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.