Li-Na MD; Jiang, Zhao-Hua MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182933de7
Aesthetic Surgery

Tumescent anesthesia makes it feasible to perform liposuction in an office setting. There are often patients who desire extensive liposuction on approximately 30% of total body surface area, which means the lidocaine total dose might be over the dosing recommendation. So the segmental infiltration is applied, although the concentration of lidocaine in tumescent fluid is gradually reduced to 0.0252%. Moreover, supplemental intravenous (IV) sedation using monitored anesthesia care is usually applied concurrently to help alleviate discomfort and pain of the patients during tumescent anesthetic infusion and fat extraction which in turn increases the risks of potential lidocaine toxicity due to possible drug interactions. This study was to demonstrate the safety of segmental infiltration of tumescent fluid with lower lidocaine concentration combined with IV sedation in extensive liposuction and determine whether the risk of lidocaine toxicity is increased in this protocol. Ten female patients who requested the extensive liposuction participated in the study. The targeted areas were divided into 2 segments and treated in turn in 1 session. Lidocaine (1600 mg) was infiltrated into the first segment, and approximately 928 mg lidocaine was subsequently infiltrated after accomplishment of the first segment operation. Serum levels of lidocaine were taken every 4 hours during the first 24 hours after the second infiltration. The average time of the procedure is 222 (33) minutes. The dose and total amount of lidocaine injected are 40.7 (5.8) mg/kg and 2528.2 (155.2) mg, respectively. The total volume of the infusates and aspirates are 9918.1 (494) and 6325 (1461.6) mL, respectively, the ratio of total infusates to total aspirates is 1.66 (0.45). The total aspirated fat and fluids are 3280 (1051.8) and 3045 (824.1) mL, respectively. The peak lidocaine levels [2.18 (0.63) μg/mL] occurred after 12 to 20 hours [16.4 (2.27) hours]. No significant correlation between dose per kilogram body weight or total dose of lidocaine infiltrated and its peak levels or time existed. The extensive liposuction covering the 30% total body surface areas was well tolerated by the patients under tumescent anesthesia in combination with the supplemental IV sedation. Our previous study on the fluid management has demonstrated the risk of hypovolemia or fluid overload is very low with this technique, although the patients who received only maintenance fluid (500 mL) in the operating room and could discharge and resume oral intake after 6 hours of recovery room stay. The adequate anesthesia support is available in our office-based setting with adequate recovery facilities in place. It has a high margin of safety, without increasing of lidocaine toxicity or adverse cardiopulmonary sequelae while using a segmental tumescent infiltration with lower concentration of lidocaine.

From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Received August 27, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, March 20, 2013.

Supported by a grant from the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Wei-Gang Cao, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Zhi-Zao-Ju Rd 639, Shanghai 200011, China. E-mail:

© 2015 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins