The History Of Liposuction

Liposuction is a procedure with a long history. Dr. Giorgio Fischer, an Italian gynecologist, first invented liposuction in 1974. Four years later, Dr. Illouz, began treating patients more regularly in Paris, France. Liposuction didn’t make its way to the United States until 1982.

In the early 80’s, liposuction was always performed under general anesthesia and there was significant bleeding involved with the procedure. Complications were common and some patients even died. But technological advancements began to take shape in 1985 when Dr. Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologist, developed a new liposuction technique.

The Tumescent Technique became the gold standard in liposuction thereafter. During tumescent liposuction, doctors used a local anesthetic to numb the targeted area of the body, allowing the patient or candidate (no longer required to undergo general anesthesia) to remain conscious. Using a special solution of water, epinephrine, lidocaine, and bicarbonate, plastic surgeons could create tumescence or swelling of the fatty tissues by injecting the solution into targeted area of the body. When the fat cells swell, it becomes easier for the surgeon to suction the fat from the body. In comparison with traditional liposuction methods, there is significantly less bleeding during tumescent liposuction and trauma to surrounding tissues is kept to a minimum. Using the tumescent technique, patients were suddenly able to receive liposuction treatments in an office setting with minimized risks.

A recent examination of 15,000 liposuction patients demonstrated that using the tumescent technique, none experienced major complications. The risks associated with tumescent liposuction are significantly reduced by the use of the tumescent solution and local anesthesia in comparison with traditional liposuction methods.

At the New York Liposuction Center, general anesthesia is never used and all procedures are performed in the office. Using the most technologically sophisticated liposuction methods on the market, our surgeons are able to design the safest, least invasive treatments possible for patients to achieve amazing results.

Tumescent Anesthesia

Liposuction as a technique has been around for almost three decades. During that time, many techniques have been changed and improved. One of the most important changes in the history of liposuction was contributed by dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey Klein in 1985. At that time, he unveiled what has become commonly known as “tumescent anesthesia”.

In tumescent anesthesia, fluids are infiltrated directly into the areas to be treated, like abdomenchin or thighs. The fluids are made up of a saline solution, lidocaine (a local anesthetic that you have probably heard most often associated with dentists), and epinephrine (which makes blood vessels tighten up). This solution “plumps” up the treatment area, making it easier to remove unwanted fat while greatly minimizing blood loss. In addition, by injecting the solution directly into the treatment site, the technique eliminated the need for general anesthesia and sedatives, eliminating all the risks associated with it. Tumescent liposuction is, by far, the safest method of liposuction available today. Nevertheless, many physicians still take patients to the operating room to do procedures on under general anesthesia. Most of the time, this is simply because that physician was not adequately trained in the tumescent technique and does not know how to make the procedure comfortable for the awake patient.

Patients who choose to have awake liposuction with tumescent technique can expect much less pain and discomfort than with traditional liposuction methods and far less bruising and recovery time. This is due to the effectiveness of the tumescent solution in reducing pain, bleeding and swelling. The downtime is typically less than 24 hours.

Results of any kind of liposuction can be maintained with proper diet and exercise. In some cases, even when patients have subsequently gained weight, fat is more evenly distributed.

If you are interested in a safe, effective way to rid yourself of annoying “love handles” or other fatty areas, contact us to schedule a consultation today.


SmartLipo is a new advanced liposuction technique that uses laser body sculpting methods. Because of the advancement, this type of liposuction is considered among the best liposuction methods and it can be used to contour smaller areas such as the face, neck, or bra bulges, along with traditional treatment areas like the abdomen.

Older liposuction instruments, due to their size, did not work on areas that are more delicate. Traditional liposuction can be effective when there is a large amount of fat that needs to be removed; however, it cannot smooth or contour the body. Additionally, SmartLipo can be used to effectively reduce the appearance of other body contour issues such as cellulite.

SmartLipo works by directing a beam of laser energy directly into the fat compartment to assist in disrupting or liquefying the fat which can then make it easier to remove. As well as softening the fat this device also helps to seal off blood vessels with the direct heat which helps to directly decrease bleeding, bruising and post-operative swelling. There are now many other laser devices on the market but quite simply none of them can replicate the original SmartLipo technology.

