Attempts to surgically contour the body can be traced back to 1921, where doctors tried to resect fat and skin to improve the body silhouette, but ended up causing scarring and deformities.
In 1975, the modern technique of liposuction was developed in which a blunt, hollow cannula is attached to a suction source to perform fat suction.
The revolution came in 1987 when tumescent liposuction was introduced. Tumescent liposuction uses a special mix of medications and saline water to effect local anesthesia.
This technique enables larger volume liposuction to be carried out without general anesthesia while concurrently reducing the risk of bleeding. It also negates the need for hospitalization and patients recover quickly.
Nowadays, liposuction is the most popular aesthetic procedure in the Western countries. Laser / ultrasound / power – assisted liposuction are becoming the norm as they increase client comfort and reduce recovery time.
The main indication for liposuction is body contouring to improve body silhouette. Bear in mind that liposuction is only an adjunct to weight loss. It will never replace a sensible diet and exercise when it comes to losing excess weight.
Other indications for liposuction procedure include:
- Gynecomastia - a condition where a man develops unwanted breast tissues
- Lipomas - bulges of fatty tissue underneath the skin. In certain people, they can have huge or multiple lipomas that interfere with their daily functions.
Liposuction procedure is not without its complication. They include:
- Bumps, irregularities, asymmetries
- Excess, flabby skin
- Change in skin sensation
- Skin necrosis
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Deaths from liposuction have been reported but are very rare. The most commonly cited reason is mega-liposuction in which huge volumes of fat are removed in a single session, or multiple aesthetic surgeries being carried out in one session, causing client to be under excessive anesthesia for prolonged periods of time.
Swelling and bruising post liposuction is unavoidable, though they can be minimized by using the more advanced machine-assisted tech. To prevent irregularities, it is important that clients wear compression garments as frequently as possible for at least 3 months post surgery, only taking it off to bathe and for toilet visits. Clients are advised to undergo regular machine massage post surgery to tighten the skin.
DVT and anesthesia risks are minimized if liposuction is limited to 1 or 2 parts only per session under local anesthesia.