I am a board-certified female plastic surgeon practicing in Beverly Hills, and over the years my patients, colleagues and co-workers have dubbed me the “Lipo Queen.” The first patient who did presented me with the towel in the above photo. I know, I didn’t get it at first either, but maybe in this context you will. It reads “Lip-O-Queen.” It was a sweet gesture, but I certainly didn’t think it would become a nickname that would stick over the years. Though it is catchy, you have to admit. I mean, “Nose Job King” and “Facelift Wizard” don’t exactly roll off the tongue the same way.
So how did I get this nickname? I suppose it has to do with the fact that I have developed a reputation as somewhat of a “fat annihilator” when I am in the operating room. No matter how stubborn the fat, I will work tenaciously away until I have sculpted out the body you should have been born with. Sometimes the scrub tech has to do an intervention and take my magic wand away from me. It’s not really a magic wand, but the closest thing to it. I mean, what’s better than getting rid of your muffin top and saddle bags while you’re asleep.
I am not advocating liposuction (or liposculpture, a fancier word for the same thing) as a replacement for diet and exercise and healthy living, but rather as an adjunct to it. You can still do the “South Beach Diet” and that crazy “P90X” to your heart’s content. But everyone has an ideal of what they would like to look like, what they know they could look like, but they just can’t accomplish it the “organic” way. You know, like when you pull your inner thighs apart in front of the mirror to create the coveted “space,” or when you try to starve yourself down an extra five pounds to get rid of the stomach pooch you’ve had since the second kid and instead your face just gets drawn and sunken-in looking. Everyone’s personal goal for what they want their body to look like is different: the woman who has lost 100 pounds after a gastric bypass has hers, and the woman who can’t lose that extra five pounds has hers, and the swimsuit model who hangs out on yachts in Miami with other swimsuit models has hers. That last category is a very small one, by the way. But what everyone has a right to know is that liposuction is one safe and very effective method of helping to reach that goal.
Liposuction has gotten a bad rap over the years, and the nasty fables like, “Liposuction is dangerous” and “The fat will come back in other places” and “It will ruin your skin and make it all wrinkly” must be dispelled.
Most importantly, because “Safety comes first,” YES, LIPOSUCTION IS SAFE. That is, when it is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon with a board-certified anesthesiologist at an accredited facility, it is safer than getting on the freeway and driving home. What is not safe is when a patient doesn’t do their research and winds up having liposuction by and Emergency Room Physician who has just taken a weekend course. Or when the patient has not disclosed to the anesthesiologist any significant drug habits or medical conditions. Those last two scenarios account for nearly all of the bad press that liposuction has received.
So if you have ever wondered about it, don’t make any decisions based on negative stories your friends tell you. I have often found with my patients that “misery loves company” and that their friends will often try to dissuade them from having cosmetic procedures done because they are afraid to have them done themselves. If you are curious, at least make an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area and get the facts. You may be pleasantly surprised.