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Book Review: A Patient’s Guide to Liposuction: How to Make an Informed Decision by Jeffry B. Schafer, MD, FRSM

Reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon Jeffry B. Schafer hopes to inform his readers of the myriad considerations when contemplating having a liposuction procedure. In his new book, A Patient’s Guide to Liposuction: How to Make an Informed Decision, he introduces the history behind the liposuction concept as well as the advances in the field over the last few decades. His aim is to give prospective patients plenty of information so that they can feel more confident about the choices they make and the realities of what to expect during the planning stages, surgery and recovery.

The book begins with ample history – from the first procedures and through the updates to technique and equipment. He covers the science of fat cells, how to choose a doctor, covering the various procedures and deciding which is right for your personal situation, what can be expected (as well as not expected) when undergoing ‘lipo’, recovery times, and cost estimates. Color photos of machines, tissue diagrams, and ‘before and after’ shots all greatly assist in better understanding Schafer’s explanations. All in all, the information given would be enlightening for someone who knows nothing about liposuction.

However, I did find some problems. The jumping between first and third person gave the book a less-than-professional feel. I also found the ample ‘back patting’ a bit irritating. Schafer would discuss a subject and then interject, ‘I was the first to do this … or I brought that practice back to the West Coast… .’ The author does have an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt but I thought it would be more appropriate to contain these little abstract blurbs in a Foreword or Bio versus sprinkled throughout the text. The book’s cover was all skin; as the mother of a young child, I would have not purchased this book in a store simply because of this (I tend not to have books with butt cheeks and boobs all over the front and back covers laying around my house for young eyes to see). Further, in the cases where he gave examples of his individual patient stories, they were always ‘elated.’ Other descriptive words along the same caliber could have been used to describe reaction but I feel this simple editing oversight could be easily corrected. Other than that, I thought the book was extremely well edited and I found no misspellings, grammatical errors, or punctuation problems.

There was one additional issue that I overlooked until I began actually writing this review – the book’s cost. The back cover notes $43.95! While I do think that Schafer has written an educational book on the subject of liposuction, I also think that everything contained in the 138-page text,  A Patient’s Guide to Liposuction: How to Make an Informed Decision, is readily available via a simple internet search. Pricing at a more reasonable amount, such as between $14.95 and 18.95, would be more appropriate for a book of this size and attract more readers.

(Reviewed by Vicki Liston for Reader Views)

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