Have you ever wondered how liposuction became the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for patients between the ages of 35-64? It’s certainly come a long way from the first failed attempts in the early 1920s.

Below you can learn a bit about the evolution of liposuction and the methods Dr. Imad El Asmar at Vermont Med Spa uses. You can understand how it has gone from a risky procedure to a comfortable and safe procedure with better recovery time and beautiful results.

The origins of liposuction

The idea that we could remove sections of fat to improve the shape and structure of the body has been around for over 100 years. Unfortunately, the first attempts at body shaping were a far cry from the safety and efficiency of modern liposuction.

In the 1920s a doctor attempted to surgically remove fat from the ankle of a dancer, which ultimately resulted in the amputation of the limb. However, doctors continued to try various surgical techniques to remove layers of fat with mixed results.

Finding safe methods

It wasn’t until the 1970s that modern forms of liposuction began to appear. Doctors in France started to use less invasive surgery techniques with small incisions and light suction rather than fully opening the patient’s skin. In the mid-70s, a breakthrough was made when it was discovered that a blunt device called a cannula could both separate and extract fat from a patient. These cannulas are the modern liposuction device, although they are still being improved.

During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a race to improve liposuction techniques, making it safer for patients. This led to experimentation with injecting various liquids prior to liposuction, finding a reliable local anesthetic, and reducing blood loss.

Modern liposuction combines several techniques discovered during this period, based on your specific needs and the expertise of the doctor performing the procedure.

Improving patient experience

After liposuction could be performed safely, it came time to enhance the patient experience. With traditional liposuction methods, general anesthesia was used. There were a long recovery time and significant bruising and blood loss.

In recent years there has been a focus on reducing the recovery time for patients. This has been achieved by switching to local anesthesia as opposed to general anesthesia and by using substances that reduce blood loss and switching to smaller more delicate cannulas to reduce incision size and bruising. Methods were developed to remove fat over larger areas in a shorter amount of time to improve the procedure. Post-operative care was also assessed, and appropriate compression was developed to help support healing.

In the 1990s a section of liposuction called “liposculpting” branched off. This involved removing fat from some areas of the body and injecting it into other areas to fully control the appearance of your body and give optimal results.

Improving modern methods

Recently many improvements in modern liposuction methods have been explored. These mostly involve additions to the cannulas such as ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), power-assisted liposuction (PAL), and laser-assisted liposuction (Smartlipo). Each of these methods has benefits over non-assisted liposuction. For example, PAL can reduce surgeon fatigue, which can lead to better results.

Dr. El Asmar uses the Smartlipo method. This method involves a laser on the cannula that stimulates the skin around the fat that he removes. The stimulation of the skin causes it to start producing collagen and elastin, which helps strengthen and tighten the skin. This can give you firm, flattering results without extra flabs of skin that are common in some types of liposuction.

If you want to know more about the liposuction methods Dr. El Asmar uses and find out if they are right for you, contact us now, and make an appointment online or by phone. Dr. El Asmar would be happy to assess your current physique and let you know the best methods to get the appearance you desire.


We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(213) 335-3542