Cosmetic Surgery Safety

A hot topic for TV ratings wars, viewers have been barraged with reports about the dangers of liposuction surgery. How can patients do their homework to find a reputable doctor who will not only perform safe surgery, but can fulfill their dreams and expectations as well?

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery recently held a national meeting in Orlando, Florida to discuss and implement guidelines for patient safety in liposuction surgery.

With its focus on aesthetic surgery, The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery brings many surgical specialities together through national and international educational meetings to raise the knowledge and level of expertise for all of its members. It is one of the few medical academies recognized by the AMA that is dedicated expressly to Cosmetic Surgery.

The most important contribution to the safety of liposuction surgery to date: The Klein Tumescent Technique; developed by a California Dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey Klein, eliminated the need for general anesthesia in liposuction. Now commonly called Liposculpture, it is the gold standard because of its documented safety record. A 1999 article published in Dermatologic Surgery reports that Dermatologists accounted for less than 1% of malpractice claim settlements in liposuction cases, and that liposuction surgery performed in an outpatient surgicenter is more than 3 times safer than cases performed in a hospital setting. Other studies have demonstrated that in virtually all of the reported deaths from liposuction, guidelines were grossly ignored.

Dr. Rachel performs Liposculpture under The Tumescent Technique of Local Anesthesia, often utilizing Ultrasonic Laser-Assisted Liposculpting technology. When combined with advanced miniaturized instruments, and incisions so tiny they require no sutures, safety factors rise dramatically. An understanding of proportion and the ability to remove enough fat to change the lines and symmetry of the body have made Liposculpture a safe and effective procedure for patients who have had limited success with diet and exercise programs. Liposculpture can be safely and comfortably performed as an outpatient procedure because general anesthesia, the mainstay of traditional liposuction surgery, is no longer necessary. Patients enjoy a rapid recovery and are usually back at work in days and can resume regular exercise in a week.

In choosing a surgeon, Dr. Rachel suggests that prospective patients need to look at the number of cases a surgeon has performed, and his or her training. Checking with state medical societies, hospital affiliations, board certification, and looking at “before and after” pictures can give patient’s a strong idea of the surgeon’s expertise.

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