Seattle, Washington (December 2008) – The unsteady economy has some people looking to scale down their Seattle cosmetic surgery plans and save money through the “bargain” liposuction procedures that many physicians are now offering. However, board-certified plastic surgeons, like Dr. Braden Stridde of Seattle’s Puget Sound Plastic Surgery (www.psplasticsurgery.com), warn that low-cost liposuction procedures may carry significant risks, and that patients must make safety their top priority, even for small-scale procedures.
“Patients need to be aware of the danger of focusing solely on financial cost at the expense of safety,” Dr. Stridde says. “I have seen an increasing number of patients who want corrections for procedures that led to unsatisfying results because they had this misconception that in Seattle, ‘liposuction is liposuction.’ Too many people are finding out the hard way that a surgeon’s qualifications and techniques really matter.”
Dr. Stridde says that liposuction candidates should focus first and foremost on the quality of the surgeon and the surgical environment. “Start out looking for two things,” he says, “first, certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Claiming certification in ‘Cosmetic Surgery’ is not the same as being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Second, patients should make sure that the doctor is utilizing the most up-to-date techniques.”
Certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a deciding factor for most patients because it requires thorough training and more extensive surgical experience than surgeons who are not specifically certified by this prestigious certifying board. However, board certification alone is not a guarantee of good results. The surgeons experience with the latest proven technologies is a good indicator of their commitment to excellent outcomes.
Contemporary liposuction procedures are now performed using a sometimes confusing array of surgical technologies. Older techniques such as tumescent liposuction and power-assisted liposuction (PAL) have made it easier to perform the procedure and provided satisfactory outcomes. More advanced technologies like Vaser® LipoSelection, the latest generation of ultrasonic liposuction, have produced improved results for many patients. The newest generation of laser liposuction, the Smartlipo™ MPX system, sets a new standard for quality in liposuction results for a greater variety of patients.
Smartlipo MPX combines two carefully selected wavelengths of laser energy that selectively destroy fat cells, minimize bleeding, and allow for significantly improved skin tightening for Seattle liposuction patients. The skin tightening benefits are producing noticeably enhance results for patients who previously would not have been good candidates for traditional liposuction. “With the MPX system,” Dr. Stridde explains, “the dual laser technology and ultrafine laser probe allow us to perform a level of precision liposculpture that didnâ€™t exist with earlier techniques. The precision of the Smartlipo MPX system makes it safer, and results in more consistent and predictable results than we see with non-laser approaches.”
For both patients and surgeons, Dr. Stridde explains, “the bottom line is safety and results. Patients turn to discount options because they hope they will get more for their money, but discount plastic surgery is usually not a bargain. In reality they should be looking at other factors, like a surgeon’s experience and use of newer, more precise technologies.”
Dr. Stridde says that plastic surgery practices in Seattle where experienced surgeons are using advanced technologies, overall costs sometimes can be lower as the need for secondary procedures is minimized. “More importantly, though, these procedures facilitate the real goal of liposuction: beautiful body contouring results. In the end, less expensive procedures may lead to unsatisfying results. I encourage anyone interested in a body contouring procedure to do their homework and visit with several surgeons so they can decide who provides the best overall value for their unique goals and long-term health needs.”