What Do Think of a Physician Assistant (PA) Performing Liposculpture?

There is a new facility in San Diego,Calif. They offer very competitive prices,such as $750.00 per area,which is all inclusive. Lipo of the Love Handles would cost ~$1,895.00. This is performed by a PA who's been doing them fulltime for the last 5 years. What are you thoughts on a PA versus a surgeon perfoming this precedure?

Doctor Answers (16)

PA Performing Liposculpture/Liposuction

+2

PA's are qualified to perform various procedures including liposuction under the supervision of a physician.


New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Skilled surgeons for liposuction in Los Angeles

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A consultation with your treating clinician can help you determine if that person has the credentials and aesthetic acumen to do your liposuction. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

What Do Think of a Physician Assistant (PA) Performing Liposculpture?

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The laws differ from state to state and I am not sure about whether this is legal in California. PA's must be supervised by a physician but that doesn't mean that this is a good idea. I would recommend choosing your plastic surgeon based on their experience and reputation. Price is obviously important but shouldn't determine who you see for a surgical procedure that could potentially cause harm to you. I would recommend that you seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon to take care of you. They have the experience and tools to perform the correct procedure for you and the experience to deal with any and all of the potential problems that might arise.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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Physician assistant performing liposcuplture?

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    It is possible that you may be mistaken in your facts, since it is probably not legal for a PA to do this if a true surgical procedure is involved.  Since this forum verifies the training and the experience of the physicians who respond, it is doubtful that there is anyone here who would think that it is a good idea to have such a procedure by a person who is not as well trained.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
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PA's are Physician Assistants not Surgeons

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Whenever you are considering body-contouring, I would recommend that you seek out treatment by a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in liposuction.  A physician assistant may be an integral part of the surgical team, but they are not qualified to work independently as a surgeon.  Whenever you consider cosmetic surgery, price alone should not be the determining factor in choosing a provider.  Look at qualifications and experience rather than at price alone.  Your safety and results are highly dependent on your choice in this area.  Subsequent health problems, unsatisfactory results, and subsequent revisions are, unfortunately, a possible outcome when lowest price is the sole determinant in choosing a surgeon.  

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
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Physician Assistant performing liposuction

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I also don't think this is legal?!?! Please be careful.  Do not go somewhere just because of the low price - this is your body and this is actual surgery! If you do research regarding liposuction surgeries that have gone poorly with the patient having horrible complications (even death), you will see that usually these are cases of "non board certified plastic surgeons" performing these procedures.  There are so many potential risks and complications associated with any cosmetic procedure, you really should be looking for someone who will reduce the chances of those risks (not increase them).  Not only would I not recommend you doing this surgery with a PA, I would not recommend doing this procedure with a non board certified plastic surgeon.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
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What Do Think of a Physician Assistant (PA) Performing Liposculpture?

+1

I am not sure if this legal. Physician Assistant are suppose to assist not perform surgery and a physician must be the responsible person who oversees the PA. Although some surgeons do allow their assistant to do certain procedures during surgery such suturing skin etc., it is not legal unless the assistant has a First Assist certificate or is a physician.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Huntington Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
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No I would not want a Physician Assistant to perform any surgery on their own

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There are many unqualified specialties and professions who are performing plastic surgery today.  A board certified plastic surgeon undergoes two residencies - one in gerneral surgery or ear nose and throat surger (ENT) and then a three year plastic surgery residency.  This is all after medical school.  Even after all that training I would not recommend that you go to a person until they have some experience.

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
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You answered your own question

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Liposculpture is liposuction.  Liposuction is Surgery, and you've just asked, "Do I want to have this done by a Physician's Assistant or a Physician?"    If I were you, I'd get it done by a surgeon, who by definition is a physician.     Also, I'd check the credentials of this place that is allowing a PA to perform liposuction.   It is not only dangerous, but illegal. 

Charles K. Lee, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Liposculpture performed by a physician's assistant

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If by Liposculpture, you mean a surgical procedure where an incision is made and fat is surgically removed, No, a physician's assistant should not be performing this procedure.  It should only be performed by a licensed physician who is properly trained in liposuction/Liposculpture.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.