Top Doctors: Liposuction fast facts

Dr. Frederick Lukash, a Manhasset plastic surgeon says

Dr. Frederick Lukash, a Manhasset plastic surgeon says if you have liposuction on more than one area of your body, the cost goes up. (June 29, 2011) (Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)

Even if you just say no to every sweet that comes your way, your body may stubbornly keep storing a few pounds in the wrong places. That's where liposuction comes in.

One of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States today, liposuction involves surgically vacuuming body fat from under the skin. The goal is to change your body's contour.

Here's what you should know:


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1. LIPOSUCTION ISN'T DESIGNED TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

So if you're looking for a quick and easy shortcut to losing 15 or 20 pounds, liposuction is not it.

"Liposuction is a safe and effective means of removing unwanted fat in selected areas," said Dr. Lyle Leipziger, chief of plastic surgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. "The important point is that it's a means of body contouring. It's not a means of weight loss."

The procedure is ideal for those who are within 10 to 20 percent of their ideal body weight, Leipziger said. "Many people are out at the gym, dieting and exercising, but they have these diet-resistant problem areas," he said. "In women, these are the lower abdomen, the hip area and the outer and inner thighs. For men, it's mostly the love handles and lower abdomen."

2. LIPOSUCTION IS EXPENSIVE

Insurance doesn't cover liposuction because it's a cosmetic procedure. The cost is typically thousands of dollars.

"People usually bill it by site," said Dr. Frederick Lukash, a Manhasset plastic surgeon. "If someone's getting their belly done, it's a fee. If they're getting their thighs done, it's a fee." And if you have liposuction on more than one area of your body, the cost goes up, he said.

3. YOU MAY WANT TO TIME YOUR PROCEDURE

If you'd like to be ready for swimsuit season, for instance, consider having your surgery at least a couple of months before summer arrives because recovery from liposuction takes a while, Leipziger said.

"Bruising can last a week or two, and it can take up to six to eight weeks to see a generalized result because you can be swollen for a while," he said. "You'll also want to wear supportive surgical garments to help the skin remain elastic."

4. YOUR SKIN MATTERS

A plastic surgeon will examine your skin to see if it has enough elasticity to bounce back into place after the procedure, Leipziger said. If there's not enough elasticity, he explained, your skin may hang loose after the surgery.

5. THE TYPE OF LIPOSUCTION TECHNOLOGY MAY NOT MATTER MUCH

Plastic surgeons now perform liposuction with a variety of tools, including lasers and ultrasound. But both Lukash and Leipziger say there's not much difference between the various approaches.

"At the end of the day, liposuction is liposuction is liposuction," Lukash said.

This is the first installment of a 26-week series in which Newsday presents Castle Connolly's list of top LI doctors. Click here to see the full list. 

This week, we're featuring plastic surgeons.

This is the second installment of a 26-week series in which Newsday presents Castle Connolly's list of top L.I. doctors. Today: Plastic surgeons

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh

999 Franklin Ave.

Garden City

516-742-3404

Dr. John Anton

138 Old Town Rd.

Southampton

631-283-9100

Dr. Arnold Breitbart

1155 Northern Blvd.

Manhasset

516-365-3511

Dr. Alexander Dagum

SUNY Health Science Center

Stony Brook

631-444-8210

Dr. Gregory DeVita

650 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-466-7000

Dr. Vincent DiGregorio

999 Franklin Ave.

Garden City

516-742-3404

Dr. Naishad Doctor

2000 N. Village Ave.

Rockville Centre

516-678-2517

Dr. Sanford Dubner

Long Island Surgical Specialists

410 Lakeville Rd.

Lake Success

516-437-1111

Dr. Elliot Duboys

864 W. Jericho Tpke.

West Hills

631-423-1000

Dr. Marc Elkowitz

107 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-773-9200

Dr. Joseph Feinberg

1201 Northern Blvd.

Manhasset

516-869-6200

Dr. David Funt

19 Irving Pl.

Woodmere

516-295-0404

Dr. Pamela Gallagher

190 E. Jericho Tpke.

Mineola

516-977-9922

Dr. Alan Gold

833 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-498-2800

Dr. Robert Gotkin

31 Northern Blvd.

Greenvale

516-484-9000

Dr. William Groeger

1490 Broadway

Hewlett

516-887-5502

Dr. Ron Israeli

833 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-498-8400

Dr. Armen Kasabian

Dept. of Surgery

1999 Marcus Ave.

Lake Success

516-233-3659

Dr. Alex Keller

900 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-482-1100

Dr. Martin Kessler

242 Merrick Rd.

Rockville Centre

516-536-5858

Dr. Lyle Leipziger

825 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-465-8787

Dr. Frederick Lukash

1129 Northern Blvd.

Manhasset

516-365-1040

Dr. Mark Illan Silberman

650 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-466-7000

Dr. Roger Simpson

999 Franklin Ave.

Garden City

516-742-3404

Dr. B. Donald Sklansky

833 Northern Blvd.

Great Neck

516-504-1800

 

How they were picked

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is a health care research and information company founded in 1991 by a former medical college board chairman and president to help guide consumers to America's top doctors and hospitals. Castle Connolly's established survey and research process, under the direction of a doctor, involves tens of thousands of doctors and the medical leadership of leading hospitals.

Castle Connolly's team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process to select doctors on national and regional levels. Using mail and telephone surveys, and electronic ballots, they ask physicians and the leadership of top hospitals to identify exceptional doctors. Careful screening of doctors' educational and professional experience is essential to the committee. Not every good physician makes the list. Rather, the list is a way for patients to get started on their search for the best medical professional. Newsday is not part of the selection process.

Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected and profiled as Castle Connolly Top Doctors.

 

To see the whole list . . .

Who else is on the list of Top Doctors? More than 6,000 listings are in the New York Metro Area edition of "Top Doctors," published by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. The softcover list price is $34.95. For more information, go to castleconnolly.com, or call 800-399-DOCS.

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