How to Choose the Right Liposuction Procedure?

I have been to personal trainers, gyms and nutritionists. I have lost weight but I have fat that won't go away above my belly button and below.

I have seen drs who use both traditional Liposuction and Smart Lipo and ones who only support traditional. I have seen one of (supposedly) best drs in NYC who seems to despise Smart Lipo. How do I know which is right for me?

Doctor Answers 15

Artist and their Canvas

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Great question and I hear the same questions and concerns just about everyday. I too use traditional liposuction. I am not opposed to NEW technology, but I need to see in our respected surgical journals convincing evidence based studies that demonstrate a significant advantage of Laser assisted liposuction over traditional liposuction. As of today, I am still awaiting the convincing data...but I do know it may be coming!

Every artist picks the medium and technique that works BEST for them...this is the same with surgeons, especially plastic surgeons. See 10 Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and you may get 10 different opinions on what would work best for you. Each surgeon I am sure is giving you their opinion as to what would work "best for you in their hands".

I am sure you will be in great hands in NYC, review your surgeons results, have them point out which patients before pics look most like you and what after photos you may expect to see in yourself.

I hope this helps and good luck! Liposuction is a fantastic body sculpting technique that will help motivate you in the gym as well to look even better than weight loss alone.

Dr. C

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Choosing the right Liposuction procedure

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To paraphrase Billy Joel; "Welcome to the Age of Jive".


Unlike, Nascar, Indy 500, Tour De France, The Olympics etc, Plastic surgeons do NOT line their OR tables side by side, compete for the title by operating on identical patients and then have these patients judged by an impartial jury which then awards "the best in class" to each winning surgeon.

This simply does not happen.

While New York Magazine and other similar magazines in different cities throw the Best Doctors titles around quite loosely, the list of the so honored is rather incomplete: It is quite biased by containing some known members of our society but mostly lists surgeons who are full time academicians or hospital employees. Such lists do not list many excellent surgeons who do not employ PR agents to promote and pitch them.

So, just because your surgeon(s) is not listed, does not necessarily make him/her a substandard surgeon. Furthermore, just because he is listed, he/she may not be deserving of that title.

As regards Liposuction, I FULLY agree with several previous postings. The more flowery, STAR WARS, catchy the title, the less I would take the promises seriously.

You do not NEED to have your subcutaneous fat cooked with a laser to get good results. In fact, you may not want to have this done to you at all. A good plastic surgeon produces good liposuction results - period.

Ask to see before-after pictures of former patients like you. Ask to speak with former patients and ask them if they would do it again.

See more than 1 plastic surgeon and see who treated you better and listened to your concern; judge for yourself.

Then, armed with this information, put down your Luke Skywalker laser saber and make a RATIONAL, EDUCATED choice on which surgeon you trust most and go with him / her.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Laser versus traditional liposuction

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I have always found it hard and avoided criticizing techniques or technologies which I have not had experience with. Therefore, I have tried very hard, and at times at great expense, to stay on the cutting edge of plastic surgery. I have experience and access to Vaser, Lipolit, Smart Lipo and the Accuscuplt laser. I can assure you that the newer generation laser and especially the Accusculpt 1444 nm wavelength laser melts fat. Whether that gives you a better result depends on the surgeon who is working with the laser as well as traditional liposuction. Check out the surgeon's results on patients similar to you - this should help you decide.

Rght Lipo procedure is the with doctor you're most comfortable with

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Every doctor does Lipo and there are so many different techniques. If a doctor does enough Lipos then he will be good at that technique and he will tell everyone that is the best. What matters is the relationship you have with your doctor because he is the one who will have to see you through the whole procedure and afterward take care, or any touch ups if they are needed. Safety is a big concern so do not go to any Lipo doctors who do Lipo under general anesthesia. It just is not worth the risk and that also tells you he is outdated in keeping up with the newer techniques.

Good Luck!

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Smart Lipo is just a gimmick.

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There is no science behind Smart Lipo. In general, I recommend avoiding any procedure with a brand name or a catchy title. Too much marketing. I don't know any experienced, respected plastic surgeon in New York who uses Smart Lipo.

But remember, it is not your job to know what is the best procedure. It sounds like you are a good candidate for liposuction of the abdomen. It's the surgeon that matters, not the machine. So pick a plastic surgeon you trust (ask to see lots of before and after pictures; ask to speak to one of her or his patients), and let the surgeon use the best technique for you. You'll do fine.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Choosing the right liposuction procedure

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Sorting through all of the marketing hype and competing claims about liposuction options has gotten a lot more difficult in recent years. Laser-assisted liposuction was ushered in with a lot of hype as being "less invasive" and "safer" even though by definition it is more invasive and carries additional risk. What really makes a difference here is the experience of the surgeon, not the technology.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Choose an experienced liposuction surgeon, not a name.

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 What is important in liposuction is an experienced liposuction surgeon, not the technique used. Catchy names mean nothing! What is important is how much fat is removed and how much is left behind!

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Choose the surgeon and not the technique

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Liposuction results are more dependant on the person doing the procedure than the technique. Some of the techniques that you are hearing about now days are more marketing hype than actual results. If you are talking with a board certified plastic surgeon that regularly does liposuction you will be in good hands.

You would have to do a residency in plastic surgery to be able to make the full educated determination on which liposuction technique is best. Find a good surgeon and discuss you concerns with him or her and you should do very well.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Experience in all types

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This is a very common question and as a plastic surgeon who only does body work, I have the advantage of experience with all the different types of liposuctioning. What I tell patients is that the various types of liposuctioning are like different golf clubs in your golf bag. You can play the entire hole with one club but you will do much better if you have at least a wood, an iron and a putter.

Each type of liposuction techniques has its positives and negatives. All have the problem of what happens to the excess skin that may develope. It is well known that skin will contract better if it is injured in a controlled fashion (with heat or chemical or dermabrasion). I have found that the laser lipo devices which can heat the undersurface of the skin are probably better than traditional and ultrasonic when it comes to skin contraction and smoothness of the final result. You also can heat the undersurface of the skin with the ultrasound altghough it is not marketed as such. The smoothness of the final result is also influenced by the smaller intruments that are used.

The best opinions are from plastic surgeons who have and use all the different devices and are not getting a kickback from any company. There are a few of us who fall into that catagory. If a doctor condemns a certain type of procedure and has not done that procedure or does not have the equipment you need to investigate more. If the plastic surgeon is considered "the best" you need to investigate what that really means and who is saying that and why.

As I stated above, you can play the entire hole with one club, and some golfers will do great with one club(Tiger), but having different clubs to use usually will give a better score for us mortals.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

The key to liposuction is the surgeon and your skin elasticity - not the "technique" used

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 The best results from liposuction come from going to the best surgeon and letting them use what they think is the best technique.  The other element that is critical is your own skin elasticity because no technology (ie Smart lipo) can overcome poor skin elasticity no matter how much they might promise.

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.