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A Brief History of Liposuction

by Daniel Bashi

posted in Health and Fitness : Cosmetic Surgery

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We tend to think of liposuction and its high tech variations such as Vaser Lipo and Smart Lipo as being purely modern inventions in the realm of cosmetic surgery. This may be true, but the concept of surgically removing fat from the body is not a new one. In fact, the surgical option of fat removal has been practised as far back as the late nineteenth century, most commonly in the form of the tummy tuck. The concept is a very simple one - the skin is cut, fat is removed and the skin is repositioned over the incised section. The tummy tuck is a common and popular cosmetic surgery procedure and tightens abdominal muscles and skin which have been stretched beyond their capacity to return to normal, following weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy. The advantage of a tummy tuck over traditional liposuction and newer variants such as Vaser Lipo is that a far larger amount of fat can be removed this way and it is easy for the surgeon to see what he or she is doing. Skin tightening is simultaneously achieved by removing any loose skin and a highly effective immediate solution may be achieved. However, the disadvantage when compared to traditional liposuction or more advanced techniques such as Vaser Lipo is that a tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia and a long period of rest, recovery and recuperation is required. There is the potential for infection and there is very noticeable scarring which may be permanent.

As an alternative to the drastic measure of surgically cutting out fat, the first liposuction procedures were carried out in the early 1980s. With liposuction, a small incision is made into the skin and fat is sucked out with a special instrument. However, the flaw with this method is that traditional liposuction can remove the deep fat but not the superficial fat, due to the risk of excessive bleeding and damage to the skin.

In the 1990s, researchers were working on methods of dealing with the superficial fat that traditional liposuction was unable to remove. Different techniques were applied, including heating the skin surface in an attempt to emulsify the superficial fat beneath. Diverse energy forms were also tried, such as ultrasound, laser and radio frequency. Unfortunately, these methods of removing fat proved to be unsatisfactory due to the fact that the more energy is applied beneath the skin, the greater the risk of damaging or burning the skin.

In the year 2000, Smart Lipo was invented. With this method of liposuction, small incisions are made under local anaesthetic, following which the fat is emulsified using laser. The fat cells rupture, the fat leaks out and the cell is removed by the body. The early machines proved to be effective at dealing with small areas of fat, but not so good where larger areas were to be treated. In 2008, more powerful machines with multiple lasers began to be used in order to enable larger areas of fat to be treated. Around the same time Vaser Lipo was invented and this technique uses focused ultrasound energy to emulsify the fat cells. Vaser Lipo has been found to be very safe as it has practically no effect on the veins, nerves or surrounding tissues. The result is faster healing and smoother results.

The most advanced liposuction procedure available today vaser lipo

About the Author:

Dr. Daniel Bashi performs cosmetic procedures and in particular vaser lipo

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