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Could Smart Lipo Work for Me Without Having More Wrinkly Skin?

I am 37 and have 2 kids. I have been working out for 2+yrs.and still can't loose the belly fat. I also have diastasis recti, but have done PT and pilates for a year with improvment in my core muscles. I don't want a tummy tuck. I have had an ultrasound and CAT scan to rule out a hernia at the belly button. My concern with smart lipo is that I will end up with more wrinkly skin, especially around my belly button. Will this be the case and is there a better procedure that I should look into?

Doctor Answers (11)

Lipo VS. Smart Lipo VS. Tummy Tuck - For BEST Results Define your Cosmetic Goal

+2

Regarding: "Could Smart Lipo Work for Me Without Having More Wrinkly Skin?

I am 37 and have 2 kids. I have been working out for 2+yrs.and still can't loose the belly fat. I also have diastasis recti, but have done PT and pilates for a year with improvment in my core muscles. I don't want a tummy tuck. I have had an ultrasound and CAT scan to rule out a hernia at the belly button. My concern with smart lipo is that I will end up with more wrinkly skin, especially around my belly button. Will this be the case and is there a better procedure that I should look into
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Dear Ms. Bellevue,

I am ASSUMING that you want an honest and ethical opinion instead of a sales job.

Rather than picking an operation, crossing all your digits and praying the result would be the ones you envision, a MUCH better way to get the look you want is to be honest and ask yourself what kind of a result you really want and THEN we can suggest the operation most likely to give you that result.

Liposuction is NOT a muscle or skin tightening operation, it is a selective fat removal operation. It removes the fat under the skin and HOPEFULLY your skin (depending on its age, health, ethnicity and location on the body) will shrink SOMEWHAT to the new underlying framework.

Regardless of how many fingers you cross, incantations you utter and rabbits' feet you employ, liposuction is NOT a tummy skin shrinking operation and if you envision a flat, wrinkle free tummy for yourself, it is sure to disappoint you IF you are Caucasian and have pregnancy damaged skin (check and check - per your photo). Cooking the under-surface of the tummy skin with a L A S E R (need Mike Myer's Dr. Evil...) MAY shrink it some (there is no scientific evidence that it does) but it will NOT come close to that of the operation you do NOT want.

You have a little amount of fat under the tummy skin and it does NOT contribute significantly to your POOCH. Despite the 2 years of exercising you need to realize that your muscle separation is permanent as is the stretching of the abdominal musculature. A well done muscle repair and Tummy Tuck can flatten you MUCH more than the degree of "flatness" demonstrated in your sucking-it-in photograph. I would SERIOUSLY recommend it to you.

Lastly, you are VERY fortunate to be living near Dr. Rand. He is an outstanding surgeon and it will well be worth your while to at least see him in consultation and see which procedure is most likely to give you the most attractive result.

Dr. Peter Aldea


Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Choices for the abdomen

+2

As a plastic surgeon near you I can only recommend that you please avoid laser liposuction.  I can show you multiple photos of patients destroyed by the technique misapplied to someone like you.  The best treatment for you because of your dramatic muscle laxity is a tummy tuck.  Please look at those I have posted on RS under tummy tucks and mommy makeovers including new ones today and you will see results you can't get from lipo.

You'd be better doing nothing than lipo. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Liposuction Candidate?

+1

Thank you for the question.  

Based on your description,  I am concerned that you will not be a good candidate for liposuction surgery.
“Ideal” liposuction patient candidates present with isolated diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue collection,  with overlying skin that demonstrates adequate elasticity ( to “bounce back” after the adipose tissue has been removed).

Furthermore, good skin elasticity is an important  attribute  of the patient undergoing liposuction surgery. As we age we generally  lose some skin elasticity. After the liposuction procedure we are depending on the skin elasticity to allow the skin envelope to “shrink” to fit the reduced contour resulting from the liposuction procedure.

I would suggest in-person consultation with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 682 reviews

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Smart Lipo is great, but not when extensive laxity is present

+1

While I love SmartLipo and perform many cases of it, the most important thing is to know when you need to have more extensive surgical procedures.  In your case, it looks likely that you will have laxity afterwards, so I would think about surgery/abdominoplasty instead of SmartLipo.

On the other hand, we see many people who have assumed they need a tummy tuck, which leaves horrible scars in many patients and a weird looking belly button after surgery, when all they need is SmartLipo. 

It goes both ways in other words.  Go visit a board certified cosmetic surgeon and see what they offer. 

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. liposuction vs. thermage

+1

There is no doubt that you would get the best possible result by having an abdominoplasty with muscle tightening and skin removal. If you refused to have surgery but would consider liposuction, the skin will not look good even if it retracts a little. SmartLipo may not tighten the skin and could cause irregularities, or worse, if the skin is allowed to heat up too much there could be scarring. Thermage external radiofrequency treatment may improve the waviness of the skin but it will not look as good as an abdominoplasty, and there are some patients who might undergo this expensive procedure only to find out that it did not help them.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Choice for abdomen

+1

You probably need a tummy tuck. The lipo will only make the skin looser and you probaly need the muscles tightened.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You need tummy tuck

+1

Your pictures shows lax skin over the lower abdomen and laser lipo will not help. i do laser lipo and you are not a good candidate.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Smart Lipo Work for Me Without Having More Wrinkly Skin

+1

Thanks for all the photos. As a Smart Lipo Clinical Trainer I would be fearful of you having a poor result with the type of skin you have in the lower abdomen. Also the muscle laxity will not be improved by Smart Lipo. So I am recommending as an option a extended mini tummy tuck with lower muscle repair and Smart Lipo Triplex of the upper abdomen and waist. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. laser lipo

+1

Based on your photos, you have a lot of abdominal wall laxity (the muscles are loose) which is really common after pregnancy.  Liposuction of any kind would at best simply remove the small amount of fat that you have between the skin and your muscles, and even if your skin tightened, liposuction does nothing to the muscle wall.  So you may look just a bit better, but I certainly don't think it would be worth the cost or time.  The best choice would be a tummy tuck, and what most of us do now is keep the incision very low and flat so that in most clothing the scar is hidden.  If you do not want to have this procedure, I would not waste your time or money on liposuction of any kind.

Smart lipo or laser lipo is not a solution for your abdomen-- the makers and sellers of this technology claim that it can significantly tighten the skin.  Even if this is true, it would still not correct your major issue, which is the muscle laxity.

I hope that helps-- in short, either save the time and money, or have a tummy tuck which will offer you the best chance at a very nice result.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

When Smartlipo isn't so smart

+1

Your photos show muscle laxity (round in the middle, not at all from fat) and loose skin.  ANY type of liposuction would give you more crinkly, loose skin, even Smartlipo.  I do laser-assisted liposuction in my practice, and I would not recommend it to you.  I know you said you don't want a tummy tuck, but anything less than that would leave you disappointed, I'm afraid.

I'm sure you could go to a cosmetic surgeon (NOT a plastic surgeon) who would gladly treat you with the only tool in his toolbox (Smartlipo, in this case), but I truly think you would regret it.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.