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How Long Should You Wait After Smartlipo to Have a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy Tuck after Smart Lipo

Smart liposuction or any liposuction produces some areas of firmness that need to soften. The time period for this to occur is 3-6 months.  This will allow you to get maximum benefit from your tummy tuck.

Dr. ES

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Wait After Smartlipo to Have a Tummy Tuck

As one of the National trainer of Smart Lipo, I recommend at least 3 month wait to allow the lipoed tissue to fully heal and soften. Any time sooner may cause a complication as skin or fat necrosis. Be careful out there. Never be in a hurry. 

How Long Should You Wait After Smartlipo to Have a Tummy Tuck?

Regarding:"How Long Should You Wait After Smartlipo to Have a Tummy Tuck?"

Before answering your question, let's review what you HAD done and what you are GOING TO have done.

Despite the fluff press, liposuction is NOT a gentle operation. Inserting and pulling a sterile steel tube hooked to a high power vacuum source through your fat layers is traumatic. As the fat is literally ripped off inflammation follows. (With many women complaining why they are not seeing results after having had X number of liters of fat removed). In YOUR case, just before the fat was sucked off, it was literally cooked with a hot fiber (made hotter by the energy of the laser). The heat cooked, fat, nerves and blood vessels - all in an effort to shrink the overlying tummy skin (a scientifically not yet proven modality) - and the resulting debris was suctioned all. ALL of this results in longstanding swelling inflammation and compromise of the blood supply to the overlying skin.

A Tummy Tuck involves separating the tummy skin and fat from the underlying muscles followed by tightening the abdominal muscles, removing all excess skin and bringing the belly button out in its midline position.

THE QUESTION is - WHEN will the tummy skin whose blood supply was somewhat damaged by the liposuction and heat of the laser AND which is still swollen - regain its blood supply to allow a safe lifting off the muscles without dying AND lose the inflammation and rigidity allowing the true extent of skin looseness to be assessed and skin removed?

Personally, I like to wait and assess each patient's progress and see when the skin resumes its pliability. The wait can vary from 2 to over 6 months and depends on the patient.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Come right on in....

As long as at least a few weeks (minimum of 3) have passed, my practice is to proceed at any time with the tummy tuck.  You'll see a huge variation in opinions, but that is exactly what they are.  According to research studies, we know that the abdominal flap has developed new routes of circulation by 14 days.  Because it is safe to perform liposuction simultaneously with a tummy tuck (no established data with SmartLipo), I wouldn't see any reason for a long delay.

I too am curious whether your SmartLipo was performed by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who was able to fully counsel you regarding all of your options.  If not, perhaps you did not indeed receive full informed consent before the liposuction - - this is a concern that Plastic Surgeons have with non-core physicians performing procedures outside of their scope of training; i.e., they are unable to fully counsel you because they have a much more limited experience and knowledge base from which to base their discussions with you.

Best of luck!

Brian K. Brzowski, MD
Ogden Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy tuck after Smartlipo (laser lipolysis)

I am not certain that anyone has a definitive answer but I recently did a neck liposuction 3 months after a Smartlipo to the neck and was impressed with the hard scar tissue that had developed. Based on this experience, I would wait at least 6 months and more likely closer to a year after Smartlipo to perform a tummy tuck

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Smart lipo was wasted lipo

It sounds like you were sold a bill of goods to have lipo before having the tummy tuck.  I hope you were told that the two procedure do not do the same thing and you can not get tummy tuck results with liposuction.  Smart lipo was just a more expensive form of liposcution.   Since you have already done the liposuction I would say you should wait three months before doing a tummy tuck. 

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Wait long enough after Smartlipo before Abdominplasty

How long you have to wait to safely do abdominoplasty after Smartlipo depends on what areas were treated with the Smartlipo.  It appears from the other answers that the assumption was you had abdominal Smartlipo.  If you did have abdominal Smartlipo, I would agree with the recommendation that you wait at least 3 months, or longer if the area hadn't returned to normal.  It can be bad to re-operate on an area too soon.

If you had Smartlipo on a different area, I recommend you wait until you know that area is healing without a complication.  Depending on the area treated, that may be as little as two to four weeks.  Your surgeon will have to help make that decision.

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Must wait for the swelling to resolve before having tummy tuck after liposuction

If you have recently had liposuction, I would suggest waiting at least a month before having a tummy tuck.  However, it is unusual to have a tummy tuck after liposuction.  If you need a tummy tuck, you likely needed it before the liposuction and should have had it all at the same time.  If the liposuction was on a different part of your body, then could proceed with tummy tuck after just a few weeks.  Good luck with your procedure.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Tummy Tuck After Smartlipo

Hi there-

As Dr. Baxter noted, I will assume you are interested in a Tummy Tuck because you are less than pleased with the Smartlipo outcome?

I also agree that when lasers are used, because of the increased injury they cause to the tissues, and especially the blood vessels, it would be best to wait at least 6-months in order to minimize the risk of significant complications.

You would not want to go from being unhappy with your belly after Smartlipo to having an injury because further surgery was done too soon.

When to have a tummy tuck after lipo

I assume from your question that you have already had the lipo and now realize that the tummy tuck is needed, because there is no reason to plan on having lipo before a tummy tuck.  laser-assisted lipo may cause more scarring so I would advise at least 6 months, though it will vary depending on how each person heals.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 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.