A report by Marketdata shows the weight loss industry is valued at approximately $58 billion, and that number is expected to grow in the future. With so much money being spent by people hoping to lose weight, it's no surprise that there are a number of scams out there to look out for.
The Orange County Register recently spoke to a plastic surgeon about some of the scams he's seen during his time as a doctor. The surgeon said that there are tons of techniques and procedures on the market that proclaim to be easy alternatives to tummy tucks and liposuction, but few, if any of them, give the same results.
"It amazes me how people move like a herd of cattle to be fleeced so rapidly without any real proof of efficacy by these new high tech sounding fat fakers," the surgeon told the news source. "Thomas Tusser was known to have said: 'A fool and his money are soon parted.' Well Tom, there seem to be fools out in numbers these days."
The surgeon says that there are some fat-reducing techniques out there that do work – besides diet and exercise. However, the surgeon cautions falling for a procedure or technique simply because it is new. Often, these offer the exact same results as a normal liposuction or tummy tuck procedure – except they cost a lot more.
In other cases, the technology being promoted simply doesn't work or only offers marginal results. As a general rule, the surgeon says "less invasive frequently amounts to less effective." Many patients go for minimally invasive techniques because it's cheaper or they don't want to deal with a recovery period that would result from major surgery. Going into these procedures with unrealistically high expectations can be a major misstep, however.
Those considering weight reduction surgery should keep in mind that when something comes along that offers the same results as liposuction or tummy tuck for a cheaper price, it will likely become widespread very quickly. Liposuctions and abdominoplasties are popular because they have been proven to work and the effects can be seen on millions of patients. When seeking alternative routes to rapid weight loss, potential patients need to be very careful and do significant research before they pay any money.