I am 48 years old, 5'3'', 145 lbs, exercise regularly, never had children, and good skin tone. I do have a pooch below my belly button and have had it since childhood. I have seen a plastic surgeon who told me I would see a great result from Smart Lipo, but also said a Tummy Tuck would work even better for me. How is one a candidate for both? I don't know what to do now.
Best Way to Get Rid of a Pooch?
Doctor Answers (3)
If you truly have good skin tone, the pooch may be due to subcutaneous fat or muscular wall laxity, or both. If it is a fat issue, liposuction alone is the answer. If the muscular wall is lax, a tummy tuck would be more appropriate.
Be sure you discuss your goals with your surgeon and I'm sure he or she should be able to more clearly give you a recommendation.
Tummy Tuck and Smart Lipo candidate
I often have the same issue with many of my patients. You can absolutely be a candidate for laser-assisted liposuction AND for a tummy tuck. Which procedure is best for you depends entirely on the results you want. I often ask my patients, "6 months after your surgery, whatever it is, what do you need to see in the mirror to make you feel like the whole thing was worth it?" If your answer is "as flat and tight as possible", then you should probably have the tummy tuck. If your answer is "a little smaller than I am now, but still with some pinchable skin", then the liposuction would be the better option.
Recovery and scarring plays into this, too, since a tummy tuck has more of both than liposuction. Also, the laser-assisted liposuction can be done in the office under local anesthesia while the tummy tuck will likely be done in the OR under sedation or general anesthesia.
Clarify your goals in your mind, then clarify them with your surgeon, and I'll bet the two of you choose the right path for you. Good luck!
Pooch - your candidacy for liposuction or a tummy tuck
I'm not sure how you could simultaneously be a good candidate for a suction procedure and a tummy tuck either... I am aware that some surgeons and device manufacturers tout the laser-based technologies as skin-tightening devices, but my opinion (having used them), is that they are no more effective at producing skin contraction than any other liposuction device. In other words, if skin contraction occurred with Smartlipo, it would have occurred to the same degree with any other form of liposuction.
So the bottom line, I think, is that if your skin is tight and has good elasticity and tone, but you have extra subcutaneous fat, you are probably a good candidate for liposuction in any of its forms. If your skin is loose, has stretch marks, or otherwise is in excess or has lost quality, I would think that a tummy tuck would be more likely to make you happy.
Go back to your surgeon and clarify your goals. You'll know what the right thing to do is.