Tumescent Liposuction (TLS) and Fat Transfer (FT) - Medical Hub
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Tumescent Liposuction (TLS) and Fat Transfer (FT)

Body fat increases gradually over the years. After 30 years, fat accumulates according to a genetically predetermined pattern, such as the fat that appears on the abdomen, hips and thighs of a woman, and abdomen and love handles of a man. Sometimes, abnormal fat location is inherited. Frequently impossible to eliminate by exercise or dieting, such fat can now be removed by Tumescent Liposuction (TLS) – a realistic way of focusing the effects of dieting to specific areas. What is Tumescent Liposuction (TLS)?
TLS is the suction removal of over 50% of the excess fat between skin and muscle by thin cannulas, through small skin incisions. Improved body contour comes from collapse of the resulting tiny tunnels created. The word tumescent means swollen and firm – made so by means of a dilute salt solution of local anesthetic and vessel constrictor. The result is an antibacterial, pain free and bloodless environment for suction of loosened fat.

Tumescent_Liposuction_p1                         Tumescent_Liposuction_p2

Nerves and major vessels are left intact     Two litres of aspirated blood-free fatPermanence of Results

Removed fat cells do not re-grow. Without new excessive weight gain, the confidence-enhancing silhouette obtained is permanent. Post-surgery weight gain tends to be at untreated areas, with the treated areas maintaining their new desirable silhouette. A good diet-exercise regime for long-term health and beauty helps.Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

The best candidates are those in good health, with realistic expectations and have undesirable localized fat. Cosmetic success comes from loss of inches. TLS is not a last resort treatment for obesity but for the “stable obese” with certain problem areas of fat. The most frequently treated areas in women are the abdomen, hips, thighs, arms and beneath the chin. In men, they are the abdomen, love handles, breasts, neck and chin.   

Safety First

Traditional liposuction carries risks associated with the use of larger instruments and the need for general anesthesia (allergy, malfunction, etc). In TLS, delivering anesthetic to the areas for treatment is much safer. Sleep anesthesia is provided to allay anxiety. As with any surgery, side effects such as bruising, swelling, temporary numbness and infections may occur, but these are manageable.

  Dr Jeffrey Klein and Dr Alex Ooi

Less Pain with Better and Smoother Results

Surgery is essentially painless once the area is numbed, and because numbness persists for over 12 hours, there is also no pain thereafter. General anesthesia does not provide this and does not permit patients walking home soon after surgery.

The TLS technique magnifies the fatty area, allowing for a more even and thorough liposuction, resulting in less post-surgical irregularities, unevenness and cellulite. The use of vibration power and micro-instruments makes the surgery less forceful and much less traumatic to other structures and dermis, resulting in better healing. The small wounds heal readily and, especially if well hidden, usually become invisible. Adjunct laser therapy is used to speed healing further.

Because it takes more time to infuse the local anesthetic and perform micro-suction, surgery is longer than when done under general anesthesia with larger instruments. However, recovery is faster and the total downtime is much shorter (less than 3 days).  

How is the Skin Affected?

The degree of skin change after TLS is the same as expected, if it were possible to lose an equal amount of fat in these localized areas simply by dieting.

This is because the thin cannula makes small tunnels to get the fat out whilst retaining the multiple connections between skin and muscle. These subsequently contract, aided by the vibration used, to result in skin retraction – without worry about excessive skin folds. Many patients requiring a “tummy tuck” can now have excellent results simply by having TLS, which also removes fat at the same time.

What is Fat Transfer (FT)?

In FT, the TLS-harvested tissue is specially treated to obtain pure, sterile, concentrated fat that contains stem cells for transfer to other body parts like sunken cheeks, facial ageing lines, depressed upper buttocks or vulva and breasts for their enlargement and shaping.

Revolutionary advances now make FT safe and effective. Usually, over 50% of the fat will survive in the long term to give a fuller and more flattering contour. Synthetics such as hyaluronic acid and silicon cannot match natural fat in the extent of filling possible and quality of results. They also carry foreign body risks and are expensive.

Quick Return to Sports

The few small incisions usually do not require stitches. Together with good drainage of the oil and blood tinged anesthetic fluid, healing is rapid. You can return to light exercises within a few days. Wait a little if you feel significant soreness. To gain maximum benefit, graduate back to a good exercise regime soon.

Dr Alex Ooi is a Gynecologist with expertise in Minimal Access “keyhole” Surgery (MAS). He has served on the Mount Elizabeth Hospital Medical Advisory Board and as Consultant to regional hospitals and Fudan University. As an extension of the MAS skill, he has been offering the TLS technique developed in 1985 by Dr Jeffrey Klein, MD. Dr Alex Ooi is licensed in this surgery. He is also a designated Ministry of Health (MOH) Liposuction Preceptor.

Dr Alex Ooi Koon Hean
MBBS (Singapore), MRCOG (UK), M Med (O&G)(Singapore), FAMS (O&G)
Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Clinic: Alex Ooi & Associates OBGYN Consultants
Address: 3 Mt Elizabeth, #11-07, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510Tel: +65 6738 8331
Fax: +65 6734 8896
Website: www.obgyndr.org and www.liposuction.com