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June 10, 1983

Suction-assisted lipectomy attracting interest

JAMA. 1983;249(22):3004-3005. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330460008003

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Responding to patients' requests for "that new fat surgery," 400 plastic surgeons recently learned how to do suction-assisted lipectomy via a live surgery broadcast from UCLA Medical Center. After watching the world's masters describe the technique and its problems, most of the surgeons said they would try it on selected patients. The procedure, which is designed to minimize lumps and bumps—not to serve as a panacea for obesity—involves suctioning out small amounts of fat from certain areas of the body.

Since a 14-member panel of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) returned from Europe last December with glowing, though guarded, praise for suction lipectomy, plastic surgeons have been flocking by the hundreds to two- or three-day "how-to" continuing medical education (CME) courses. Although nothing beats hands-on experience, those who watched the video from Los Angeles's Century Plaza Hotel agree that a large symposium may be the only