Posts Tagged botched liposuction
I have a soft spot for attractive women who have suffered poor results with plastic surgery. Not infrequently I am asked to consult on such patients. Recently a nice forty something year old lady came in after having had pretty much botched liposuction by another surgeon nearly ten years prior.
Her right thigh has a pretty profound dent in it about one centimeter in depth and five or so in diameter. She had already had four attempts at surgical correction using fat grafts. She indicated that at best the results with the revisions lasted weeks in duration.
Botched liposuction can be improved at times. The main treatments are additional liposuction at the margins and fat grafting. Deep defects are very difficult if not impossible to repair with fat grafting as the grafts do not tend to heal completely or consistently.
I will look into alternatives in the surgical literature, but the main point of this post is to encourage patients to check into their prospective surgeons carefully. When you go to the unqualified these complications are more prone to happening. Try to keep unqualified surgeons from operating on you and your chances of problems go down markedly.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2012-08-27 07:30:33.
It frequently amazes me how patients can be wowed by technology and advertising hype. The attraction of newer technology in particular helps part many people from their money at times. The Smartlipo system is one of the laser-assisted liposuction systems on the market. I have blogged on it before having used it quite a bit a few years ago.
The system is being marketed with phrases like “almost anyone can be a good candidate for Smartlipo.” That is simply BS.
I saw an attractive young woman in the office who had had Smartlipo on her lower back. It looked like the Geiko Gecko had done it. Her smooth contour had been made irregular and discolored despite the fact that the surgery had happened quite a while prior. Her ribs had been a bit exposed by the loss of some of the fat that would normally have laid over them. Early lipo results do change, but this wasn’t something that was going to improve over time. I have seen worse but this was so unnecessary.
Why did this happen?
Marketing has oversold the Smartlipo unit in a huge way to both doctors and the public in general. Patients come to the office convinced that it will cure that which ails them. Unfortunately they many times assume the fancy laser system does the surgery like in some high tech Sci Fi movie from years gone by.
At times prospective clients don’t have enough fat to treat and a surgeon is faced with two not-so-attractive alternatives:
(1) Advise a patient against surgery. This by the way, is the worst nightmare for many a surgeon as we are paid to operate not to talk.
(2) Operate and accept the risk that surgery might not improve the patient or worse yet might leave a dent.
This of course assumes that the patient sees a doctor who knows the difference. Many doctors offering Smartlipo are not trained plastic surgeons. Some picked up a Smartlipo system to replace revenue lost in their original practices outside of plastic surgery. For all you know last week your Smartlipo doctor might have been delivering babies.
The bottom line is that when you go to a less than smart doctor and have liposuction, the fancy Smartlipo laser-assisted system will not save you. You pay for experience and skill first and foremost, so I just hope my consult patient here hadn’t paid too much.
Preventing Bad Plastic Surgery:
** Know what you are seeking – a qualified and skilled ethical surgeon – not a smart looking advertisement promising the impossible
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2011-05-03 07:30:48.
Looking at this UK liposuction-related death by way of example, we can see a pattern that just might help people looking to assess a potential plastic surgeon. Not every medical malpractice action is with merit these days, but there are ways to infer that a legal case might have been justified:
The cosmetic surgeon whose botched liposuction led to the death of the wife of former footballer Colin Hendry is still operating on patients in Sweden, Sky News can reveal.
The term “botched liposuction” by itself means little. That which constitutes a botched operation is debatable. Some operations are higher risk to have problems.
She received a considerable out-of-court settlement from the doctor’s insurers in 2003 after the original procedure at Broughton Park Hospital, Lancashire, left her with nine punctures to her small intestine and colon.
Nine bowel punctures is a huge number. An “out-of-court settlement” means even his lawyers knew he was in trouble. These are both signs that malpractice just might have occurred here.
In addition to Mrs Hendry, at least 16 other women came forward to take legal action against the surgeon.
Not just one former patient took legal action. In this case, at least sixteen did. One legal action is not damning. Sixteen might be.
Mr Aniansson then voluntarily removed himself from the British medical register in 2003, meaning he could no longer practice in the UK.
But by doing so he avoided a public hearing into his alleged blunders and the General Medical Council (GMC) issued no warning about his surgery to other countries.
When a doctor voluntarily resigns giving up his ability to practice to avoid a hearing, that is a sign that he figured that he would be found lacking.
John Di Saia MD
CityRag and Awfulplastic surgery.com blog about tummy liposuction and poor results. I am not sure of all of the treatments these women have had. If they have had liposuction, there are a few questions of note for each woman:
(1) Was her weight stable at the time of the surgery? I ask my liposuction patients to have surgery when they do not plan on large weight gain or loss (usually around 15-20 pounds) afterward. Weight change after liposuction can introduce contour irregularities that look like those we see in our image.
(2) Was there excess skin in the areas treated with liposuction at the time of surgery? If so, a tummy tuck would have been the better choice. Of course big cigarette smokers do poorly with tummy tuck surgery. They don’t heal so well (even with liposuction). I believe all of these women smoke.
Liposuction only addresses fat. It requires that the skin over the fat is elastic and pretty tight. Loose skin over liposuction-treated areas can look ripply like we see in our image. Of course “over suctioning” could contribute to the problems we see in our image as well. Yes, believe it or not you can “take too much fat” with liposuction and make problems especially with weight change later. Liposuction is not the “do all” of plastic surgery. That’s why it is best to see a good honest plastic surgeon for an opinion before you jump toward surgery that may not be the best thing for you.
John Di Saia MD