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BE CAREFUL - Not Worth It with Anyone but a Trained Liposuction Surgeon

This review is for anyone considering Smartlipo...

This review is for anyone considering Smartlipo.  I'm not anti-smartlipo, but this procedure is significantly misrepresented by Cynosure, the maker of the smartlipo machine and publisher of the brochures, along with many doctors who should NOT be anywhere near this device.  I'm one of the unlucky ones who got a quack in Batavia, New York that thinks he's an expert since he took the EIGHT HOUR COURSE that Cynosure gives and sends ANY DOCTOR, NOT MATTER WHAT THEIR FIELD, out to alter someone's body. 

I'm also one of the lucky ones who lives near a doctor who's considered one of the best smartlipo surgeons in the east.  Yes, I SHOULD have gone to him first, but he's already fixed three others from the quack I went to and has assured me that I can be "fixed".  I'll have to go one more summer without feeling good about my legs, but I won't have to worry about it for next year.  I won't bore you with the details of my procedure, but below is a list of things that you might want to know before you go out to talk to a doctor about having this done.   I'm going to speak to having legs done.

1.  Smartlipo is NOT a lunchtime procedure.  It is liposuction surgery with a laser.  A good surgeon will tell you that.  It is the next wave of liposuction and is quickly taking the place of the old method.  The laser does help in tightening the skin and the tumescent (wet) procedure reduces bruising, pain and swelling WHEN IT'S DONE PROPERLY.  You should have the maximum fluid used for your body weight and should not have more than 2-3 areas done at once.  Example:  inner thighs, anterior thighs and knees in one procedure, then outer thighs and abdomen or gluteal crease in the next procedure.  These should be done about 7 days to 1 month apart.   This is a health precaution as well as a results precaution.

2.  You will be home laying around the house for about three days and draining for about 24-72 hours and have to wear a compression garment for 2-6 weeks, depending on what you have done, for the best results.   Some people don't wear the garment, but I found it sped up the healing process, which is making it easier for me to get my corrective surgery done sooner.  You're going to be sore for about three months, gradually getting better the whole time, but still sore.  you'll have lumps and bumps in your legs for that long, too, again, gradually getting better.  You'll need to massage those areas and seriously look into Lymphatic Drainage Massage.  IT WORKS WONDERS.

3.  THE DOCTOR.  This is probably the most important advice I have for you.  Do not, do not, do not, go to a doctor that does not do this as his only line of business.  Do not use a pediatrician, a general doctor, an ear, nose and throat doctor - get my point??  Do not use any doctor that has added this to his practice and sandwiches your smartlipo inbetween allergy shots and annual physicals.  The only training required by law to do this is the EIGHT HOUR course that Cynosure gives after the doctor purchases the machine.  OH, I forgot, they offer two more eight hour courses for ADVANCED training.  Think about it - 24 hours of training lets any MD start to reshape your body with absolutely no previous cosmetic experience.  Don't do it.  Run away.  Fast.

4.  Do your research and make the commitment to yourself to get the very best.  Save your money, get the best deal on a credit card, make sure you have enough time off from work.  You're worth it.  I am planning my time off, how much it will cost me for gas and hotel (My "Good" doctor is two hours away) and what I'll use for time off at work.  I should have done this the first time, but again, I'm very lucky to be able to do it right the second time.  This is something I've wanted for about 10 years and I'm not going to screw it up again. 

5.  Once you've got your resources together, only look at board certified plastic surgeons, OR, doctors who have proven skills and track records IN THE AREAS YOU WANT TREATED.  This is a wonderful website, and it probably saved me from going back to the quack and letting him try to fix me (he told me could, but I got a full refund instead) but I would direct you to liposuction.com.  It's a great place to gather all the info you'll need to be well informed about your procedure and what can and can't be done.  There's also a great page with a list of questions to ask the doctors - you will want to interview at least two, if not three - that you're considering using.

6.  The most important questions you can ask are, "How long have you been doing this procedure on the areas I want treated and how many have you done?", "How do you determine where to sculpt and contour?" and lastly, "Can I have three references that I can call that have had the same areas done?".  Don't gloss over any answers that you're not totally comfortable with, and if they cannot give you three references, thank them and never call them back.  Any doctor who is good at this will have several happy customers who would love to tell you how happy they are.

7.  Be an active particpant in the procedure.  Let the doctor know excactly what you want and don't let him say "I know what to do" before you lay on that table.  If he gives you a hard time, say thank you, get up, get dressed and get out.  It's your body. 

