It frequently amazes me how patients can be wowed by technology and advertising hype. The attraction of newer technology in particular helps part many people from their money at times. The SmartLipo system is one of the laser-assisted liposuction systems on the market. I have blogged on it before having used it quite a bit a few years ago.
The system is being marketed with phrases like “almost anyone can be a good candidate for SmartLipo.” That is simply BS.
I saw an attractive young woman in the office who had had Smartlipo on her lower back. It looked like the Geiko Gecko had done it. Her smooth contour had been made irregular and discolored despite the fact that the surgery had happened quite a while prior. Her ribs had been a bit exposed by the loss of some of the fat that would normally have laid over them. Early lipo results do change, but this wasn’t something that was going to improve over time. I have seen worse but this was so unnecessary.
Why did this happen?
Marketing has oversold the SmartLipo unit in a huge way to both doctors and the public in general. Patients come to the office convinced that it will cure that which ails them. Unfortunately they many times assume the fancy laser system surgery does the work and that high priced machine is flawless.
At times prospective clients don’t have enough fat to treat and a surgeon is faced with two not-so-attractive alternatives:
(1) Advise a patient against surgery. This by the way, is the worst nightmare for many a surgeon as we are paid to operate not to talk.
(2) Operate and accept the risk that surgery might not improve the patient or worse yet might leave a dent.
This of course assumes that the patient sees a doctor who knows the difference. Many doctors offering SmartLipo are not trained plastic surgeons. Some picked up a SmartLipo system to replace revenue lost in their original practices outside of plastic surgery. For all you know last week your SmartLipo doctor might have been delivering babies.
The bottom line is that when you go to a less than smart doctor and have liposuction, the fancy SmartLipo laser-assisted system will not save you. You pay for experience and skill first and foremost, so I just hope my consult patient here hadn’t paid too much.
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*