SmartLipo zapped $4500 and left me disappointed

NancyM on 13 May 2009 at 11:23am

Thanks to a catchy name and lots of media attention, Smart Lipo has become a popular form of liposuction.  Smart Lipo is often considered by women who aren’t quite looking for a Tummy Tuck, but aren’t quite satisfied with their shape.

After paying $4,500 for Smart Lipo, reader Kristi, faces disappointing Smart Lipo results—we interviewed her to find out what she expected, and what she learned from the experience.

RealSelf (RS): I have to be honest—you don’t exactly look like you need lipo—you look great! What made you decide to go for it?

Kristi: Well, I have a son who’s 16 and a daughter who is 7. I’m 37, about 5 feet tall and around 110 lbs. I work out every day. But I’ve always had that little “pouch”…and I just had that insecurity. I was going through a divorce as well, and feeling very insecure. Maybe I was being too much of a perfectionist. But I thought that Smart Lipo would give me that “20-something” stomach. I wanted that hip-hugger jeans look.

I guess, too, watching all that t.v. and seeing all those Hollywood stars…they just make it look so easy. You’re drawn to how they look and people want that stuff. People are drawn to people who are nice-looking—they even did an episode about it on the Tyra Banks show!

RS: And it sounds like you weren’t too thrilled with the Smart Lipo results. Did you see any improvement?

Kristi: The only thing it did do was that now when I lean over—like on all fours—I don’t really have that “jello fat” hanging there. It used to feel like I had this big ball of mush there. I didn’t see it when I stood up, but when I leaned over it was there. Now it’s less.

But when I’m standing, there’s a bit of a bump in the center and there are 2 circle-like scars where the incisions were made. No one else can see them, but I can. In terms of the bump, my regular plastic surgeon [Note: Kristi previously had Breast Implants, Botox and Juvederm injections] told me that the doctor I went to for the Smart Lipo probably took out too much fat, and that’s why the bump is there.

RS: Your regular plastic surgeon? So you didn’t go to him for your Smart Lipo? Why not?

Kristi: My regular plastic surgeon (NJ plastic surgeon, Dr. Sherwood Baxt) did not do Smart Lipo at that time—and I wanted it done quickly. The plastic surgeon I went to specializes more in facial procedures, but he advertised on t.v. and he’s local with 2 office locations.

When I went for the consultation, I saw these incredible before/after pictures of a 38-year old woman who had the Smart Lipo—she looked fantastic! But the doctor also told me that she had not had any pregnancies—there’s a difference when you’ve gone through having kids—the elasticity of your skin is different. But I wanted the Smart Lipo done, so I went for it.

RS: So that was the only plastic surgeon you had a consultation with? Did he go through other options with you for the look you wanted to achieve?

Kristi: Yes, he was the only doctor I went to. Like I said, I wanted it done quickly. And, no, we really didn’t discuss any other options beside the Smart Lipo.

RS: Knowing what you know now—and also from your experience researching other cosmetic procedures like Breast Implants—is there anything you’d have done differently when considering your Smart Lipo procedure?

Kristi: I would’ve stuck with my original doctor (Dr. Sherwood Baxt)! I had the Breast Implants with him and was very satisfied. He has over 20 years’ experience and has done tons of body sculpting procedures. I rushed into it—it was foolish on my part.

RS: So now what—$4,500 is a lot to spend to be unhappy—are you thinking of having any revision work done? Or are you considering another procedure to achieve the results you’re ideally looking for?

Kristi: Well…I…am! Actually, I have to admit that I’ve been talking with Dr. Baxt about Lipotron 3000 (see video with Florida plastic surgeon, Dr. Daniel Man, describing the new Lipotron 3000 in an interview with WPLG/Miami). It’s not FDA-approved yet, but I saw some before & after pictures that were amazing. I think I may consider that—with Dr. Baxt—next time.

RS: Hmm, some people might be a bit wary about a procedure that isn’t FDA-approved yet…so tell me, if you were to give some advice to someone who’s interested in having a procedure to tighten their tummy area, what would you tell them?

Kristi:  Go to a plastic surgeon who’s board-certified and who has MANY years experience in body sculpting—not just facial work. I was in a hurry when I wanted mine done—and so having that other doctor seemed to work for me at the time. Now I’d rather wait.

Thanks to Kristi for sharing her story with us. -- Nancy