In the quest to find the right liposuction doctor, how do you know which one is best?


Liposuction made its US debut in the 1980s, but no doubt about it, since then it’s come a long way. For instance, today liposuction comes assisted by laser, radio frequency, and ultrasound (oh MY!) making for more innovative and less invasive solutions. Despite all the choices these days to trim, contour and tighten your body, experts agree, the biggest challenge we continue to face when deciding to undergo a body contouring procedure is finding the right doctor.


Case in point, last week reported that a man in San Francisco allegedly posed as a physician and performed cosmetic procedures on a woman and her daughter. Carlos Guzmangarza, aka, Guzman, didn’t just pretend to be a doctor, but adopted the identity of a real physician’s assistant at a practice called the Derma Clinic. According to, prosecutors said he performed liposuction of the stomach and an eye lift for the mother and injections to treat acne for the daughter.


Complications of liposuction motivated the victim to see another doctor, where she learned that Guzmangarza was not a real doctor. He was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. He will also be prosecuted for false impersonation and grand theft.


In the wake of unfortunate incidents like this one, the question becomes, how can you protect yourself and ensure that you’re working with a qualified physician for your cosmetic procedures? First, begin your search for a reputable doctor by using directory sites like, where you can find doctors in your area and identify them by their profile pictures. Second, be aware of red flags. There were several raised during the pre- and post-procedural process with Guzmangarza and his victim:

  • He agreed to perform liposuction and an eye lift for $3000, a cost that falls well below the standard cost of these procedures.
  • The so-called doctor picked up his victim at her home and drove her to the office. (Doctors just don't do this.)
  • He had her hold the IV bag during the procedure. (No, not normal practice at all.)
  • He smoked a cigar during the procedure. (What?!)
  • After surgery, he brought the 6 pounds of fat from the liposuction procedure to her house and flushed it down her toilet. (We're as speechless as you are.)
At the end of the day, taking steps to find the right surgeon will keep you safe and leave you happy with your cosmetic surgery investment. For more information and guidance, we recommend reading "How to Pick a Liposuction Surgeon," brought to you by


Originally Published Dec 26, 2011