A Look Back at the History of Liposuction

A Look Back at the History of LiposuctionMany of us would like to lose weight.  In fact, according to the most recent statistics compiled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than two thirds of all adults in the United States are considered to be either overweight or obese.  While there are almost as many causes of, and solutions for, obesity as there are individuals suffering from it, one cosmetic plastic surgery that may be able to help is liposuction.  Although not in any way a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise program, liposuction can be a safe and effective means of eliminating stubborn deposits of isolated fat from key areas of concern.  The historical roots of liposuction go back nearly a century, and understanding how this incredibly popular plastic surgery procedure came evolved over time can be a great way to gain a better understanding of exactly what it can and cannot do.

  • In the 1920’s French surgeon Charles Dujarier first introduced the fundamental ideas behind body contouring, but after a procedure caused gangrene in the leg of a patient, interest in liposuction diminished significantly for several decades.
  • In the late 1960’s, surgeons from Europe using primitive curettage techniques re-ignited interest in the possibilities of body contouring procedures for cosmetic purposes.
  • In 1974 Drs. Arpad and Giorgio Fischer pioneered the blunt tunneling method from which modern liposuction techniques evolved.
  • In 1982 French surgeon Dr. Yves-Gerard Illouz addressed the problem of excessive blood loss with a tumescent liposuction technique that infused fluid into the tissues with blunt cannulas in order to break up the fat so that it could be more easily removed with high-vacuum suction.
  • Pierre Fournier refined the “Illouz Method” by incorporating lidocaine as a local anesthetic into the tumescent solution, further reducing pain and blood loss.
  • By the 1980’s American surgeons had developed a variety of sedation techniques based on Fournier’s work, allowing liposuction to be performed without the need for general anesthesia.

Today, improved technology and advanced liposuction techniques make it possible to safely remove a greater number of fat cells with less blood loss, less discomfort, and less risk.  Some of the most popular plastic surgery procedures today, like the Brazilian Butt Lift, facial contouring, and certain forms of breast augmentation, even make use of fat removed from the body via liposuction to enhance existing contours, creating more pronounced curves and a more aesthetically pleasing overall silhouette.  These fat transfer techniques can even be used, on a smaller scale, as a facial filler to reduce or eliminate wrinkles and sagging skin in the face and neck.

More advanced plastic surgery techniques are constantly being developed, so if you are interested in learning more about any of body contouring cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, contact me, Dr. James Namnoum to schedule a consultation today.  Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery news and updates.