New liposuction procedure touted for quick recovery



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 6:43 PM


Janet St. James reports

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Liposuction is the number one cosmetic surgery procedure in the country. Nearly half a million liposuctions were performed last year.

While popular, Lisa Marks said she didn't like the idea of standard liposuction, which could leave her laid up for days. Instead, she opted for another procedure touted as an advancement for lipo called "Body Jet," which the FDA approved last summer.

"So I can shave off those areas and go back to work the next day, and be a mommy and a full-time worker," she said.

Body Jet is offered at Plano Aesthetics by Dr. Jeffrey Caruth, an obstetrics and gynecology doctor now practicing cosmetic surgery.

"[With] traditional lipo, you put a lot of fluid in into the area you're going to do and then you suction out the fat, but a lot of the fluid gets left behind," he said.

That extra fluid often causes painful swelling and bruising.

With Body Jet, most of the water put in is simultaneously sucked out, which leaves less swelling. The procedure is done in the office under local anesthetic while patients are awake.

"I just feel like the sensation of moving," Marks said while undergoing the procedure.

Awake, lipo can also cause some problems. Feeling some pain, Marks jerked slightly, touching a sterile area of her belly being worked on. The treated area was re-sterilized.

Sometimes, treatment has to be stopped when patients react badly.

That's just one major complication, according to Dr. William Adams, who heads a national forum that exposes the hype in cosmetic surgery technology.

"You have to wonder is it more marketing or is there any real substance there?" Dr. Adams said.

He has evaluated smart lipo, cool lipo and slim lipo. He was recently pitched Body Jet.

"It's not necessarily a gimmick, but it's something that's very young, still in development," he said. "And until we have the science, we can't say it's something that's a gimmick or something that might benefit patients."

He hasn't tried Body Jet, but Dr. Caruth has.

"Very minimal bruising," Dr. Caruth said. "For me, the outcome is much better."

For Marks, a one day recovery was the real advantage.

At about $2,000 for each treated area, Body Jet costs about the same as standard liposuction.