Read more about SmartLipo

Before Liposuction

  • Make sure to pick up your prescriptions at least 2 days before your procedure and bring them with you on your big day.
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the office for the day of your procedure. You will also need someone to stay with you for at least 12 hours after the procedure to help with the initial dressing changes or until you feel comfortable.
  • Purchase absorbent pads (feminine pads) for dressing changes to absorb the drainage from your incision sites.
  • No aspirin, aspirin containing medications, ibuprofen or anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, etc.) or vitamin E should be taken for 2 weeks before your procedure. Do not drink alcohol for atleast 3 days before your procedure. Patients are advised against smoking for one week before and 2 weeks after liposuction (delays healing time).
  • Please review the enclosed medication list and detailed instruction and notify the consultd surgeon if you are taking any of the listed meds. Many of these need to be discontinued before the procedure.

Day of Surgery

  • Shower with soap and water on the morning of your procedure. Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Avoid wearing any makeup, moisturizer, or lotion on your skin.
  • Eat a moderate meal 1 hour before your procedure. Avoid caffeine. Bring your prescriptions with you.
  • Wear old comfortable sweats (dark colors). This is because the drainage may soak through them. Wear comfortable socks for warmth.
  • Arrive on time and make allowance for traffic delays.
  • Have your ride and caregiver arranged for.

After Liposuction

Most people are required to wear some type of compression garment or bandage after the procedure. This provides support to the treatment area, reinforces your body’s new shape, and minimizes swelling. The doctor will let you know how long you will need to wear your compression garment. Talk to him about how long you should expect to take off from work, which is sometimes dependent on what you do for a living and what area of your body you are having done. Over 90% patients undergoing a liposuction procedure feel that they are able to return to school or work 48 hours after the procedure.

In addition to wearing the compression garment, there are some key things you can do to further aid the healing process after tumescent liposuction:

  1. Activity – Rest for the next 12 hours. Dizziness after the procedure can persist for a day or two. If you feel dizzy, make sure to move slowly and be careful. Do not shower until the day after the procedure after you have moved around a little bit and are sure you do not feel dizzy. We highly recommend placing a chair or a stool in the shower so you can sit comfortably. This is critically important if you have ANY dizziness symptoms as falling in the shower can be dangerous. Shower with soap and water as usual. It is highly advised to have an adult with you during the first 24 hours to assist you if you experience dizziness and to help you change your dressings. The day after your procedure we recommend you take a walk for up to a mile with someone accompanying you. Progress your exercise as you tolerate it. If you experience fatigue or an increase in discomfort after exercise, you are probably overdoing it. As you heal, exercise is essential for increasing blood flow and a good result.
  2. Garments, Dressings– The garment must be worn as much as possible for the first 7 days. Compression created by the garment is the most important thing after your procedure. Take your garment off only to shower or change the dressing. Remember, wearing the garment is more important than trying to stay dry so do not attempt too many frequent dressing changes. To change the dressings, simply take off the wet ones and use the sanitary pads or the dressings provided by the nurse and apply over incision sites. Use extra padding in these areas. Chin support garments are worn 24 hours per day for 2 days.
  3. Massage – Start massage today. This can be done over the dressings and the garment you are wearing. We recommend firm downward pressure to the treated areas three times a day, 3-5 minutes per area. It is very important to a smooth recovery that you eliminate as much of the remaining fluid as possible. Massage should continue for several weeks after your procedure.
  4. Diet – Resume normal diet unless you experience nausea. Often the nausea can be a result of medication. Try to eat small amounts of food frequently while you are taking these medications. Persistent nausea and vomiting should be reported to the doctor immediately. Avoid caffeine for the next 24 hours. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
  5. Clean the incision sites with soap and water. We do not recommend soaking in a tub until the incisions are totally scabbed over.
  6. Itching is normal. Do not pick or scratch at the incision sites. You may take Benadryl for itching.
  7. Avoid sun tanning until bruising and incision sites have completely healed and faded.
  8. Remember, the goal of any kind of liposuction is improvement and not perfection. The first two weeks patients often look worse. At about 14 to 17 days the healing and the new shape starts to appear. You need to be patient. When the doctor sees you back before 6 weeks, it is not to see your final result but rather to make sure you are feeling well and to answer any questions you may have.

Tumescent liposuction is a very safe and effective procedure. Taking sensible precautions during the first 48 hours will help you to further minimize the risk of complications down the road.

If you would like to meet with the doctor to discuss any of our liposuction procedures, contact us to schedule a consultation.