Liposuction: The Institution that Works

shutterstock_90551683Liposculpture was first performed in France in 1929, best cialis site but the real renaissance, cialis sale sildenafil a veritable explosion really, there occurred in the mid 1970’s in, of course, France. I wrote a poem once on liposuction and the only line worth repeating from it is, “Liposuction simply that/In goes tube, out goes fat.”

Clearly e.e. cummings need not be concerned, but the description is valid. From the very beginning right up to the present time, this is the way it works and it works well. Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in this country. Yet something happened along the way. People felt the need to improve upon something that was already working great. Early on there was internal ultrasonic liposuction and its cousin, external ultrasonic liposcupture, and then the real scientists got involved and there was laser, vaser, infrared, water jet, the use of freezing, heating, beating and depleting, and then new versions of the ultrasonic energy, HIFU (not a Japanese dish), and a liposuction device that actually comes with an IQ rating, Smart.

Brilliant liposuction, I would venture, is just around the corner. At the end of the day, what did all this technology contribute? How was the lot of lipokind enhanced? It wasn’t. Multiple studies have shown that the results are no better, and in some cases not as good. Remember, “In goes tube, out goes fat.” The new techniques have great marketing value. Who wouldn’t want Smart lipo instead of Average Intelligence lipo? The public was caught up in this frenzy of media hype, and the doctors followed suit. The public, already bored with old-fashioned liposuction, which can only say for itself that it works predictably well all the time, started to catch on to the fact that there was no difference, so the scientists came up with the ultimate hook, these contraptions tighten the skin. Now “vive la difference.” Great selling point, but there is one small rub — there is no substantiated evidence that these widely promoted devices actually tighten the skin.

The simple fact is that conventional, old-fashioned, boring, been there done that, in goes tube, liposuction is still the standard of care for one reason — it works. In the words of the French, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.” (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)

Dr. Lawrence S. Reed, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with The Reed Center for Plastic Surgery on the Upper East Side in Manhattan.
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