We have seen a dramatic and, unfortunate, increase over the past few years in patients who come to us from all over the US after having been disfigured by laser liposuction procedures. In many instances, unqualified physicians performed these procedures. While liposuction has gained acceptance and popularity, not all treatments and providers are able to deliver the results patients seek.
Due to the current state of medicine in this country, many doctors are expanding into services they were never trained to perform, including plastic surgery. After seeing disappointing results, many patients are surprised to learn that their “plastic surgeon” was actually trained as a family doctor or general surgeon, and simply took a one-day or weekend course to learn how to use a surgical laser to perform liposuction.
Laser liposuction is aggressively advertised under brand names such as Smartlipo™, SlimLipo™, and CoolLipo™. These devices use a low-energy laser to melt targeted fat cells. Marketing claims include skin tightening, reduced bruising, and quicker recovery over conventional liposuction methods, but the reality is that the plastic surgeons at The Wall Center are seeing a very high number of unsatisfied and unhappy laser liposuction patients, many with uncorrectable deformities.
While using lasers to perform liposuction may sound like a sophisticated, space-age way to simply melt away unwanted fat, The Wall Center surgeons want you to realize the potential hazards of devices “designed to destroy fat cells and coagulate tissue,” as one device manufacturer states in its marketing materials.
Destroying fat cells and burning up tissues inside the body does not really make sense to us as plastic surgeons. We have seen and treated a number of patients with deformities from laser liposuction. It’s important to note that the extreme heat produced from these laser devices can drastically increase the risk of a bad result. In some cases, even the tried-and-true techniques we’ve used for years to fix contour deformities are insufficient to correct the damage these laser devices can produce inside the body. From what I’ve seen, much more research needs to be done with these devices, and potential patients need to be educated about laser liposuction and its risks – and about the importance of having a board-certified plastic surgeon perform their liposuction, regardless of the technique used.
The number of people we see with poor laser liposuction results from other practices continues to rise. A recent example is one of our patients, C.P., a 28-year-old former swimsuit model. She saw an ad in her local newspaper for in-office Smartlipo laser liposuction that promised to remove unsightly bulges of unwanted fat with no downtime and a low price tag. While she had hoped for an improvement in her tummy and flanks, she was left with an uneven, wavy appearance, and worst of all, an unsightly crease across the skin of her abdomen. Despite allowing the same doctor, who was not a plastic surgeon, two more attempts at fixing her problems with additional laser liposuction, C.P.’s previously attractive midriff was now ruined. C.P. sought my help, because I specialize in liposuction in Louisiana, and because of my experience treating post-liposuction contour deformities using my SAFELipo™.
Unlike laser liposuction and other heat-producing technologies like ultrasound and radiofrequency, SAFELipo does not generate any heat, eliminating the possibility of burning and destroying tissues inside the body. SAFELipo gently separates unwanted fat from its attachments so it can be removed easily, minimizing any damage to blood vessels, nerves, and the remaining fat layer. Waviness and lumpiness are almost unheard of utilizing SAFELipo’s unique fat equalization process. All three of us here at the Wall Center for Plastic Surgery (Simeon Sr, Holly, and Simeon Jr) agree that our results with SAFELipo are far and away superior to anything we’ve ever done using any other technique or technology.
Dr. Simeon Wall Sr is a pioneer in liposuction surgery, and has witnessed a steady evolution of the procedure and the technology since its introduction to the United States in the early 1980s. In the hands of a trained, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in cosmetic surgery, advanced liposuction techniques like SAFELipo can produce beautiful results. But these improvements are directly tied to the surgeon’s ability more than to the technology or techniques. Above all, it’s important to choose your surgeon carefully. Look for a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Don’t be swayed by special offers and discounts – you simply can’t put a price on your health and wellbeing.
To your health & beauty,