Smart Lipo MPX Scam?

I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon and am seriously considering participating in a MPX Smart Lipo study done by a Dr. in Calif. I did not meet the Dr. but was very impressed with what I learned from the consultant. She told me that this Dr. was the first in Ca. to use Smart Lipo and is the one that trains other Dr.'s how to use it.

There are little clips from news stations and he seems to be legit but I have not found his name on the Cynosure website or in any of the news articles that I found. Patients that participate are supposed to receive 50% off of the normal fee. The quote they gave me for upper/lower abs, inner and outer thighs which they considered 6 areas is $15,690 and with the discount it would be $8,000. If I decided on 4 areas they would charge me $5,000. Does this seem reasonable?

They do use conscious sedation with an IV vs just a local that some of the Dr.'s that are quoting in the $5,000 range charge. I can't help but feel this is a little bit of a scam since I haven't found anyone on this website that has paid even close to what he says his regular price is. The consultant said it's because he's "the best" and the leader in the field.

Hmmmmmm, I would greatly appreciate any opinions on this because if I decide to participate in the study I need to let them know ASAP. Any thoughts on this?

Doctor Answers 6

It sounds like a scam to me - run, don't walk, away!

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If you go to a consult and don't even meet the doctor, I would run away. This has all the earmarks of a disaster on it. First of all, in our clinic, those areas would be no more than about $9000 with or without a 'study'. Additionally, the beauty of Smart Lipo in most places is that it is performed with the tumescent method of liposuciton, meaning you don't have to have the 'conscious sedation' with it. This means that, if it is done in the right way, you will have MUCH less bruising and a much quicker recovery time.

With the way that this doctor is doing it, you will have none of the benefits of Smart Lipo when it is done in the right way. The scam here is that he is going to give you a higher priced procedure and none of the good features of the tumescent method that is usually done with the Smart Lipo. Put on top of this, questionable marketing and an unconscionable lack of interaction with the surgeon prior to the procedure and you are best to get a second opinion.

Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Your Smart lipo question

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Your final price is not too bad. However, I tend to dislike anyone that calls themselves the "best." Usually the best, never refer to themselves in that way.

I also tend to believe there is no best plastic surgeon. There are several good doctors who have all become comfortable with the technique. Furthermore, I think it is over-marketing when you inflate a price to double the going rate, and then drop it in half, making it seem like you got a great deal.

Today everyone has to do some marketing - it is just what is considered over the top. Lastly, I think it is very poor form to have a consultation and not even meet the surgeon.

Pice smart lipo

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if your prospective surgeon was educating others out there he would have a triplex not MPX, final prices are acceptable, but sounds like they are trying to make you feel like you got a bargain, surgeon should see you in consultation

David J. Goodkind, MD
New Haven Plastic Surgeon

Be aware

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Smartlipo MPX is a very good device, however you need to remember that it is only that, you need a good operator to obtain a good result.

There are so many physicians performing procedures without the proper training, some of then go to a weekend course and then magically become "experts."

One of the advantages of the smartlipo MPX is the ability to be performed under local tumescent anesthesia, usually with only oral sedation. If the surgeon uses IV sedation then you loose some of the advantages. You need to check your surgeons priviledges in recognized certified outpatient surgery centers (OSC), if the "surgeon" lack of any priviledges in an OCS that most likely means he/she is not a surgeon.

There are so many SHAM "boards" in cosmetic surgery. There is only one board in plastic surgery recognized by the american board of medical specialties : The American Board of plastic surgery.

The best way to check the doctors credentials is to go to your state medical board or the national prefessional societies.

The most important factor in determining the outcome of your surgery is your choice of surgeon.

Good luck

Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Smart Lipo scam seems too good to be true

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If anything seems too good to be true, it usually is. If you have not met with the doctor I would never pay any money. One of the most important decisions that you have to make is whether you feel comfortable with your physician and can trust him/her. If they don't meet with you before the procedure, do you think they are going to meet with you after your procedure when you have questions or problems?

The discounted price that you were quoted is reasonable for a typical "normal" price depending on the extent of lipo in those areas. This may simply be a marketing tactic to make you feel like you are getting a bargain. This would be especially "fishy" if this price were only available for a limited time. Most reputable surgeons don't "have sales"-- they may add more value to the procedure, but sales are tactics used by grocery stores and outlet malls--not plastic surgeons.

Get several opinions and make your choice carefully. Cheaper is not always better.

Also the term "smartlipo" has become synonymous with "laser lipolysis" or "laser lipo". What they are offering may not actually be "smartlipo" but may be one of the other competing brands such as "slimlipo" etc.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 reviews

Call Cynosure

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You can call Cynosure directly and ask why this doctor is not on their website. I live in California, own a Smartlipo MPX and am listed in their directory. The only plausible answer is that the doctor is doing a study for Cynosure and is not listed in their website because he does not own the machine (and has not paid for the machine). Cynosure may be providing him with the machine to conduct the study. Rely on other measures like board certification in plastic surgery and ask to speak to a few patients. Do not rely on video clips from news organizations or from online video postings. Good luck.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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.