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A Brief History of Liposuction: Origins of a Fascinating Procedure

Posted February 07, 2017 in Blog

The Historic Origins of Liposuction: Advances and Mistakes

Today, liposuction is one of the most commonly-performed cosmetic surgeries in the United States. But did you know that the procedure itself is only about 40 years old?

An Italian doctor named Giorgio Fischer developed the first liposuction procedure in 1974. In 1978, a team of French physicians, Yves-Gerard Illouz and Pierre-Francois Fournier, refined and expanded upon the procedure. By 1980, liposuction was being performed by a number of physicians across the United States.

Early liposuction procedures, however, produced inconsistent and sometimes undesirable results. Some patients experienced excessive bleeding, while others found that the skin over the site developed unsightly ripples or dents after the fat cells were removed. In 1983, a 14-member panel of plastic surgeons traveled to Europe to study the techniques that were being used there and to better understand why these outcomes occurred.

In 1985, a California dermatologist named Jeffrey A. Klein invented a liposuction technique that radically changed the way the procedure was performed. Previous methods for liposuction had placed patients under general anesthesia and used a larger cannula to enter beneath the skin and suck out fat cells. Dr. Klein’s technique made it possible for a patient to receive only local anesthesia, and it used a much smaller cannula.

The new technique helped reduce the risk to patients posed by general anesthesia. It also resulted in fewer negative outcomes for patients, like uncontrolled bleeding, skin rippling, or depressions or “pits” in the skin.

Since the 1980s, additional refinements in the liposuction procedure have expanded the number of places on the body that can benefit from liposuction. When the procedure was first introduced to the United States, many doctors had questions about which parts of the body could safely receive liposuction. Many limited the procedure to areas with large muscles, like the buttocks and thighs. Today, surgeons who regularly perform liposuction will consider the procedure for many different parts of the body – even the face.

New developments in liposuction techniques and procedures are still being explored today, as physicians discover the potential of this common operation to benefit their patients.

For a free, private consultation about your liposuction options in Cleveland, please call our team at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 264-8100.