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Smart Lipo Vs. Tummy Tuck for Faster Recovery

I want to contact you as I live in the Denver area as well. I am considering a tummy tuck after having 3 kids, but now I'm hearing a lot about "smart lipo."

I was wondering if this is a smarter choice for me since I maybe won't have a huge scar and the recovery time appears to be less. I was wondering if the smart lipo helps with stretch marks and if it truly tightens the skin. A little about me, I am 5'6" and weight 155 pounds and have 22% body fat. Thx!

Doctor Answers 4

The tummy tuck is for you!!

Smart lipo is NOT a tummy tuck without the scar. It doesn't fix stretch marks, doesn't tighten the muscles, and it doesn't get rid of the extra skin in the lower abdomen. The 2 procedures are completely different. Despite the hype you might have heard about Smart lipo, it isn't magic at all and it doesn't substitute for the tummy tuck in a case like yours. Just find the very best plastic surgeon and go for the tummy tuck!


Liposuction of all types including #LaserLipo is less invasive and quicker to recover from than a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty). This is because liposuction only involves removing fat from beneath your skin. Your body will cause the overlying skin to contract only to the degree it is capable, often leaving redundant skin which can be unsightly. In other words, you need good elasticity to get a good result.
A Tummy Tuck involves removing redundant skin and tightening the underlying muscles. Sometimes liposuction is combined as needed with a Tummy Tuck for the best possible result. Your photos suggest that you probably are a candidate for a Tummy Tuck. The question is whether the shape of your abdomen is affected by an excess of fat, skin, muscle separation or laxity, or some combination thereof. This can only be determined by examination, so go ahead and consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Some of my patients elect to have liposuction first, and then opt for a Tummy Tuck if the results are not satisfying. Smart Lipo offers little or no advantages over other lipo types in my opinion despite there huge marketing program.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

I think it is quite possible that SmartLipo will do just fine rather than a tummy tuck!

While plastic surgeons will always encourage a tummy tuck, the dirty little secret is that oftentimes a well done tumescent liposuction with or without SmartLipo can avoid the horrrible scar, the long recovery time and the pain involved in a tummy tuck.

While tummy tucks have a cute name, the reality is that they are quite expensive and often aren't even necessary. But don't ask a plastic surgeon that as this is an expensive procedure, while liposuction isn't. If you want a true answer to this question, go to a dermatologist, where there is a possibility that your question will be answered without the profit motive involved.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Smart lip does not replace tummy tuck

You will need to have tummy tuck for the result that you are looking for. I do offer both procedures  and you are not a good candidate for the smart lipo. You have stretch mark,loose skin and also loose muscle. Please get a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.