On the day of my procedure, my doctor said that he didn't think I needed the "laser". Is this a common practice? (Photo)

I recently decided to get laser lipo of my upper arms and bra fat. While he is marking me up, I ask about the laser and my concern of loose skin afterwards and he tells me that he doesn't think I need the laser and that my skin will do fine without it. He told me that sometimes the laser can cause problems with the thin skin on the inner arm like seromas or unevenness and he will decide while he is doing the procedure. He didn't use the laser. Is there any validity to what he told me?

Doctor Answers 2

Informed consent

If you paid specifically for laser liposuction and laser liposuction was not done, then there is a breach of contract.

That in itself is much more of an issue than your actual results.

If your skin is fine, then not using a laser will not significantly change your outcome, if at all.

I have performed over 2,000 laser liposuction procedures.

My guess is if I used the laser on one side and did not use the laser on the other side, few patients, if any, would have noticed a difference.

What's important is that the procedure agreed upon was delivered.

Are you sure the surgeon had a laser available?

In the end, I suppose if your results are great, then that speaks for itself.

I don't want to second guess another surgeon since I was not there.

In the end, it's the technique and skill of the operator that gives results, not the equipment.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Doctor changed your plan right before surgery?

Most of us agree that laser lipo is not always better and not always necessary. Sometimes I do it, and sometimes I don't. However, this decision is always made well before the surgery and our surgical plan almost never changes right before surgery. While your doc may be 100% right, it makes my uneasy that he/she changed the plan on you as you were being marked. You should verify with your surgeon that he/she actually performs laser lipo. It sounds crazy, but I have heard of many docs who claim to perform laser lipo, but don't actually have the laser machine. It is a classic bait-and-switch. This is not only unethical and dishonest, but illegal. Again, this may not be the case with your surgeon, but you should at least ask.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

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