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Which liposuction should I choose?

Q:

I am a 33 year old female,  5'5" and weigh 175 pounds.  The only surgery I have ever had is a D & C.  I just quit smoking so that I can be healthy to have liposuction on my upper and lower abdomen. I gained my weight from birth control medication which I stopped taking last year.  I've joined a gym and do boot camp every other day but still cannot lose the weight.  I'm unsure as whether to do laser lipo or normal lipo.  Which one heals faster with less recovery time, less visible scarring and discomfort?

A:

It really does not matter what type of liposuction you have. They all can have the same results and the same rapid recovery. It is the surgeon that makes the difference. Many of the people doing liposuction are not even surgeons and have had almost no training. It is the training and experience that makes the difference in results and recovery. Therefore, make sure your "surgeon" is really such. All members of this society are board certified and surgeons with at least 5-8 years training before starting their practice. Also ask about experience in liposuction and results.

A:

Liposuction is surgery despite the tiny incisions, and so it is the surgeon more than the tool he or she uses that is most important in determining results. There is so much hype about different lipo brands that it can be confusing, but whether it is laser lipo, ultrasound lipo, tickle lipo, water jet lipo, it is still just an instrument; a Stradivarius violin only sounds better by someone who knows how to play the violin at an advanced level, and they can make a regular violin produce sweet music too. Know your anesthesia options too: local (tumescent), tumescent plus intravenous sedation (my usual preference), or general anesthesia all are safe and intelligent choices depending upon circumstances. A final consideration is where the procedure is to be done: because it is surgery, it should be in an accredited surgical facility.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

Most of the valid scientific studies show no significant difference between the results, recovery time and discomfort of standard liposuction versus laser lipo. The particular device is not the important factor. What is important is who is using it. I would suggest you see a plastic surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery who is a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). At the time of the consultation, you should discuss your motivation for the procedure as well as your expectations and the plastic surgeon can assess through a history and physical examination whether you are an appropriate candidate. Both  the pros and the cons of the procedure should be explained.

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

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