Liposuction or suction-assisted lipoplasty (SAL) currently is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the United States, possibly the most common in the world. The most common site for this surgery is probably the thigh, with the knee somewhat less common but still frequent. Some consider this sort of cosmetic surgery emblematic of society’s ills, of its vanity, self-indulgence, and obsession with appearance. This sociologic and ethical subject is beyond the scope of the author’s mission. Suffice it to say that liposuction is very popular because of its tangible, immediate results; however, viewing this surgical procedure as simply glorified cosmetology without risk, as something that can be performed by anyone with a suction machine and a willing patient, would be a dangerous mistake.
For information, including news and CME activities, on aesthetic procedures, see Medscape’s Aesthetic Medicine Resource Center. For detailed descriptions of various liposuction techniques, see the Body Contouring section of the Medscape Reference Plastic Surgery journal.