Smart lipo backlash

Usually, at the major plastic surgery meetings, the procedings and questions are very polite and discussions are very calm…but not this morning. The gloves came off and the sparks flew. The topic: the latest technologies in liposuction, particularly laser liposuction.

An all-star panel, moderated by Dr. Steve Teitelbaum, showed great results by several talented surgeons, all of whom use different methods, including standard liposuction, PAL, SAFElipo (which I also use), and laser assisted liposuction.

Here are some highlights from the panelists…the tone of the comments will become immediately apparent.

– Dr. Simeon Wall reviewed the peer-reviewed scientific literature on laser-assisted (“smart”) liposuction: no difference versus standard liposuction. Interestingly, there is no proof showing that laser liposuction is better, or has a quicker recovery, even though the laser machines have been on the market for several years.

– Dr. Constantino Mendieta: “The bottom line is – Smart lipo just doesn’t work”. He called his laser lipo machine the best (and most expensive) “dust collector” in the office. He doesn’t use it anymore.

– Dr. Steve Teitelbaum stressed that it’s not the machine that makes a difference, but the skill of the surgeon using it. He felt that even though a few, highly talented pro-laser surgeons might get reasonable results with laser liposuction, that it just might be too dangerous, with too high a rate of complications, for general use.

– Dr. Bela Fodor, former ASAPS president, commented from the audience, that in his practice, which is about 50% revisional (fix-up) liposuction cases, that 80-90% of these cases were from laser liposuction. Dr. Wall agreed – In his practice, he also does a large amount of revisional liposuction – and says it is more difficult to fix deformities resulting from smart lipo than any other liposuction method.

Humorously, Dr. Teitelbaum suggested that when patients call, asking whether he does Smart Lipo, he has his staff say, “No, he does brilliant lipo!” I think I might get my staff to say that too, when people call for a liposuction consultation!

Overall: a huge backlash against laser-assisted liposuction….it was like a Boston Tea Party in the world of liposuction. Maybe it was “the shot heard around the world”

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