A Beautiful Body: The Evolution of Liposuction
Modern Liposuction –
The term body contouring may conjure a dreamlike mental image of a svelte physique, perhaps sauntering along a beach in a bikini with nary a wiggle to be seen.
One of the most common body contouring procedures, liposuction, remains one of the more popular procedures performed today. Over the past 30 years, liposuction has evolved in many ways. Since the introduction of the “super-wet” technique in the ‘90s it remains a very safe procedure.
That beach scenario doesn't have to be just a dream, especially given modern techniques that have greatly advanced the practice of semi-invasive fat removal with less pain, less downtime and greater results!
“Over the years there have been many "tools" introduced to help facilitate fat removal. These include ultrasound, laser and radiofrequency to name a few. In my opinion the key component to satisfactory results still lies in the surgeon's hand and not in one particular technology. More recently many devices have been marketed towards "non-surgical" liposuction. We must continue to use a cautious eye and demand evidenced-based medicine from industry to support such claims. As plastic surgeons, we remain in a very unique position where we can offer our patients the spectrum of treatments, from non-surgical to surgical, tailoring our specific recommendations to the patient's needs and their safety."
-Jeffery Kenkel, M.D.
After enjoying a healthy relationship with a trainer, regular Pilates classes, and some Bikram yoga sweat-a-thons, you may feel like a million bucks and yet there might be resistant areas of fat that persist even with a healthy activity level and the most nourishing meal plan. Take heart- extra bulge that just won't budge could be the best candidate for liposuction – and these days, lipo is a pretty happy medium when it comes to eliminating fat permanently and fairly safely.
While the roots of liposuction are said to date back to the 1920s, more advanced practices originated in the 1970s when two Italian-American surgeons working in Rome, Italy invented the technique and evolved over the course of the next decade with techniques including the “Illouz Method” and the “tumescent technique” were introduced, both of which decreased morbidity and demonstrated reproducible results.
So what is liposuction exactly and how does the procedure today differ from the procedure in the 1970s?
Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that removes localized pockets of fat resistant to exercise and diet. While it doesn't remove cellulite or loose skin, it can change your shape dramatically.
Depending on your current physical state, the first step might be to hit the gym. Not only because (as with all plastic surgery considerations) being in a good physical state makes for a better patient, but also because lipo only works on areas where there are identified pockets of fat, so doing your part to eliminate overall fat layers first will make you a better candidate for the procedure, and likely increase your level of satisfaction with the results.
Did you just internally grumble because you'd prefer the surgeon deal with your fat layers? Remember that lower body lifts, mommy makeovers and other procedures that require more extensive fat removal are more invasive, carry higher risks, and have longer recovery times. Compared to other body contouring procedures, liposuction leaves smaller scars, since fat is removed through small incisions and typically requires less downtime.
The power combo of a healthy diet, exercise and a little surgical help could bring that bikini-clad beach dream closer to reality.