Published February 23, 2017 By Adam Lowenstein

Many have seen the photos of Tara Reid showing what is being called “botched plastic surgery”.  Having seen a few patients with similar problems in my office following liposuction from plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, I thought it important to address what is going on here and the reasons behind these kinds of results.

Liposuction irregularities can come from several different issues, including poor technique, unfortunate scarring, infections, bleeding, and too often from bad decision making.  Unfortunately, the most frequent reason for fat irregularity that I see in my practice when patients are coming for secondary “repair” from other offices is from bad decision making.

Liposuction is a fantastic tool in the right hands and in the right circumstances.  It can be used for shaping and for fat reduction, but should never be used for fat elimination.  By this I mean in a patient such as Ms. Reid, she did not have a significant localized area of fat as can be seen in the second photo from the left.  There is an argument that she had more fat all over than she wanted in this photo, though many would also argue that she looked fine.  The plastic surgeon in this instance chose to remove as much fat from her abdomen as possible, without taking into account the likelihood that she may continue to fluctuate in weight.  As Ms. Reid lost further weight, every irregularity in the minimal amount of fat left behind was revealed.

Too often patients seek plastic surgery without an eye to the future, and many plastic surgeons are happy to oblige, collecting fees and appeasing the patient regardless of the long term.  When I see a patient who is looking for liposuction, I have a talk with them about their goals in the present and in the future, and work with them to find a solution that will make them happy in the long run as well as the short run.  This sometimes involves liposuction, sometimes an excisional technique such as a tummy tuck, and sometimes CoolSculpting can provide a better option than either of the other two more invasive techniques.

While I’m not trying to promote or disparage any particular type of surgery, I hope patients can gain some awareness that education and discussion with a thoughtful plastic surgeon is key to achieving great, long term results.  As a plastic surgeon in Santa Barbara, where beauty is commonplace and a long lasting aesthetic result is important, I will continue to try to help those patients that come to me for plastic surgery revision.  My primary plastic surgery patients will continue to get great counseling from me while we work together to create the best aesthetic outcome for today, tomorrow, and the years to come.

Dr. L


Dr. Adam Lowenstein is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in Santa Barbara, California.  Specializing in aesthetic surgery of the body, breast, and face, Dr. Lowenstein is known for his natural appearing outcome and the use of cutting edge technology that has been extensively researched in order to provide long lasting aesthetic results.  To read more about liposuction in Santa Barbara, click here.  If you would like to consult with Dr. Lowenstein in his Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery office, please call 805-969-9004 to schedule a consultation.

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