The Cosmetic Surgeon Who Prescribes Paleo

Not that I’m a stalker, or in any way overly obsessed with Robb Wolf, but I just happened to notice a link that he posted to his twitter feed, that caught my interest today. It said:

“Great story about the plastic surgery clinic I’m w

orking with in Reno:(link removed)”

So of course I followed the link, and found a great little story by CBS news called “HealthWatch: Surgeon Prescribes Paleo Lifestyle To Liposuction Seekers“.

As most of you probably already know, Robb is working with the City of Reno in Nevada, to overhaul the health and wellness plan that they have in place for the city’s police force, fire department, and city officials. Obviously Robb is going to use a Paleo perspective to get the job done, but it appears that there are one or two professionals in Reno who are already on the right track.

“Many people view surgeons as all-too anxious to cut – and reap the large fees that go with performing surgeries, but Reno plastic surgeon Charles Virden takes a different approach, especially in regard to obesity.

For Virden, liposuction is often the least desirable alternative. He’d prefer patients adopt a Paleo lifestyle, changing diet and health routine to lose weight.

“I think of obesity as a bigger problem than just having to have fat sucked out of you,” explained Virden.”

Jeeze…..that about says it all, doesn’t it! The cosmetic surgeon who prescribes Paleo to his would-be liposuction customers….isn’t that a trip!

I’m so used to medical professionals taking the easy and most profitable way out, and immediately opting to place their patients under the knife, that it’s refreshing and surprising to see this sort of thing out of a surgeon who makes a living from changing people’s appearance with surgery.

“In a real life example of the old admonition “Physician, heal thyself” Virden said he put himself on the program and lost 20 pounds.

“If I’m on it and I believe in it, it’s a real simple sell,” said Virden. “I like how I feel, so it was a natural.”

Virden said patients are often surprised when he balks at operations and sends them out to get healthier first.”


Lipo SUCKS! © James C. Mutter / Vishal Kapoor, MD. Image courtesy of

Again, it’s not surprising that patients believe that they’ve entered the twilight zone, when the cosmetic surgeon they are going to see, turns away their money, and tells them to effectively “Go on a diet!”!

It’s logical though, in a way. As the rest of the article explains, liposuction is costly, and only accomplishes the same thing that a good diet can accomplish. This leaves the door open for the customer to utilize the money they would have spend on Liposuction, for another procedure that cannot be altered with diet.

Let’s face it, liposuction is a not exactly the great solution some people believe it to be anyway, because there is information that shows that liposuction is not necessarily “permanent”:

“The result, published in the latest issue of Obesity, was that fat came back after it was suctioned out. It took a year, but it all returned. But it did not reappear in the women’s thighs. Instead, Dr. Eckel said, “it was redistributed upstairs,” mostly in the upper abdomen, but also around the shoulders and triceps of the arms.” - The NY Times.

Maybe the surgeon in question knows this fact and is taking action to make sure that his patients don’t come back, asking for a “re-do” after their fat returns, by ensuring that they can maintain any surgical results with a good diet…..or maybe he’s actually trying to do the moral thing… decide. :-)


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Barry Cripps is a Paleo-based, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, who operates out of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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