SmartLipo: An Alternative to a Tummy Tuck or Not?
NYC, NEW YORK – Some claim that SmartLipo is an effective alternative to a tummy tuck, but SmartLipo isn’t for everyone.
What is SmartLipo, You Ask?
SmartLipo is the gold standard of the laser liposuction realm; the ‘Fraxel’ of the laser liposuction world – if you will. Since being approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, it has been making waves and gaining praise for the results it delivers.
An improvement upon liposuction techniques of the past, which often worsens loose skin, SmartLipo can actually improve it. The laser first produces wavelengths that rupture fat cells, allowing the liquefied fat to be gently suctioned away with specialized cannulas. These cannulas are smaller than traditional varieties and only require a 2mm incision for insertion. Don’t let size fool you though. Just as much fat can be removed with these smaller cannulas and the collagen production they induce coagulates and tightens the skin.
For patients with excess fat and skin in their tummy area, SmartLipo has many benefits that sound more alluring than a tummy tuck. A tiny incision and local anesthesia trumps a hip-to-hip incision and being put “under.” And since time is a luxury for most, the reduced downtime associated with laser liposuction makes it seem like a no-brainer choice – at least at first glance.
“There is no doubt that SmartLipo has many great qualities, but it’s not right for everyone,” says Dr. Elliot Heller, one of the best plastic surgeons in NYC. “Depending on the patient’s particular case, laser liposuction may not yield the results they desire. My patients often opt for the procedure that produces the best results opposed to the one with the lowest downtime.”
You Get What You Pay For.
When it comes to plastic surgery, you get what you pay for. And by that we aren’t necessarily referring to the price of the procedure, but its qualities. Less invasive procedures produce less dramatic results, which is fine if you only require minor improvement but if your case is more severe or complicated, you are sure to be disappointed with your results and investment.
Is SmartLipo Right For You?
The ideal candidate for SmartLipo has some excess stomach fat, skin that is either minimally lax or not lax at all and tight abdominal muscles. Although SmartLipo can tighten skin, if your skin is very loose, you have a lot of excess fat and or your abdominal muscles are damaged, SmartLipo’s skin tightening effect won’t make enough of a difference to make you happy.
For those who require more than laser liposuction, a tummy tuck is in line. Although this surgical procedure does produce a scar that is quite a bit larger than that used in SmartLipo, it allows the surgeon to remove not only excess fat, but large amounts of excess skin.
“We can also go in and repair abdominal muscles that were damaged during pregnancy,” says Dr. Heller.
The incision for this procedure can run from hip to hip however, it is hidden well beneath the bikini line and beats having a pouch of loose skin and fat hanging over your bikini at the beach.
The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, requires general anesthesia (some surgeons may use local anesthesia with a sedative) and approximately one to two weeks of downtime. The aftercare includes a comprehension garment and drainage tubes which, aide in successful healing.
“Neither of these procedures are a replacement for diet and exercise,” says Dr. Heller, a NYC Tummy Tuck and SmartLipo pro. “You should be in good shape before having these procedures and ideally, not have intentions of growing your family.”
If you are interested in a fat transfer or flattening your tummy with SmartLipo, contact our office for a free consultation to make sure you’ve chosen the best option.