Liposuction: a little history

Liposuction: a little history

Liposuction (or liposuction) is the intervention that perfectly illustrates this evolution! Today, considered one of the safest and most common cosmetic procedures in the world, liposuction is the result of many years of improvements. It must be known that it has had a very painstaking, sometimes dramatic, beginnings before reaching its stage of glory that we know today.

The first tests

In the 1920s, Dr. Charles Dujarier, a French surgeon, introduced a concept of curettage with direct cuts in fat and skin. He performs “his technique” on a dancer, who is too fat at the knees and calves. Alas, the result is disastrous since this surgeon hurts an important artery during the operation, and the dancer is amputated of a leg. This concept of curettage has been abandoned and no one dares to attempt a “degreasing” operation for several decades.

At the beginning of the 60’s, another “degreasing” test: a German doctor, Dr. Schruddle, tries to remove excess fat still by curetting them. The result is still a failure, with serious complications.

It is then an Italian gynecologist, Dr. Giorgio Fisher, who with Dr. Arpad, in 1974, resume the process but with the principle of aspiration by canicular. The results are improved with a slight decrease in hematomas and seromas, but the operation is still very unreliable.

It’s in 1978, that we aspire finally to better!

Liposuction finally enters the modern era.

Dr. Yves-Gérard Illouz, French doctor, accompanied by Dr. Fourrier, finally develops a revolutionary liposuction technique. The aspiration is done by canicular but with very fine cannulae with rounded ends sparing the vessels, and thus considerably reducing the bleeding


Liposuction cannula with non-traumatic rounded tip


Removal of superficial greases by negative pressure

The 80’s still mark a turning point

In 1885, Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein, a Californian dermatologist, with Dr. Illis, invented the tumescent technique of liposuction. This revolutionary technique consists in infiltrating into the subcutaneous fat, before the aspiration of fats, a fluid containing lidocaine (local anesthetic) and epinephrine or adrenaline (drugs involving localized vasoconstriction). Lidocaine finally allows local anesthesia, avoiding general anesthesia or intravenous sedation or analgesics. Surgical bleeding is further greatly reduced. This technique was presented at a medical conference in Philadelphia in 1986, and was published in the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery in 1987. It is now used worldwide.


Result of lipo-aspiration

After a tumultuous debut and “degreasing tests” throughout the 20th century, liposuction is now considered one of the safest interventions (if its indication is well posed and its procedure respected) and the most common on the global plan. Not very painful, liposuction is one of the interventions offering a short postoperative recovery time, with, finally, safe and lasting results.