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Drug overdose from lidocaine used in liposuction

Liposuction is a common plastic surgery procedure that is selected by patients who wish to have a curvier body. This surgery is mostly used for cosmetic purposes, and it only accentuates the contour of the body. It is not a weight loss solution, but it can help make your appearance look better.

Nowadays, the tumescent liposuction is the most common type of liposuction that is done by surgeons. With this technique, a solution of lidocaine, epinephrine and salt solution is injected into the area where the fat is to be removed. The lidocaine is used as a local anesthetic to help numb the area during and after surgery. For most patients, the amount of lidocaine in the solution is enough, and there is no need to have another type of anesthesia for the procedure. The epinephrine content in the solution helps to make sure that there is a decreased amount of blood loss as well as less bruising and swelling.This is due to its action of constricting the blood vessels. It also helps decrease the rate of absorption of the lidocaine. The salt solution facilitates easy removal and suction of fats.

One concern people have about the tumescent technique is the amount of lidocaine used in the procedure. It is true that a large amount of lidocaine is given in this liposuction technique, but most of the surgeons carefully calculate how much they can give a patient. It is estimated that a maximum of 35-55 mg of lidocaine per kg of body weight can be safely given to a patient for this kind of procedure. The drug overdose from lidocaine in liposuction is not immediately visible and can only be seen after 10-14 hours after it has been injected. This is due to the epinephrine that constricts the blood vessels and prevents them from immediately absorbing the lidocaine.

Postoperative lidocaine toxicity or drug overdose is more common because the huge dose of the lidocaine has already been absorbed. The use of other medications can also further lead to a high level of lidocaine in the blood. Signs of having toxic levels of lidocaine in the body toxic levels include drowsiness, ringing in the ears, lightheadedness, numbness, muscle twitching, metallic taste in the mouth, and shivering. Excessive amounts of lidocaine in the body can also be fatal because it can stop the heart. Due to this, the tumescent technique is further developed into other super-wet tumescent technique, which makes use of a lesser volume solution.

The amount of the lidocaine that would be inserted into the body would also depend on the amount of fat to be removed. To be on the safe side, many surgeons would use IV sedation or general anesthesia along with tumescent liposuction so that they do not have to make use of so much lidocaine.

To prevent drug overdose from lidocaine, you should make sure that you are being treated by a certified surgeon whose certification is accredited by the recognized authority in your area. With this, you can be sure that they know and follow the safety guidelines. Lidocaine overdose is rare but is more common when the liposuction is not done by a certified surgeon.


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