LIPOSUCTION

REPORTER: GEORGIA MAIN.

Depending on where you live, there are restrictions on teenagers -- the Queensland Government, has banned cosmetic surgery for anyone not old enough to vote, 18 and NSW has introduced a three-month "cooling-off period" for teenagers.

"I don't believe that technology is the most important thing in getting good results in fact I'm sure of it. It's the care, experience, training and skill of the particular person doing the liposuction that's the most important", said Dr. Bruce Fox.

Dr. Fox, a cosmetic surgeon veteran of 24 years, calls teenage liposuction ' extremely rare ' although his youngest patient was 16. "A young lad who was overweight -- gross enlargement of the breast -- was at the point of being teased to the point that at school he was refusing to go to school and was obviously becoming depressed. The mother brought him along and I said to her I would consider doing him if we got two psychiatric reports which backed her contention that he was becoming markedly depressed and socially isolated. She returned with those reports and I did the liposuction and he ended up a much happier person", Dr. Fox said.

For women., target areas include the hips and abdomen and so called saddlebag thighs. For men, it's the double-chin, breasts, abdomen and waist.

26 year old Andi Peirano is a typical candidate. " What ever I do - exercise, diet - my stomach is one of those stubborn areas that don't shift", Andi said.

Just two days after Andi's operatio, she says, "I've got a flat stomach for the first time in my life". "People have this belief that if they eat well and exercise they are going to be the ideal shape, but our genes determine our fat distribution" said cosmetic surgeon, Dr. David Topchian.

That's bad news for most of us but not for Dr. Topchian. " I use an ultrasound machine now to melt the fat before it's removed and that greatly improves the patients healing and the smoothness and retraction of skin", he said. he key question is how permanent are the results? " The fat cells are removed permanently but, if you gain weight and don't do the right things, then you will be a larger version of that new shape", said Dr. Topchian. Every operation has a risk. "Two surveys come to mind by the American Academy of Cosmetic surgery. One, no deaths in 66-thousand and another survey, mortality rate at 2.6 in 100,000", Dr. Fox said."Risks like bleeding, infection, scarring are all very low in terms of liposuction complications", Dr. Topchian said.

Contacts for the doctors taking part in our report:

Dr David Topchian, 174 Victoria Pde, East Melbourne VIC 3002.

(03) 9663 6666

Dr Bruce Fox, Level 2, Suite 11/517 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

(03) 9866 6555