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The truth about laser liposuction – is it surgery?

Did you know that laser liposuction is actually surgery?

What started out as a fairly simple idea – vacuum out stubborn areas of excess fat – has morphed into an alphabet soup of techniques and technologies.

I would like to cut through some of the confusion that is partially the result of the aggressive marketing around laser liposuction,  after a patient recently quizzed me about it.  She thought that it was non-invasive and not surgery.  Here is the truth – yes, it is surgery!  Sugar coat it all you like with terms like “minimally invasive” and so on – its surgery.

Like all new cosmetic treatments that come out (despite sales reps knocking on my doors telling me that they have the “latest must have”…groan), I have carefully considered the claimed benefits,  risks, possible complications and also results of laser liposuction.  I have also considered the existing scientific and medical literature.  My conclusion to date is that I do not believe that laser liposuction is superior to traditional liposuction nor am I convinced that the results outweigh the potential risks and complications which arise out of this procedure.

Like some of my colleagues (and by colleagues, I mean Plastic Surgeons), I have said this over and over to my patients: ALL liposuction – whether its called Smart Lipo, Slim Lipo, laser lipo, Soft Lipo, VASER – is surgery. It’s invasive. Period.  As with all surgery, you should ensure that it is performed by a trained and qualified surgeon.

It’s not just about considering the kind of technology used; it’s also about who is on the other end of the liposuction cannula.   Ensure that your surgeon has proper surgical qualifications. It is still legal in Australia for any doctor, without formal surgical qualifications, to perform surgery.  Check the specialty of your surgeon as well.   You have time to check this because cosmetic surgery is not “I must have” ; its “I want” surgery.

If you wish to read more about surgical qualifications and what they mean, please go to my website,

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