Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2012; 16 (3): 393-406

Thirtyfour years of liposuction: past, present and future

A. Sterodimas 1, F. Boriani 2, E. Magarakis 3, B. Nicaretta 4, L.H. Pereira 5, Y.G. Illouz 6

1 Department of Plastic Surgery, Iaso General Hospital, Athens (Greece)
2 Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital of North Durham, Durham (U.K.)
3 Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD (USA)
4 Department of Plastic Surgery, Policlinca Geral, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
5 Department of Plastic Surgery, LH Clinic, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
6 Department of Plastic Surgery, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris (France)

Initial, variably successful attempts of fat sculpting date back to the beginning of the 20th Century, but Gerard Illouz was the first to introduce the modern, safe, wide-spread method of liposuction. Preoperative injection of local anaesthesia, saline, distilled water, adrenaline and hyaluronidase, defined wet technique, established as a safe and effective adjunct to lipoaspiration. This procedure was initially based on an automatic pump system, but then the accuracy of syringe aspiration was popularized by Toledo in the eighties. Liposuction in the subcutaneous tissue, just 3-4 mm deep to dermis, also called superficial liposuction, is a modern effective evolution of the technique but requires a good mastery in order to avoid disfiguring outcomes. Ultrasound and laser lipoplasty methods have provided further advancement in the range of technical choices offered to the plastic surgeon. Liposuction is a purely surgical procedure, and as such, carries risks of minor and major complications. In the nineties, an interplay between abdominoplasty and abdominal liposuction as simultaneous procedures, also called lipoabdominoplasty, has become more and more popular. Reinjection of the harvested fat with the purpose of liposculpture for both reconstructive and cosmetic indications is a relatively recent development which has established as a successful, world-wide accepted procedure. Adipose stem cells, extracted from the unlimited source represented by human adipose tissue, are a great promise for future tissue-engineering. Liposuction has nowadays become a safe, effective, popular procedure for contouring adipose tissue and human body in general, in many reconstructive and cosmetic indications.

Corresponding Author: Filippo Boriani, MD; e-mail:

To cite this article

A. Sterodimas 1, F. Boriani 2, E. Magarakis 3, B. Nicaretta 4, L.H. Pereira 5, Y.G. Illouz 6
Thirtyfour years of liposuction: past, present and future

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2012
Vol. 16 - N. 3
Pages: 393-406