I hope this helps someone.  Again,  I'm not anti-smartlipo, but I've learned a very valuable lesson about cosmetic surgery and the makers of the machines that assist with it.  I'm looking forward to my next surgery and am thanking God that I'm able to come out of this OK.  I'd love to hear from others.  Also, I'd like to thank Julie7 on this site.  Her comments and review along with all those who wrote in helped me get to this point tonight.  

JULY 22 UPDATE – I went for my 2nd consultation last week. The doctor and I discussed what to do and I’m going for the corrections to the inner/outer thighs, knees and blending into the rest of my leg. He’s also going to improve my outer banana roll and the front of my knees as they relate to the rest of the corrections. He explained what he would do and showed me a couple of different ways he would do it, along with discussing options of one or two sessions. At first he had said it would have to be two sessions, but since I’ve opted not to do my stomach, at least not until next year, he said we could go one of three ways: 1. Two sessions about three months apart so he could touch up the first area and correct the second at the same time. 2. Plan on one session with a slightly lessened amount of local anesthesia in all the areas to provide for the safest amount I can get at one time. With this option he would monitor my pain level and if I was uncomfortable he would increase the dose to get the best results in the areas he was working on, and put off the other areas as in option one. 3. This one is totally up to me, but go for one session and accept a certain level of pain. I told him that I didn’t want to feel anything this time since it was very painful last time and he told me “I assure you that this will be a very different experience from your last procedure”. I liked that – a lot. He also said that if he thought it was too much he’d stop anyway, no matter what I said. He showed me how he’ll determine where he’ll work and explained that I would probably need touchups in three months since it would be a little difficult to see exactly where the Quack had screwed up, once I had all the fluids in. He’ll make several different marks on my legs to signify different needs. He’ll correct the ridges on the sides and top of my thighs by blending the front and inner at the same time for shape and symmetry, or possibly going from outer thigh down to inner knee first, then correcting the inner thigh. If that’s the case, the upper inner thighs may be a second procedure, along with the banana roll. It all depends on pain level and getting the best results possible in the first procedure. I asked him about the front-top of my knees and he at first said that we could not do those because the tissue would eventually fall from my upper leg, but then stopped and said that since we are addressing the anterior thigh he could and would alter the knee area so it would also blend in with my leg or I would have a bump. When we were all done he asked if I had any more questions and went over everything we discussed again (from his notes). I scheduled my smartlipo with him for September 11th. I don’t want to wait that long, but I also know how hot it gets in Upstate NY in August. I’m in no rush to wear the compression garment in four weeks of 95 degree, muggy weather. As I was leaving the office, Dr. F. turned to me and said, “OK, we’re going to make your legs look great!”. I really needed that, and right now I’ll settle for a solid “GOOD”!
WOW! I was just about to go meet with Dr. I in Batavia. I am so happy that you wrote about your experience and I will definitely NOT be going there. I am very excited for you to get your new treatment with a real PS. PLEASE keep us all posted on your results and the dr...I would be very interested in meeting with a dr. who really excells in SmartLipo!
JCP, Glad I could help. Just to clarify, Dr. F. is not a plastic surgeon - he is a skilled heart surgeon that has taken the time to extensively study lipo with two "PS's in the country and had his staff do the same. I don't want to mislead anyone about him, it wouldn't be fair to him or them. he is still planning on opening a second office in Rochester sometime next year, if you want to wait.

UPDATE  - AUGUST 7th - Something else that's...

UPDATE  - AUGUST 7th - Something else that's very important for everyone considering smartlipo to know - Even those who get happy with the procedure are not completely happy with their first results, no matter how good the doctor is.  This is not bad, just honest.  It appears that a few bumps and lumps will show up during recovery and they'll need to be fixed.  Almost every post here gives credit to that. 

A good doctor will tell you that you will probably need a touch-up, or even two, due to the fact that while he/she will do their best, you will have a lot of fluid in your legs/stomach/whereever and it is almost impossible to get a 100% smooth result the first time. 

NOW - this is different from having major issues, such as mine for example.  I consider 12-inch ridges down the front of both my thighs and sharp indentations at the top of both NOT to be touch-ups, but screw-ups.  If I did not have those, the small lumps in the other areas might have been acceptable, but I believe all touch-ups should be minor.  Contouring and blending are not negotiable. 

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What was the name of the Dr that fixed you? I live in wny
I have a friend that had this procedure done on her stomach and love handles, it's only been a couple of days since she had it done yet she gave me great feedback about her procedure. So I decided to do some research of my own and came upon this website, even though the comments have been about 2-3 years ago, they started to give me second thoughts. However, I was wondering if you or anyone have any recommendations regarding a doctor in the DC, Maryland, or Virginia area? In the name of jesus if i decied to do th is procedure I DON'T WANT TO MEET A DR.QUACK
Dr. Idrees, Batavia, NY

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