A guide to choosing the right procedure and clinic to suit your needs

Posted on the 13 October 2011 at 10:26

I get asked by dozens of women on a weekly basis, what’s better Vaser Liposuction or Conventional Liposuction?

I always politely try to explain, that it’s not a question of which procedure is better than the other, but more so which procedure is best suited to your INDIVIDUAL needs.

As a reference point now, when explaining the two types of liposuction procedures, I use myself as an example as back in March this year, I had the fortunate experience of undergoing a certain liposuction procedure in a Clinic in the West Midlands, but before I move on to that let me tell you a little about myself.

Asides from the apparent ‘Glamorous’ persona, writer, journalist and personality I’m portrayed as publically in my role as a cosmetic surgery expert and advisor as “The Cosmedic Coach”  in private terms (which is ‘the real world’ to me!) I’m also just simply Antonia, thirty something, wife, mother of two young children, busy professional, juggling and sometimes struggling with the push and pull of modern busy fast pace life, (think of the film “I don’t know how she does it” and we’re almost on parallel terms).

My body issues and imperfections, or for want of a better word ‘hang ups’, in my thirties will resonate with millions of women.

Earlier this year I took a good look at my body staring back at me in the mirror and after years of yo-yo dieting, two pregnancies, sun exposure galore, and the acceptance of my age, I decided to do something about the ‘issues’ troubling me - one of those was the bulge of fat that had slowly collected over the course of ten years, as well as my cute but rather annoying muffin top.

However I am like most women out there, whilst I was happy to make the brave decision to undergo some kind of surgical intervention, I didn’t want the down time and recovery of a conventional operation, for a start who’d take care of my two kids under five? (Husband is a busy medical professional so I’m limited) I don’t particularly favour the grogginess recovering from anaesthetic associated with some cosmetic surgery operations, then there is recovery and healing,... how long can a busy mum/wife/professional like me really be out of action laying low recovering before it becomes catastrophic to my daily routine?,....

So...

I set about doing some research, because that’s what people like me do, we research and report cosmetic surgery procedures, we find out the in’s and the out’s the high and lows, and the intricate details in every morsel and minute detail possible, we speak to clinics, surgeons, doctors, past patients, and we analyse before and after photo’s.  All of this and more I did for 3 solid months, until I arrive at a very well informed, and researched decision and that is this:

To remove a relatively localised area of fat from my abdomen and flanks Vaser Liposuction is the one for me, so you may be asking yourself ‘why?’ well here’s why:

VASER Lipo can significantly reduce stubborn areas of fat and precisely sculpt areas of the body with less bruising and downtime than with traditional liposuction procedures; I feel a few raised eyebrows as I make this claim so let me back it up with this:

Dr. Garcia, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Miami Medical School in the US recently published a clinical study on liposuction where he reported:

"In a direct comparison, there appears to be a significantly lower amount of blood loss among patients who experienced VASER ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty versus those who underwent traditional lipoplasty, commonly known as liposuction. Moreover, minimal bruising with the ultrasound device serves as a clinical correlation of the minimal blood loss associated with VASER."

So my choice was made: Vaser Liposuction  was the one for me, but at arriving at my decision here are a few tips I want to share with you:

Go to clinics and hospitals that advertise the liposuction procedure you’re interested in - I advise you see at least three, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Reputable services will be happy to discuss everything with you.

Write down any questions you want to ask so that you don’t forget them. The list could include questions about:

•the surgeon's qualifications and experience

•how often they have carried out the procedure you want

•the care you can expect after the operation

•how much it will cost

Don’t choose a clinic far from where you live – you won’t want to travel far after an operation. BAAPS recommends choosing a clinic or hospital that carries out other types of surgery as well as cosmetic surgery; because this means that the facilities will be more comprehensive than in cosmetic-only clinics.

Checking that clinics, doctors and nurses are registered - Check that the person who advises you about the surgery is a doctor or nurse. Make sure that they're registered with the General Medical Council or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Check that the provider (the hospital, company or clinic) is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which is the independent regulator of health services in England. You can ask the provider to show you their registration certificate or you can look it up on the CQC database of registered providers.

The CQC advises that you do not sign up for cosmetic surgery at a hospital or clinic that can't provide evidence that it's registered with the CQC.

Once you've confirmed that the provider is registered with the CQC, find out about the quality of their service. You can do this by looking at the latest CQC inspection report, which appears when you search for the provider on the CQC website.

Debate

There is currently a huge amount of debate in the Cosmetic Surgery arena and Aesthetic Medicine arena regarding Cosmetic Doctors carrying out more invasive procedures such as laser liposuction, Personally (and this is my personal observation and choice), when carrying out a procedure like Vaser Liposuction, I believe a Cosmetic Surgeon would probably be my own preferred choice, this is because from an anatomical point of view a qualified plastic/cosmetic surgeon will have more experience at ensuring the procedure you’ve chosen will deliver and achieve the best results for you through his professional speciality. Now don’t get me wrong there are currently a number of GP’s who have subsequently branched into Cosmetic Medicine, that offer and perform procedures such as Vaser liposuction themselves, and dare I say a handful select minority of them are very good at carrying out such procedures but I would do extensive background checks, and research before deciding that the experience of a Cosmetic Doctor supersedes the experience of a Cosmetic Surgeon in more skilled procedures such as Vaser Liposuction.

  • Talk with the surgeon

The clinic or hospital you choose should offer you a consultation appointment with the surgeon. “Tell the surgeon what you feel your problem is and ask for their advice.

Ask whether the surgeon is an NHS consultant in the relevant specialty. It's not essential, but if they're an NHS consultant it means that their qualifications are of a very high standard.

  • Ask about the procedure

The surgeon should give you details of exactly what's involved in the procedure, including:

•how long it will take

•the anaesthetic you’ll need

•what pain you can expect

•how long the results will last

•how long the recovery should be

The surgeon or clinic should not put pressure on you to have the procedure or to make a fast decision.

Eileen Bradbury, consultant psychologist, says, "Don't be pressured by talk of special offers that are for a limited time only. If you feel any pressure at all from the clinic or surgeon, walk out."

  • Have realistic expectations

•Do I understand clearly what's going to be done to me?

•Have I got a sensible expectation: not of perfection but of reasonable improvement?

•Do I understand what could go wrong and, if so, could I cope if it did go wrong?

My next Blog will talk about my Vaser Liposuction Procedure, my diary of my day having Vaser Liposuction at the MediZen Clinic in The West Midlands, was Vaser Liposuction everything that it is hailed to be?

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