Posts Tagged Smart Lipo
It frequently amazes me how patients can be wowed by technology and advertising hype. The attraction of newer technology in particular helps part many people from their money at times. The Smartlipo system is one of the laser-assisted liposuction systems on the market. I have blogged on it before having used it quite a bit a few years ago.
The system is being marketed with phrases like “almost anyone can be a good candidate for Smartlipo.” That is simply BS.
I saw an attractive young woman in the office who had had Smartlipo on her lower back. It looked like the Geiko Gecko had done it. Her smooth contour had been made irregular and discolored despite the fact that the surgery had happened quite a while prior. Her ribs had been a bit exposed by the loss of some of the fat that would normally have laid over them. Early lipo results do change, but this wasn’t something that was going to improve over time. I have seen worse but this was so unnecessary.
Why did this happen?
Marketing has oversold the Smartlipo unit in a huge way to both doctors and the public in general. Patients come to the office convinced that it will cure that which ails them. Unfortunately they many times assume the fancy laser system does the surgery like in some high tech Sci Fi movie from years gone by.
At times prospective clients don’t have enough fat to treat and a surgeon is faced with two not-so-attractive alternatives:
(1) Advise a patient against surgery. This by the way, is the worst nightmare for many a surgeon as we are paid to operate not to talk.
(2) Operate and accept the risk that surgery might not improve the patient or worse yet might leave a dent.
This of course assumes that the patient sees a doctor who knows the difference. Many doctors offering Smartlipo are not trained plastic surgeons. Some picked up a Smartlipo system to replace revenue lost in their original practices outside of plastic surgery. For all you know last week your Smartlipo doctor might have been delivering babies.
The bottom line is that when you go to a less than smart doctor and have liposuction, the fancy Smartlipo laser-assisted system will not save you. You pay for experience and skill first and foremost, so I just hope my consult patient here hadn’t paid too much.
Preventing Bad Plastic Surgery:
** Know what you are seeking – a qualified and skilled ethical surgeon – not a smart looking advertisement promising the impossible
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2011-05-03 07:30:48.
I am curious about your thoughts on smart lipo. I had this procedure done about 18 months ago. At 6 months I felt and looked great but a year later I started to inflate! I have been a skinny cowgirl my whole life. The difference between my body from now and about two years ago, is disparaging. I got the procedure because I was “the perfect candidate” with only a troubled spot on my belly due to not being able to exercise because of a work injury. Like I said, at first I looked great but slowly, none of my clothes would fit me; especially blouses (which I have had for years).
[N]ow I am stuck with sagging skin and folds and a lot of discomfort; not to mention breasts the size of which I never experienced before in my life! I feel I need a tummy tuck (though I am afraid of possible side effects such as a numb abdomen forever). My figure has been absolutely ruined. My doctor (also my GP) just said: did you gain weight? And~ yeah I did. But how? How so much?
I feel it is a procedure marketed and targeted at women just like me; but when the results are bad, we are blamed. Yet it is the procedure itself that is to blame.
We have discussed less-than-appropriate marketing in plastic surgery before. We have also discussed Smart Lipo in this light.
Blaming the procedure is not entirely appropriate though. You yourself admitted that you had your GP perform your liposuction. I would suggest to you that if your surgery was performed (or the decision made not to perform it) by a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon, then you would likely have been better served. You might not be where you are today if this had been the course of events. What led you to choosing your GP for cosmetic surgery?
Smart Lipo is just one of a number of machines that allows a surgeon to perform liposuction. Not everyone who offers Smart Lipo is a plastic surgeon. Your doctor was not.
Without seeing you I can hardly suggest a course of action, but high on your list should be addressing diet and exercise before the consideration of any more surgery. Liposuction does not take the place of diet and exercise. It doesn’t prevent you from gaining weight. It is not a weight loss procedure.
While I feel for your situation, I would hope that reading this might help someone else avoid a similar circumstance.
John Di Saia MD
Frequently patients who have received liposuction care elsewhere (usually somewhere else in Orange County California) find my practice or the blog here and e-mail. The points of confusion are usually issues regarding the qualifications of their former doctor and expectations of their result.
Who Can Do Liposuction Surgery?
Anyone who can get you to sign up….yeah really. There are no laws against practitioners trained in nearly any specialty performing liposuction. Doctors of differing backgrounds will have different technical skill in the surgery and will likely charge differing amounts for the service. Their philosophies will also likely be different. If a doctor only offers liposuction, he or she will probably perform it on anyone and everyone. There are practices of non-plastic surgeons who offer lipo to people to whom I would not. That is just a fact.
Can I Use Liposuction to Lose Weight?”
Practically speaking, liposuction is not a good way to lose weight. It is a contouring procedure best used on people with good skin tone meaning elastic non-droopy skin. You are better off having lipo when your weight is in a stable range…plus or minus a few pounds.
Will the Fat I Have Removed Ever Come Back?”
The fat cells you have removed are very unlikely to return, but you can fill the remaining fat cells up more. The is a technical point not frequently stressed by the shady outfits that advertise their liposuction services. This is why doing lipo is not weight loss. You need to use diet and exercise as well. Lipo can be good for areas resistant to diet and exercise.
Can New Liposuction technologies like Smart Lipo Tighten Skin? Are They Worth The Extra Money?
Not really. I have performed laser-assisted Liposuction, Smart Lipo and Ultrasound-assisted Lipo. After trying these differing technologies, I have returned to wet liposuction (a variant of tumescent lipo,) because I see the same results with less BS. I do not push BS.
Will a Plastic Surgeon Ever Tell A Patient “No?”
One who has integrity will and he or she is the one you want.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2010-07-07 07:30:04.
We have discussed liposuction and the multitude of gimmicks that have been applied to it before. Over the years, I have used a fair number of liposuction modifications to see if the results were worth the expense.
In 2008, I performed over a hundred Smart Lipo procedures while contracted to a marketing company. While I do not think Smart Lipo is any worse than tumescent liposuction, I did not find it to be any better. I am able to get the same results with the modified tumescent liposuction set up that I have been using for years. The “Skin Tightening” aspect of the Smart Lipo system was vastly overstated by the product representatives by my evaluation anyway.
Smart Lipo and some of the other liposuction modifications are in my opinion more marketing gimmicks than ground shattering technological advances. If you want to spend your money on them, that is fine. Your ultimate results however are more a function of your surgeon’s skill and the problem for which you seek surgery than the technology that may have attracted you.
That is Dr D’s truth.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2010-12-17 07:30:55.