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Lunchtime Power Liposuction Offers Advantages/Dangers

Running out to do an errand at lunch has been part of the working woman's ritual for years--but lunch-hour plastic surgery? It's true. In New York and other major cities across the country, "power liposuction" is revolutionizing the field. It takes less than an hour and the patient is awake the entire time. While you typically need 1 or 2 days of recuperation, this technique offers an amazing change from the traditional method.

The relatively new surgical procedure has been touted as a faster, safer, and less painful way to reshape the body. As opposed to traditional liposuction, power lipo can take less than an hour to complete. So it's quickly becoming a popular option for those who want to get particular problem areas under control. Experts say the procedure is intended for body contouring or "spot reduction"--not as a panacea for the obese.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction was the most popular cosmetic surgery in 1999--up 32% to 287,150 procedures. It has been performed in the US for 18 years. Power liposuction or PAL (power-assisted liposuction) is a new technique in which a motorized cannula removes body fat in what is being touted as a dramatically safer and faster way compared to the traditional procedure. Because there is less force involved with the new power-assisted device, the patient also feels less pain.

The Early Show tracked the progress of one woman undergoing a power lipo procedure with live satellite pictures, and in our HealthWatch segment, we'll take a closer look at the procedure and how patients can prevent complications.

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