Liposuction has become one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries in the world. Liposuction is a technique in which excess fatty tissue is suctioned from beneath the skin. There are several liposuction technologies available today. I’d like to review the history behind liposuction for those living in the Twin Cities.
In 1921,Charles Dujarrier, in France, attempted to remove subcutaneous fat using a uterine curette on a dancer’s calves and knees. A tragic result of gangrene occurred due to injury of the femoral artery leading to amputation of one of the dancer’s legs. In 1964, Schrudde extracted fat from the lower leg through a small incision with a curette. Irregular results with high morbidity, seromas, and bleeding occurred with this technique.
Modern liposuction period:
In 1974, Dr. Giorgio Fischer, a gynecologist from Italy invented the original form of liposuction.
French physicians Illouz and Fournier further developed liposuction around 1978. By 1980, liposuction was extremely popular in the United States but was confronting negative publicity due to patients experiencing excessive bleeding and undesirable rippling of the skin after surgery.
In 1985, Dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein, a California Dermatologist, invented the tumescent technique for liposuction, revolutionizing liposuction surgery. Tumescent is a solution composed of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) saline, and epinephrine (a drug that constricts blood vessels to reduce bleeding during surgery). His “Tumescent Technique” allowed patients to have liposuction performed totally by local anesthesia using much smaller cannulas. Patients could now have liposuction surgery without general anesthesia and without the fear of excessive bleeding and undesirable skin depressions.
In the late 1990s, the first generation of ultrasound device was introduced to facilitate the fat removal by first liquefying the fat using ultrasonic energy. The Vaser, the third generation of ultrasound becomes a popular modern liposuction technology to achieve the superior results while minimizing the complication rate. Technologies relating to the use of laser tipped probes which induce a thermal lipoysis have been introduced recently and help to skin to become tighter after the procedure due to the heat that is given off from the probe. More recently, AquaShape with the Body-jet technology claims the least trauma in liposuction. It harnesses the pulsations of a water-jet, gently and efficiently dislodging and washing out the fat without damaging the nerves and vessels.
Overall, the advantages of 30 years of improvements have been that more fat cells can be removed, with less blood loss, less discomfort, and less risk; leading to a shorter recovery period.