Local soldiers get liposuction - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local soldiers get liposuction

-- by Julie Tam, FOX 41 News

Soldiers are making drastic changes to meet weight requirements. They're getting liposuction.

After an injury while at war in Iraq, two surgeries, and limited exercise for several months, one local soldier stepped on a scale and realized he had gained 40 pounds.

"Robert" does not want people to know he went to a plastic surgeon and got liposuction: "There may be a type of bravado about being able to lose the weight through exercise, but in my case, I was injured. I had a time limitation" -- four months before the Army would test his body fat.

"If I would've gotten a negative report, it would've been looked at when I came up for promotion," said "Robert."

Doctor Tom Haas, owner of the plastic surgery center Imaage, took about 20 pounds and six inches off Robert's waistline, and reduced his body fat by 7 percentage points.

"These are young, healthy guys," Dr. Haas said. "They bounce back quickly. It's hard to hurt a soldier. They have a little lipo. Yes, they're a little bit sore, but they're done and they're gone and they're grateful."

Dr. Haas has done lipo on at least a dozen soldiers in just the last year or so.  He never expected to encounter military personnel opting for such a weight-loss alternative: "I had no idea. I don't know how I would have known, but I had no idea."

The Army knows soldiers are getting the procedure, but not all soldiers tell.

We asked the Army about whether soldiers are allowed to get liposuction. A public affairs officer told us in a statement, "He/she may, with the commander's permission, get that done by a civilian healthcare professional. It is not funded by the Army."

Lipo can cost anywhere from a couple thousand to several thousand dollars. In the case of the soldiers, insurance does not cover it. They pay out of pocket for the surgery and any treatment for complications.

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