It seems like you can have liposuction just about anywhere these days – the gynecologist’s office, the dermatologist’s office, the corner MediSpa. Many of these practitioners are offering LaserLipo, SmartLipo, Zeltiq and other trademarked procedures. They market heavily to potential patients and advertise no general anesthesia and little downtime. Sounds great, right? But as usual in advertising, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. First of all, consider the training of the practitioners doing these procedures. In many cases, it is a doctor with minimal training in liposuction procedures – training that may only be limited to a weekend course in one specific liposuction procedure. For the patient, this means that if you go to one of these doctors, this procedure will be recommended for you whether it is the best one for you or not. On the other hand, a board-certified plastic surgeon has had training and experience in a variety of body-contouring techniques and can offer the best procedure for your particular situation. Now consider anesthesia. Local anesthesia may sound better than general anesthesia when it comes to liposuction but usually this means that only a minimal amount of fat can be removed at one time. This means either repeated trips to the operating room until the areas have been adequately treated, or inadequate treatment of the problem. When liposuction is done under general anesthesia in an accredited facility with a board-certified plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist, it is safe and the results are reliable and predictable. And it usually ends up being less costly than the multiple procedures needed when only local anesthesia is used. In the last year I have seen quite a few patients in my office who have undergone these local anesthesia liposuction procedures with unqualified doctors. They are coming to me because they are unhappy with their results and want to be “fixed”. Sadly, sometimes it is impossible to totally correct the damage that has been done. I have seen areas where too much fat has been removed, areas where not enough fat has been removed and multiple scars placed in very conspicuous areas. I would advise anyone seeking liposuction to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. You only have one body and mistakes you make now will be with you the rest of your life. Click here to see before and after photos of liposuction by Orlando plastic surgeon Scott A. Greenberg, M.D.