Lipodissolve: Weight loss of the Future

8 02 2008

Post-Gazette: LINK
By Cristina Rouvalis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In surgically enhanced Los Angeles, where size 0 is the new size 4, it’s not surprising that women spend their lunch hours having fat cells zapped.

But even in flab-friendly Pittsburgh, so-called lunchtime lipo is becoming popular.

Which is why Nancy Pariza traveled to Mt. Lebanon to spend $4,000 to shed about 1.5 pounds of fat from her size-4 body, ignoring her friends’ protests that she was crazy.

“Everyone made fun of me. ‘Yeah, you are so fat.’ I didn’t like the junk coming out of the side of my jeans,” she said before going under local anesthesia for SmartLipo surgery at The Skin Center Medical Spa in Mt. Lebanon.

Every week, Dr. Dominic Brandy performs about five to six SmartLipo procedures, comprising about a fourth of his business at the Skin Center. In November, he inserted a tiny cannula with a laser fiber under the skin of Ms. Pariza’s lower back and hip to liquefy the fat cells before vacuuming out 650 milliliters of fatty liquid from her waist and hip.

Like a growing number of patients, the 5-foot-4, 122-pound Ms. Pariza wanted to go the minimally invasive route of surgery under an hour.

“I don’t want to feel anything,” Ms. Pariza, a receptionist who works in Cleveland, said before her surgery. “I had seen traditional lipo done on TV. It looked so brutal. People jabbing the needles in. Oh, man. I had to change the channel.”

Sucking out fat, no matter how it is done, is a growing American preoccupation.

Traditional liposuction remains the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, with 403,684 operations performed in 2006, up 128 percent from 1997, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

But the less invasive spin-offs such as SmartLipo (which are not tracked by plastic surgery societies) are gaining in popularity. While this has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, an even quicker procedure that sculpts with chemicals instead of the laser fiber is more controversial…




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