Volume 48, Issue 5 (September 2003)
The following is a response to the commentaries by Drs. Coldiron (J. Forensic Sci 2003;48:271) and Coleman and Lawrence (J. Forensic Sci 2003;48:697): Our dermatological colleagues should recognize that there are semantic differences between “tumescent liposuction,” “tumescent anesthesia,” and tumescent technique” as used by the broad array of clinicians. Concurrent use of general or intramuscular anesthesia has been used by some of our surgical colleagues (1–3). In our article, we used the term “tumescent liposuction” in reference to the fact that a bolus of fluid and medication is inserted into the surgical site. Hanke and Coleman (4) speak of “semitumescent liposuction” when general anesthesia is used. Webster’s dictionary describes “tumescent” as a swelling. Thus, to us, the term “tumescent liposuction” is a generic concept. We prefer that our dermatological colleagues use the term “tumescent techniques as described by Klein” (5) so that any ambiguity can be avoided.