Liposuction: 25 years of experience in 26,259 patients using different devices

Aesthet Surg J. Nov-Dec 2009;29(6):509-12. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2009.09.008.


Background: The development of liposuction provided plastic surgeons with a safe and effective way to sculpt the human figure. The techniques and instrumentation used in the performance of liposuction have evolved significantly since its introduction.

Objective: The authors review their experience with different liposuction techniques over the past 25 years.

Methods: Data from patients who had undergone liposuction were collected from the personal databases of four different surgeons and from the database at the Corpus and Rostrum Plastic Surgery Clinic in Cali, Colombia. A retrospective review was conducted and the results from different liposuction techniques were compared.

Results: A total of 26,259 patient charts were reviewed. The results showed that 5% of patients experienced a postsurgical seroma. Postsurgical fibrosis developed to some degree in 2.3% of patients. Anemia was present in 18% of all patients and in 60% of those patients who underwent dry liposuction. Ninety percent of patients reported postoperative pain. The incidence of deep vein thrombosis was 0.03%, as was the incidence of pulmonary embolism. Mortality was 0.01% and was mainly caused by pulmonary embolism. Patient satisfaction was similar for all of the described techniques.

Conclusions: The incidence of anemia was reduced significantly in patients undergoing tumescent liposuction versus dry liposuction. However, the occurrence of seroma increased with the introduction of tumescent liposuction. The incidence of postoperative pain and fibrosis was similar for all liposuction techniques reviewed. The aesthetic results obtained using ultrasound- or laser-assisted liposuction were similar to those obtaining using other techniques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Fibrosis / epidemiology*
  • Fibrosis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods
  • Lipectomy / adverse effects
  • Lipectomy / instrumentation
  • Lipectomy / methods*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology*
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seroma / epidemiology*
  • Seroma / etiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods