Since the first liposuction techniques were perfected by Drs. Giorgio Fischer and Yves-Gerard Illouz, the art has advanced dramatically and continues to evolve at an exponential rate. Early pioneers focused solely on volume reduction: extracting as much fat from the body as possible. Today, however, surgeons place greater emphasis on body sculpting. They endeavor to create the patient’s ideal body rather than simply a body with fewer fat cells. Through conferences and various professional societies, aesthetic physicians regularly share their newest techniques and equipment.
When Drs. Fischer and Illouz first started performing liposuction, they used a cannula, which is a hollow tube that extracts fat from a specific area of the body. Early cosmetic surgeons used small sweeping motions to remove fat cells. Modern surgeons have a number of tools at their disposal, including instruments with a variety of shapes, sizes, curves, and tips, enabling them to reach more areas with greater control. Contemporary liposuction procedures require only a small incision, often as short as an eighth of an inch, which does not cause trauma or scarring. Patients heal quickly, with no signs of having undergone the procedure.
While historically, surgeons primarily removed fat, the modern surgeon usually employs a “chisel and feather” technique, using fine strokes to manipulate the body’s fat cells and sculpt an ideal appearance. Surgeons also often remove fat from some areas and place it in the face or breasts, where patients often desire larger fat deposits. In that sense, the liposuction surgeon has become an artist not unlike a sculptor.
Those considering liposuction are encouraged to discuss the techniques that their potential surgeons will utilize. In today’s rapidly changing world, patients should ensure that their medical professionals maintain a cutting-edge understanding of proper cosmetic techniques.