Should Smart Lipo Be Performed by a Board Certified Surgeon?

Doctor Answers 4

It depends on what Board has certified the surgeon

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A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon would be the most qualified person to do your liposuction (Smart lipo or traditional). Unfortunately, because of decreasing insurance reimbursements for surgeries like ones on your gall blader and appendix, General Surgeons have taken to doing liposuction, often using Smart lipo. These doctors have no training in plastic surgery but because the procedure is deceptively easy to do, they believe they can do it safely. I have personally seen patients who have had Smart lipo done by geneal surgeons who were destroyed by their results and were uncorrectable. So, be ware of the training each doctor claims to have and do your thorough research!

If you want the quickest recovery and the least side effects, make sure they are doing tumesent lipo

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You can get SmartLipo done by many different specialties and anyone can purchase these machines unfortunately. The main difference between recovery, however, is if you have the tumescent method performed in addition. This is typically performed by dermatologists, although some plastic surgeons are now using it.

The way that you can tell if you are getting the tumescent method is if you are awake during the surgery (there is little, if any, pain with the tumescent method) and if you are able to go back to work within a day or two. All other methods create more pain, more bruising and more recovery time.

I echo what the other plastic surgeons have stated here: beware of quacks who have recently purchased a laser and now are 'experts' on SmartLipo. Believe me, the laser is the least significant part of this procedure. While it does help and can improve results, the finesse is all about the method of suctioning the fat, the preparation of the fat and the technique.

The laser can cause problems if not performed correctly or if too much power is used and that is another reason to go to someone who knows what they are doing, but the most important thing is to know that your surgeon is truly an expert and not someone who just started to do this to escape being in another specialty with low reimbursements.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Get The Best Whenever You Can

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Board Certification in Plastic Surgery is the minimum that you should seek in your Plastic Surgeon. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the ONLY Board in Plastic Surgery. Don't be defrauded by other made-up Board Certification. This tends to be very confusing to the general public but legally any licensed physician is permitted to practice any type of medicine regardless of traing or experience. Now that there are techniques that can be done in the office setting(like smart lipo), all sorts of Drs are now cosmetic specialists. Be very careful.

Look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Look for members of The American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Aethetic Plastic Surgery

Ask about the doctor's experience regarding liposuctioning and smart lipo. Some doctors will criticize smart lipo but have never used it or just tried it one or two times.

Do your homework and ask around.

Best of Luck

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

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Board certification is a good beginning but don't stop there!

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Board certification is a good beginning but there are many other issues to address besides this.

Be certain that it is a reputable board and one approved by the ABMS as well. Any one can establish a board but only 23 are recognized by ABMS. You can go to their website to check it out.

Furthermore make sure it is a board with a specialty that is relevant to your procedure. Boarrd certification in Internal Medicine provides you with little reassurance that your smart lipo procedure will go well.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.