July, 2011

3 Types of Liposuction

As liposuction continues to gain popularity around the world, many men and women are bewildered by the array of available techniques and wonder whether they are candidates for this elective cosmetic procedure. Dr. Donaldson was recently selected by WCMH in Columbus to explain three of the most common types of liposuction: traditional, ultrasonic-assisted, and freezing techniques.

Traditional liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL), has the longest track record and may ultimately yield the most reliable results. This type of liposuction begins with placement of “tumescent” fluid that contains numbing medicine and prevents bruising.  Thin cannulas are then placed through tiny incisions to remove unwanted fat. This type of liposuction is best for large soft areas of the body such as the abdomen, flanks, thighs and arms.

Ultrasonic-assisted lipectomy (UAL) is a newer technique that uses technology to “cavitate” or melt fat in different areas of the body. A thin metal probe is used to deliver ultrasonic energy to the subcutaneous fat layers to emulsify and break it up into smaller particles. The emulsified fat is then removed by another small diameter cannula. UAL is best reserved for firm, fibrous areas such as the back, or men’s chests that may not be amenable to traditional techniques and tools.

Freezing fat is a relatively new procedure used to remove unwanted fat deposits from the body. Some advocates claim it causes less pain and bruising, which results in a faster recovery; however, Dr. Donaldson is not yet convinced.  This modality needs more research and refinement before its benefits may be realized.

Ultimately, the liposuction type is not as important as the credentials and experience of the provider.  Insist upon a personalized consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon .

It is important to keep in mind that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity and not a replacement for a healthy diet and active lifestyle. You can watch Dr. Donaldson’s featured NBC news clip discussing these liposuction options.

Importance of Choosing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Picture of Jeffrey Donaldson Board Certified Plastic SurgeonIf you are considering elective cosmetic surgery, you are probably shopping around to find the best surgeon at the best price. There are thousands of physicians that offer both invasive and non-surgical elective cosmetic procedures across the country. These providers vary in education, experience, and expense. Many patients in the United States do not realize that doctors (a title which only requires completion of medical school) are often unrestricted in their practice of medicine and even surgery!  Many physicians who offer plastic surgical procedures are NOT plastic surgeons. And some plastic surgeons are not board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It is important to do your research.

The phrase “Board Certified” indicates that a particular physician has not only graduated from medical school and completed residency training, but has also passed rigorous examinations in his or her particular field. If a physician is board certified in plastic surgery, it means they meet the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s highest requirements in order to perform plastic surgery in the United States. Physicians can also be board certified in family medicine, obstetrics, urology, anesthesiology, and many other medial specialties. Most savvy patients would only trust a new nose, a lifted face or a breast augmentation from a physician who is board certified in plastic surgery.

Digging even deeper, not all boards are created equal. There are only 24 medical specialties that are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and it is important to keep in mind that cosmetic surgery, cosmetic medicine, aesthetic surgery, and aesthetic medicine are examples of “specialties” that are not recognized. So, if a doctor offers a cut-rate price on breast augmentation and claims to be board certified in “breast implant surgery”, you know they are not legitimized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and may be misrepresenting other aspects of their practice as well.

If all of this seems confusing, it is! But it will pay off to do your research and and understand your options. Choosing a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Donaldson will dramatically reduce your risk of adverse side effects and improve your rate of satisfaction.