Almost every day a newer, ‘better’ surgical technique or tool is being marketed as the universal solution that will give patients all the miracles of a new body without any scars or significant downtime. But is it really true?
Manufacturer’s marketing standards do not have to answer to anyone, and unfortunately, claims can be made without being reviewed by experts. ‘Hired guns’ or doctors are compensated for using and promoting the technology by quoting, guaranteeing how this new invention has ‘revolutionized’ their practice. Patients are paraded in front of the media as success stories of this new technology. But are their results truly better than what was available before?
Liposuction is a perfect example to explore on the matter. Traditional (tumescent liposuction) has been around for about 30 years. The equipment for this procedure costs approximately $10 000 in total. Newer technologies such as SmartLipo, VASER, BodyTite and others cost $100 000! They claim to be superior to the traditional liposuction technique. But do they perform a better job?
There are no scientific studies that actually put any of these technologies head on against the traditional liposuction or showed as a concrete result of superiority to the former technique. Yet despite all of this, a lot of money is being spent on marketing these technologies as vastly superior. Everyday hopeful patients seek them out, believing they will achieve a better result through these technologies. So while progress is indisputable and medicine and surgery today is much more advanced to the way it was 30 years ago, sometimes it is important to differentiate the marketing hype for real progress.