Can Smart Lipo Be Used if You Are Overweight?

I have been exercising for 2 months and eating a healthy diet. It seems like most of my fat is in my belly. Could Smart lipo be used to get a jump start on where I need to be?

Doctor Answers 7

Exceptions to liposuction and being overweight

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Yes, you will get your best results from any form of liposuction when you are closest to what is your ideal weight.

However, I find a small group of patients who are overweight (mildly) but are happy with themselves just want to address liposuction in a specific area of bulging.

It may be appropriate under these circumstances to consider any form of liposuction - laser, Vaser, SmartLipo, etc. Remember that any weight loss after this can result in changes that may require an additional procedure.

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Rarely should you use liposuction to jumpstart your exercise / diet program

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It is an extremely rare case where liposuction should be done before you use natural methods of diet and exercise to get to within 10-20 lbs of your ideal weight. 2 months of exercise is not long enough to bail out and have liposuction done.

Remember that liposuction is surgery, not just a "procedure," and carries all the risks of surgery. It is not for weight loss and it is not a quick fix rather than having to do the hard work of diet and exercise.

Watch "The Biggest Loser" on TV and get inspired!! You too can do it...

SmartLipo isn't a method of weight loss and if you are doing it for that, you're wasting your money.

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Liposuction and SmartLipo typically won't result in any weight loss. In the patients I have performed this on who were overweight to begin with and were using it to 'jump start' their program, I have had dismal results. The problem is that if they aren't motivated prior to surgery, they probably won't be after surgery.

My recommendation is to go back to the diet and exercise and make sure that you can end up losing weight on your own (no crutches like phentiramine/etc) and if you can get to within 10% of your goal weight and still have areas that are needing improvement, then SmartLipo is an option. Good luck.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

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Can Smart Lipo Be Used if You Are Overweight?

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Thank you for the question.

It is hard to give you good advice without direct examination  or viewing pictures.

I think you have a good understanding already that liposuction surgery is not meant as a weight loss “program” and is ideally done for patients who have isolated diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue in specific areas. The overlying skin of these areas ideally demonstrate good skin elasticity. In other words, these procedures are best done when patients are close to their long-term stable weight.

I would respectfully suggest that you continue your healthy lifestyle and  relatively slow weight loss;  see a well trained board-certified plastic surgeon when you are closer to your long-term stable weight.

Best wishes.

Continue to diet

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You should try to maintain your healthy diet for several months, or even a year or so, before considering liposuction. You may find that diet alone can help reduce your fat. 

Respectfully disagree

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Two points:

1. I believe that people are preprogrammed to lose weight from certain areas before others. If your "problem area" is your abdomen, you could likely lose 30 or 40 lbs without seeing much change in this area. You would see it in your thighs, hips, buttocks and even breasts. This often leads to frustration and abandoned diet and weight loss plans. Levelling the "playing field" by doing liposuction on your problem area might allow you to continue to see the changes you seek and encourage you to continue diet and exercise.

2. I don't think smartlipo does anything that traditional liposuction doesn't do. The side by side comparison of patients treated on one side by smartlipo and the other by traditional tumescent lipo show no difference in bruising, swelling, recovery or ultimate result. Like so many other things in plastic surgery its as good as the person on the other end of the cannula.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Smartlipo is best used on small areas of excess fat

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smartlipo is best used on relatively small areas that would be benefit from fat removal. i think it is important that you see a board certified plastic surgeon. this way, if you have too much fat to be removed by Smartlipo, he has the necessary skills to be able to recommend ultrasonic or regular liposuction. if you are just seeing a dermatologist who does Smartlipo, they will not have these offer techniques available.
david berman md
plastic surgeon
northern Va

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.