I have seen a few patients in my office who have had experiences with Sono Bello. I know that they spend a huge amount of money on marketing directly to the public.
What is Sono Bello? From what I can gather from their website, they operate over 200 centers, where they perform minimally invasive liposuction (the TriSculpt system), some laser around the face to decrease wrinkles, cellulite reduction and also non-invasive Venus Freeze to reduce fat. I have never been to one of their centers, nor have I worked for them, so my comments are largely based on an internet search.
They do offer free consults. However, what is very strange to me is that the consult is done with a salesperson and NOT the surgeon. For me that sets up a HUGE RED FLAG. The salesperson is almost certainly paid on a commission basis and many reviews suggest that they are extremely pushy. Their only interest is getting surgeries booked. I saw one patient that was treated at Sono Bello. I feel she should never have been treated by liposuction. She was hugely overweight, with a lot of intra-abdominal fat (which is not amenable to any type of liposuction and needs dieting and exercising). She had NO IMPROVEMENT. She spent a huge amount of money. I know the prices they list on their website are very low. However, some of their patients that I have seen, have paid far more than their web site suggests. Moreover, since those selling the service are not the surgeon, I doubt they can be sued since it is not them that is performing the surgery. When you have a consult regarding a surgical procedure (and even Botox or fillers), I will give you an honest opinion if you are a good candidate and what type of realistic results you can expect. I will also go over the risks and benefits. Moreover, it is me that does both the consult and the surgery.
From what I understand, these clinics employ a number of different surgeons, and which one you get is really luck of the draw. The website for Sono Bello says they have many Board certified plastic surgeons, but I wonder if ALL of their physicians are Board certified plastic surgeons? I am sure they have some good plastic surgeons, but like any place with a number of physicians, some will be better than others. I don’t believe that you don’t get to choose your surgeon. If you come to my office, you know that the only person that is going to perform your surgery is ME!
Their website displays a photo of a woman, Kellie, which I find extremely misleading since she has clearly lost a very large amount of weight in addition to her procedure. From both my experience and expertise, there is simply no way that this result was obtained by their liposuction technique.
The website also states that TriSculpt can be good for gynecomastia. Based on my many years of experience, I rarely do any type of liposuction alone for gynecomastia. The men who are self conscious about their breasts need to have a very aggressive treatment which should include an open excision in most cases. Anything less than this will leave the men dissatisfied with their final result.
It is not clear that there is any real follow up with their patients. I follow my SmartLipo patients for 6 months, if they live within driving distance.
I personally believe that the Sculpsure technology, which works on a heat basis, offers much better technology than the freezing methods, such as Venus Freeze or Coolsculpt. On their web site, they claim that the Venus Freeze will help cellulite, but I suspect it will not be very effective. The Cellulaze treatment is a far more aggressive treatment for cellulite and is much more likely to obtain a long lasting improvement (even this treatment is not always effective in every women). The only other treatment that may have benefit is Cellfina.
I realize that you cannot make everyone happy. I do my very best, but it is just a fact of life that some patients will be disappointed. However, a quick look at the negative comments on Sono Bello should make one wary of them.
This is not to say that they are not a reputable business. However, I would suggest that lowest price should not be your top consideration. It is surgery and there are risks. There is also a professional relationship with the plastic surgeon. I believe in a holistic approach and I strongly encourage most of my patients to work towards a healthier diet and better exercise to continue seeing improvements in their results. In general, you don’t want to have your surgery at a surgery factory whose only goal is to get as many patients in and through as possible. I’d advise candidates for these procedures to find a practice – and surgeon – whom they feel are truly invested in their surgery outcome.