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Experts weigh in on new way to lose inches

December 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A different kind of liposuction using lasers promises clients to cut a dress size in an hour, but not everyone is on board with the new technology.You've seen the ads stating, "Lose a dress size in an hour and be back at work the next day."

That's what caught Cindy Krystkiewicz' eye. She says that her problem areas include, "my abdomen, my love handles, and my back upper and lower."

Cindy is targeting one area at a time. Cindy survived breast cancer, now she wants to feel better about her body.

"It's about removing of the fat, getting a different body, a better body and feeling better about themselves," said Dr. Ahn Ngo, the medical director of Final Inches.

Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, but Ngo says her clinic's laser liposuction is superior to the traditional kind.

First, she says that patients recover much faster.

"It is minimally invasive. It is done in an office setting under local anesthesia," described Ngo.

Being awake is a big selling point for many patients including Cindy.

"I like the not having the anesthesia," said Cindy.

In traditional liposuction you're used to seeing a side-to-side movement when the doctors use a cannula to break up the fat. In this new procedure, a laser wire is used to go in there and liquefy the fat.

"The laser stimulates heat in the area, which stimulates collagen production," said Ngo. Ngo says this helps tighten skin once fat is removed.

But Dr. John Di Saia, a plastic surgeon who used to work for Final Inches, says he doesn't think the laser results are any better than what you get with traditional lipo.

"The technical aspects of it don't really change the outcomes except in very specialized cases," said Di Saia.

Di Saia reviews plastic surgery cases that come before the California Medical Board. He says Final Inches' other selling point of being awake during the procedure isn't necessarily a good thing.

"There are negatives to doing things under local, and one of them is that people feel the discomfort and they're aware of what's happening to them," said Di Saia.

Di Saia says experience and training is what counts. He advises patients to seek consultations with physicians specifically board-certified in plastic surgery. A doctor may be board-certified, but it could be in dermatology or emergency medicine.

If you're looking for a board-certified plastic surgeon, you have to ask what they are board-certified in. Di Saia also suggests asking about their training.

"You can be board-certified, as you've probably figured, in just about anything," said Di Saia.

Final Inches does not currently employ any doctors board-certified in plastic surgery. The company says they prefer surgeons who have a lot of experience with laser liposculpture.

In a statement, Final Inches says, "These cosmetic surgeons deliver much better results with the same perfect safety record." Di Saia says that doesn't mean laser lipo is right for everyone.

"Liposuction is not like a Ford. You don't go and buy it and every single one is the same," Di Saia said.

Ngo says her client base is growing so fast, the company is expanding.

"It is less costly, more affordable to many of our patients," said Ngo.

The cost is $3,000 per body area compared to $3,000 to $5,000 at private practices who perform traditional liposuction. Final Inches client Cindy is thrilled with her results.

"I feel so much better about myself," said Cindy.

"My clothes fit. I'm wearing smaller clothes."


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