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Beauty democratized

Article-Beauty democratized

Key iconKey Points

  • The basic principles of liposuction, published 30 years ago, are still used today
  • Liposuction, or "surgery from within," has influenced and changed procedures over the years used for body contouring

Pierre F. Fournier, M.D.
Liposuction is now more than thirty years old (I should say thirty years young!), since the first publication by Arpad and Giorgio Fischer, Cosmetic Surgeons, in Rome (Italy), in 1976, in the Bulletin of the International Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. They gave us the basic principles that we still use today. This "surgery from within" has completely changed the procedures and the indications used in body contouring.

SUPERSEDING THE KNIFE At the beginning, the cannula challenged the knife and later superseded it, by its simplicity, the absence of scar, the greater number of indications, its good results as well as the possibility given to physicians and surgeons to treat places on the body that were not treated before. In many cases, we had now the possibility to do a scarless body contouring. This technique is very safe in trained hands, does not need blood transfusion, and is not as demanding as the previous open techniques as the speed of the recovery is much shorter. As it is a closed technique, many procedures can be done safely with ambulatory patients in a well-equipped office, in a surgicenter, or in a hospital.

KLEIN'S SOLUTION The second advance, beside the use of the cannula instead of the knife, has been the use of tumescent anesthesia developed and perfected by Jeffrey A. Klein. This type of anesthesia—very safe, simple and reliable—has increased the popularity of liposuction. Its safety allowed a trained practitioner to work, without problems, in a surgicenter or well-equipped office with ambulatory patients, as well as in a hospital, obtaining the same good results. Tumescent anesthesia has been the second breakthrough in liposuction, and all liposuction surgeons are greatly indebted to Dr. Klein, a dermatologic surgeon.

The apparent ease of the technique still requires a serious training with excellent teachers. It is not a technique: you see, you do, you teach! A beginner should first observe many different cases and help his teacher to finally perform cases under his supervision. He should, of course, learn in books and attend workshops and meetings about liposuction organized by medicosurgical societies in different countries to learn the tricks of the trade.

JUDGE BY RESULTS Today, a beginner may be confused with the many instruments proposed with which to do liposuction procedures. All of them are good as far as the results are good. Besides the first one, the suction machine, the syringe technique has been used later; Michele Zocchi gave us ultrasonic liposuction. Powered liposuction is frequently used today and is also excellent. Laser liposuction has its own "fans."

As far as I am concerned, I am still faithful to syringe liposuction, a technique that I discovered by accident in 1985. Since that time, this tool has not one single wrinkle and is used by thousands of liposuction surgeons all over the world. The simplicity and ease of this technique has allowed, with all other techniques, the democratization of liposuction and body contouring. As I said, all liposuction surgeons have a favorite instrument and whenever results are good, with few complications, the procedure is valid.

Some liposuction surgeons may add to their technique injections of hypotonic solutions in the adipose tissue to make the procedure easier.

Today, body contouring may also be treated by multiple procedures: mesotherapy, carboxytherapy, even chemical.

Why are liposuction and body contouring so popular? Liposuction is more than 50 percent of all cosmetic operations in most countries.

Man has always wanted to improve his appearance. After health, Beauty is very important and liposuction has been a tremendous procedure for that.

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