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Don’t Believe The Hype About SmartLipo, A Laser Liposuction Procedure

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.

SmartLipo Led to a Dent

Why did this happen? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Why We Women Can’t Win: Liposuction And Fat Redistribution

Here’s the tweet I posted Sunday evening:

I’ve told pts this for years now>>> Liposuction Study Finds That Lost Fat Returns – http://nyti.ms/kheltN

The New York Times article reports on a liposuction study published in the April issue of the journal Obesity (full reference below).   The NY Times article uses this photo as graphic illustration

and a quote from a plastic surgeon who says he is surprised.

Dr. Felmont Eaves III, a plastic surgeon in Charlotte, N.C., and president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, said the study was “very well done,” and the results were surprising. He said he would mention it to his patients in the context of other information on liposuction.

I have told my patients for years to consider the fat cells in their body as drawers or storage bins.  If I take away some of the drawers and they continue to take in “fat” that needs to be stored, the body will put it somewhere.  If there are now fewer drawer options in the saddlebag or abdominal region, then where will it go?  Most likely the upper body, etc. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Liposuction-Related Death And Finding A Safe Doctor

From the Chicago Tribune:

A 35-year-old woman who wanted to resculpt herself for the new year with liposuction and a buttocks enhancement is dead from apparent complications of plastic surgery, her husband and lawyer said Thursday. Miami customer service representative Lidvian Zelaya died Monday, hours after the operation began at Strax Rejuvenation and Aesthetics Institute, a busy cosmetic surgery practice in Lauderhill. Zelaya went to Strax to have fat suctioned from her back and belly, and to have the material injected into her backside, family representatives said. She chose Strax because she got a good deal. Aronfeld said the operation was to be done by Dr. Roger L. Gordon. He was disciplined by the state in connection with two plastic surgery deaths in 2004.

This is getting ridiculous. Liposuction deaths have been frequent in the media as of late. And this surgeon, Roger L. Gordon, M.D., is a real, board-certified plastic surgeon as per the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Then again, plastic surgery IS surgery and therefore has risk associated with it. Was this an unfortunate accident or something else? How can a potential patient choose well to limit the risk of cosmetic surgery? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Military Plastic Surgery: Using Liposuction To Make The Weight Cut

The Orange County Register blog posted on military plastic surgery and mentioned liposuction:

Army Times reports that soldiers are turning to liposuction to remove fat if extreme dieting, laxatives and other methods fail to get them under the Army’s weight limit for their height, age and gender.

“Liposuction saved my career. Laxatives and starvation before an [Army Physical Fitness Test] sustains my career,” a soldier told the periodical. “Soldiers are using liposuction, laxatives and starvation to meet height and weight standards. I did, do and still do.”

I am well aware of the military patient looking to stay within military parameters to stay in the service as my San Clemente office is quite close to Camp Pendleton, and I give military discounts. I have seen several of these patients in my decade in San Clemente. Surgery for wives still outnumbers surgery for soldiers, though.

As some of these clients have explained, the Marine administration requires active duty soldiers to have certain measurements at a certain weight. Those who do not fall within these expected norms are first warned and then penalized. Liposuction has worked at times to keep some of these soldiers in the service.

– John Di Saia, M.D.

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Plastic Surgery: Thoughts Before Going Under The Knife

More than 10 million Americans undergo elective cosmetic procedures each year. Dr. Jon LaPook reports on what every patient should know about anesthesia with Dr. Panchali Dhar, author of “Before the Scalpel.”


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Plastic Surgery: Risks Of Going Under The Knife

Last year — despite the recession — there were about 10 million cosmetic procedures in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 90 percent were in women and about 1.5 million were surgical. 
 
The top five surgical procedures were breast augmentation (311,957), liposuction (283,735), eyelid surgery (149,943), rhinoplasty (138,258), and abdominoplasty (127.923). As you awaken on the morning of your elective surgery, there’s no way you haven’t yet met the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. But odds are you still haven’t met the person who will be most responsible for keeping you alive: the anesthesiologist. Read more »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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