History of Liposuction

History of Liposuction


Liposuction has been around since the 1920s when Dr. Dujarrier used a uterine curette to remove fat from the knee of a well-known ballerina.  Unfortunately during that time, the gynecologic surgeon damaged the femoral artery which resulted to amputation of the leg.


Liposuction really began evolving in the late 1960s and became what we know it as in 1974.   Dr. Yves-Gerard Illouz of Paris France created modern liposuction in 1982.  The procedure he created was the "Illouz Method", which was actually Suction Assisted Liposuction (SAL). 


History of Liposuction:  Timeline


1921 -  Dujarrier used a uterine curette to remove fat from the knee of a ballerina

1960 -  Schrudde rekindled the interest in liposuction with sharp removal of fat

1978 - Kesselring and Meyer added suction to sharp curretage

1970 - Illouz (Paris, France) used a blunt cannula attached to suction device

1982 - "Illouz Method" of liposuction or Suction Assisted Liposuction

1983 - Hetter used epinephrine and 0.25% lidocaine as a solution to reduce post-operative bleeding

1984 - Hetter described the use of adequate pressure to induce lipolysis

1980 - Klein proposed the tumescent liposuction technique



Figure 1: Before & After Photos of 4D VASER Liposuction with Brazilian Butt lift performed by Dr. Emmanuel De La Cruz (8 weeks after surgery)

In 1985, "Tumescent Liposuction" was invented by Dr. Klein and Dr. Lillis. Liposuction could all of a sudden be performed in an office-setting with only local anesthesia via IV sedation rather than general anesthesia. The "Super Wet" technique was invented right after tumescent, because of the high volume of fluid and potential toxicity of the fluid used (lidocaine). So this lower volume 'wet' technique, Super Wet, was invented.

With modern technology, plastic surgeons discovered 
Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL) in the late 1990s.  It was used to emulsify fat or liquefy fat using ultrasonic energy.   Fat is subsequently removed with lower pressure liposuction.   VASER liposuction, a third-generation ultrasonic-assisted liposuction,  was subsequently invented. It's an improved liposuction machine with lower complication rates and improved skin retraction post-liposuction.


Emmanuel De La Cruz MD, PLLC
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Houston, Texas

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