5 Things You Should Know Before Liposuction

K. Mathews on 4 May 2012 at 12:00pm

liposuction before and after

“If I don't get Smart lipo does that mean I'm dumb? If my surgeon recommends Slim lipo does that mean he/she isn't a "Pro"? It truly is a ridiculous situation we have come to with regard to liposuction and the number of people trying to cash in on America's desire to be rid of its collective fat,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Armando Soto.

With so many forms of liposuction on the market, how do you know which procedure is the right one for you? Here are 5 important things to keep in mind when choosing a liposuction procedure:

1. The procedures aren’t that different

Often liposuction providers will stress minor differences in procedures to convince their method, but at the end of the day, all invasive liposuction procedures are pretty similar. “All of these devices will require you to undergo a [standard] liposuction procedure,” says Dr. Soto. “The only difference is the approach to the treatment of the fat prior to its removal.”

2. Choose a doctor, not equipment

Given each procedure’s similarities, the success of your surgery will predominately rest upon the proficiency of your doctor. Look for doctors who rely on their reputations as doctors, not the tools they are using. “You should be very worried when any professional spends their time and energy telling you why the machine they are going to use is so important to your outcome,” warns Dr. Soto. The best equipment means nothing when it isn’t used properly.

3. Don’t be fooled by new technology

Newer procedures do not mean better procedures. In fact, the majority of RealSelf doctors seem to prefer the tried and true tumescent liposuction procedure that’s been around for years. “Tumsecent liposuction is the gold standard by which other fat removal techniques are measured,” says Dr. Michael Kaminer. Patients appear to agree, too, giving the procedure an 83% Worth It rating – the highest of all liposuction options.

Dr. Soto suggests asking three questions when considering emerging liposuction technology:

  • Does it work better than what is already available?
  • Is it less expensive?
  • Is it safer than what is already available?

4. Consult with a doctor who performs multiple kinds of liposuction

If you consult with someone who only performs Smart Lipo, for example, that person is more likely to encourage you that Smart Lipo is the way to go. 

On the other hand, if you see a doctor who has multiple technologies available in his or her office, you’ll be dealing with someone who knows the nuances and can customize the best approach. “Only when you have a doctor sitting across from you who routinely performs all types of procedures can he/she tell you why one particular method is best for you,” says Dr. Evan Sorokin.

5. Familiarize yourself with patient reviews and Worth It Ratings

When in doubt, see what people who have had the procedures have to say. Worth It Ratings will give you an idea of which are the most popular with liposuction seekers. And RealSelf reviews will give you an idea of how painful each approach is, the length of the procedure, and the amount of recovery time involved.

Vaser liposuction before and after

Photo credit: Smart Lipo by Christine A. Petti, MD; vaser lipo by Michael law, MD