Ultrashape with Smart Lipo or Tumescent Lipo?

Which is better for the belly area with excess skin, Ultrashape with Smart Lipo or Tumescent Liposuction ? What are the pros and cons of each procedure?

Doctor Answers 5

Liposuction techniques

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Why are patients so focused on the technique and not the surgeon? My operating room schedule is full of patients reqesting revisions of unsuccessful surgeries performed by novice or unqualified practitioners, many using heavily marketed techniques that generate business. Liposuction machines are tools, nothing more. If you are committed to a new technology because you have been swayed by promises of quick recovery and superior results from a paid advertisement rather than by doing your research to find the finest surgeon, you have already chosen the level of quality of your care. If you want the best results you will first find the best surgeon and ask what tools he or she uses.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Shop for a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon- NOT a certain machine or price!

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Hi there-

I am in absolute agreement with my colleague below.

I see 1-2 patients every week who are in need of corrective surgery after having some type of liposuction procedure performed (usually a "smart" liposuction) elsewhere. In almost every one of these cases, the corrective procedure necessary is much larger and more expensive that the procedure I would have performed for them had they come to me in the first place, because we are no longer dealing with normal anatomy.

Again, in almost all of these cases, these expensive corrections are necessary because the patient had their original procedure performed by an unqualified practitioner who advertised some fancy machine or another, with false promises that cannot be kept.

There are a few incontrovertible facts you, and every patient should know:

Your outcome is MUCH more dependent on the practitioner and his/her skill and experience than on the tool he/she chooses to use. I personally prefer the VASER because I think that it is safer and more effective than laser options (like SmartLipo), but I have seen equally bad outcomes from the VASER when the procedure was performed by poorly trained local gynecologists or even eye doctors and not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

A useful analogy is to think of what we do just as you would think of a work of art--- Michelangelo would tell you that he chose his paint pigments and brushes very carefully, but we would all be foolish to think that with those same tools any of us could paint the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. The surgeon you choose is so much more important than his chosen tool that your question is a bit like asking if when shopping for art you should look for an artist who uses one type of paint or another. This point cannot be over-emphasized- find a surgeon Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and follow their recommendations. The tool is much less important. A good surgeon will produce good outcomes with any tool. A poorly trained and inexperienced practitioner without basic plastic surgery training will most likely not. You wouldn't come to me for eye surgery or your pap smear.

Plastic surgeons spend YEARS training in liposuction and body contouring techniques- most practitioners advertising the machine they use do so because advertising their actual credentials would not get them patients (no one is going to rush to a doctor's office because he is admitting that his training was in ophthalmology but he is doing liposuction to make money). These practitioners "learned" to do liposuction over the course of a few days or weeks, and usually from a salesman for the company selling them the expensive liposuction machine they then advertise to you.

Be careful. In the final analysis, all patients seeking aesthetic improvement are hoping to achieve a certain appearance. That is the goal of the endeavor, not to have a surgery with a particular tool or for a particular price. Find a reputable Plastic Surgeon, describe your goal, have an exam, and follow their recommendations. Shopping for a certain machine or making decisions based on the lowest price is likely to cause you to eventually end up in one of our offices 6 months from now needing corrective surgery.


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Tumescent means "hard", and can be used in contexts other than liposuction. In fact, it is not a technique of liposuction, but rather a tool to reduce blood loss, bruising, and perhaps swelling. Tumescent fluid therefore alows us to remove more fat, because of the decresased blood loss.

Skin elasticity is always a concern with liposuction. If skin is too stretched, liposuction is not indicated. You will need a procedure to deal with stretched skin, which in your case would be a tummy tuck.

My bias is against the Smartlipo, as I feel it is a gimick, and I know of no plastic surgeon who uses it. Therefore, I would urge you to go to board certified plastic surgeon for a full evaluation. If you go to a non plastic surgeon with an expensive lease to pay on the machine, you may wind up with a bad outcome.


tummy tuck and lipo

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You state that you have extra skin and this an indication for lipo and mini or full tumy tuck.Laser lipo and tumesent lipo will help with fat removal but for a patient after pregnancy and extra skin , mini or full tummy tuck may work better. Please have a full examination by a board certified plastic surgeon to find out the best tx for you.

It's more about the Indian than the Arrow

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I still don't quite understand why people would shop for a tool before picking the carpenter. This procedure is so dependent upon the surgeon, that I'd much rather worry with the "who" than the "what."

The analogy to Michelangelo is one I use often, "My 12 year old with a high tech, ubertitanium, digitally controlled hammer and chisel will never achieve what Michelangelo can with plain cold steel."

I agree with the other replies: choose a board certified plastic surgeon with YEARS of training and experience. They'll recommend the tool for you.

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.