Liposuction was initially developed in 1978-1982 in Italy and France, and introduced into the United States in 1982. At that time, liposuction could only be performed under general anesthesia, and was associated with so much blood loss that patients frequently required hospitalization and blood transfusions.
In 1985, Dr. Jeffrey A. Klein, M.D., a dermatologist in California, revolutionized liposuction surgery when he developed the tumescent technique, which permits liposuction totally by local anesthesia and virtually eliminates surgical blood loss. Dr. Klein first presented the tumescent technique at a medical meeting in Philadelphia in 1986.
The first publication describing the technique was published in the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery in 1987. Because the tumescent technique is by far the safest form of liposuction, it has become the world wide standard of care. Not only has the tumescent technique proven to be safer than the older techniques that required general anesthesia, it has also proven to be less painful, has minimized post-operative recovery time, and has produced optimal cosmetic results.