ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – As the popularity of liposuction continues to increase, board-certified plastic surgeons have taken the lead to ensure the safety of the procedure, according to an editorial in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
In the editorial, Mark Gorney, MD, plastic surgeon and medical director of The Doctors’ Company, a major carrier of malpractice insurance, reviews his “18-year statistical and personal” experience with liposuction.
In 1999 liposuction made up only 1 percent of plastic surgery claims, significantly reduced from 17 percent in 1997, according to The Doctors’ Company. The company has not received a single malpractice claim alleging a serious complication or death related to liposuction for three years.
In response to concerns about liposuction safety, the ASPS issued guidelines for the procedure covering surgeons’ qualifications, special training in liposuction, and facility accreditation. Dr. Gorney believes these guidelines, in addition to essential surgical background training, played a key role in reducing serious complications from liposuction.
The Doctor’s Company also responded to concerns regarding liposuction by analyzing potential complications of the procedure and urging physicians to take precautions.
Dr. Gorney predicts that liposuction will continue to advance technically and foresees no sign of a decline in public interest. He urges the plastic surgery community to continue its leadership role in ensuring that patients receive the best surgical results by keeping them well-informed about the benefits and risks of the procedure.
From its introduction to the United States in 1982, liposuction rapidly became the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. From 1992 to 1999, the number of procedures performed increased from 47,212 to 230,865 nationally.
To obtain more information on liposuction or other plastic surgery procedures, please visit the ASPS web site at www.plasticsurgery.org or call the Plastic Surgery Information Service at 1-888-4-PLASTIC (1-888-475-2784).
Founded in 1931, ASPS is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world. ASPS represents physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.