Smart Lipo or Dumb Lipo? Who's to say?

So many techniques, so little time!

The public is inundated with a plethora of information on the internet, TV, and all sorts of 'beauty' magazines enough to make the average consumer's head spin.  As a brilliant anonymous philosopher once said, 'A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.'  Of course, Sy Sims, the owner of a retail clothing chain, countered with, 'An educated consumer is our best customer.'  The truth is that both adages are correct.  There is no substitute for real knowledge but the sources most people rely on too often provide bits and pieces of information, just enough to enable patients to ruminate on various options and initiate a conversation but definitely not enough to provide the complete picture.  That should only be sought from a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Having said that, on almost a daily basis I am consumed with questions from patients eager to understand the differences between the numerous liposuction techniques currently being promoted.  I welcome that because I truly enjoy spending time with my patients and providing the education and information they need to make an informed decision that will address their individual concerns.  But buyer beware!  Some of the most 'popular' techniques have become so not from overwhelming praise or consensus among plastic surgeons due to the consistent excellent results they are achieving with a particular technique but, rather, due to clever marketing.

It may be sexier to use 'laser' liposuction or 'water' liposuction or 'power' liposuction than 'traditional' liposuction.  But the reality is that what matters most is the result that a plastic surgeon is confident he or she can achieve based on a patient's goals and starting point.  I use a number of techniques based on each individual circumstance but there is certainly nothing wrong with a technique that has stood the test of time over several decades (i.e., 'traditional'). There's nothing sexier than a beautiful result and that is dependent upon a surgeon's ability to master one or more techniques and meet his or her patients' expectations.

I often share my plumber's analogy with patients.  When the plumber comes to your home to repair your sink, do you really care which wrench he uses or that he gets the job done?  Same here.  A good friend and colleague of mine once told me, 'When a patient calls the office asking if we do the 'donkey facelift,' my staff tells them, 'Absolutely!'  His point was that patients often don't have enough information before coming to the office to understand the differences between various techniques so it is crucial to invite them to the office to have a conversation with them and provide that information.  They rarely leave the office having signed up for a 'donkey facelift.'

I could go on and on about the shortcomings of various techniques and my preference for others but that is not my point.  It is always a red flag when a patient conveys that they are looking for a specific technique.  Not a procedure, a technique.  Every qualified plastic surgeon will have their own opinions about various techniques but all will agree that a patient must first be comfortable with their surgeon and then discuss the various options available before marrying themself to one.  Always seek a qualified plastic surgeon who can safely and effectively perform the procedure you desire. Don't seek a technique!


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Please note that unless you are actually my patient, in which case I have seen and evaluated you at JW Plastic Surgery, then I am technically not your doctor. These posts and responses to inquiries are provided for educational and entertainment purposes but cannot apply to any individual patient who has not been directly evaluated by myself or another Board-certified plastic surgeon.



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