Getting Branded: Liposuction by Any Other Name

January 21, 2010
liposuction beverly hills

No one can deny the power of big-name brands – whether they are cars, fashion designers, or even on the shelves of your grocery store. So, it’s not surprising that they’ve become a part of the plastic surgery industry as well. One of the places we’re seeing this the most is with liposuction. Branded liposuction technology has the power of name-recognition, but is it really safer and does it provide better results?

Names You’ve Heard

Here are some of the names you may have heard:

  • VASER® LipoSelection® uses an ultrasound probe to break up fat cells for easier removal.
  • Cynosure Smartlipo™ uses laser energy to break up fat cells. It has the added benefit of reducing bleeding and bruising for faster recovery and can aid in the tightening of skin after liposuction, for a smoother look.
  • Palomar SlimLipo™ also uses laser energy and suggests benefits similar to those of the Smartlipo procedure.
  • CoolTouch® CoolLipo™ is also a method of laser-assisted liposuction.

Are They Better?

The main question regarding these branded liposuction devices is whether they offer better outcomes than similar technology not backed by a marketing effort. In their article, the Plastic Surgery Channel suggests that some surgeons offer these procedures because the name-recognition may help differentiate their practice from their competitors. Is this really the “right” reason to do it? I think not. And, even if technology is superior, inferior surgical skill can reduce effectiveness, making the branded technology a non-issue.

I choose to use Smartlipo liposuction at my Los Angeles practice because it does offer distinct benefits for my patients. I’ve found that it truly does live up to its claims of limited recovery time and superior results. However, for ultrasonic liposuction and Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL), I don’t boast any big-name brands. I’ve found technology to assist me in these procedures that provides optimal safety and effectiveness – factors even the most hyped brands can’t beat. In short, I’m always looking for the best methods for my patients, not basing my decisions upon marketing but instead on quality. Better name does NOT necessarily mean better results.

I’m not suggesting that mine is the only opinion. I think you’d get a variety of different responses from different surgeons, and you may even have your own opinion if you’ve had a liposuction procedure yourself. So, I’d like to hear from you – patients and surgeons. Do you think the branded technology is better?