Smartlipo, regular lipo, or tummy tuck? (photos)

I'm so confused. So far I've had three consults with three board certified plastic surgeons and have been given three different opinions. I have 4 kids, no stretch marks and eat fairly well but my upper and lower abs have seen better days. What would give me the best results with the quickest recovery time (I'm the primary caregiver of my young children)? I appreciate any input.

Doctor Answers 12

Smartlipo vs tummy tuck.

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You have a nice figure, good skin and minimal fat.  Aggressive liposuction to sculpt your abdomen and waist would be ideal.  A tummy tuck will give you a flatter abdomen faster but also a huge scar for the rest of your life.  Smartlipo can also be done under local anesthesia, is cheaper and safer and has much less downtime.


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Thank you for your question. Based upon your healthy lifestyle, your high level of fitness, and your desire for a quick recovery time, I suggest that you consider SculpSure. Per the attached video, SculpSure can melt up to 25% of your unwanted subcutaneous fat that is oftentimes very stubborn and hard to lose. The quick in-office comfortable procedure offers patients a short recovery time as patients literally walk out of the office and continue with their normal routine. Always consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Liposuction candidate

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If you have good thick skin elasticity in the area and the area is just fat then liposuction should definitely address the problem. See a board certified plastic with an expertise in body contouring in your area for a detailed consultation. They should be able to answer your concerns more specifically. In my practice in the San Francisco Bay Area I have come to the conclusion that the happiest patients are those that have realistic expectation on what a procedure will and won’t do for them. Good luck! 

Dean Vistnes, M.D.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #drdeanvistnes #liposuction

Liposuction or tummy tuck

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The plastic surgery consultation process can be very frustrating. If you see three different surgeons  you may get three different opinions as you did.  Without actually seeing you I cannot help you specifically pick the right choice. However I can give you some hints as to the decision-making process. I examine the skin the fat and the muscle to determine whether people need liposuction or a tummy tuck.  The critical factor here is your abdominal muscles. If they are separated and I suspect after four children they are, then for the optimum results you would need a tell me talk. Without fixing the muscle you will always have a protuberant abdomen If on the other hand your muscles are intact then you are an excellent candidate for smart lipo . I've been using liposuction for the past 30 years and in my opinion smart lipo  gives better shaping and  skin shrinkage  your best option is to seek an opinion with a surgeon who is extremely experienced in body contouring and offers both procedures. If you were to go to a lipo clinic of course that is all they will offer you.  Seeing someone who performs all the procedures would give you the most balance consultation 

Andrew Kaczynski, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Lipo, Smartlipo or tummy tuck?

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Tummy tuck will have the longest recovery time and most post operative discomfort and limitations on activity since it is usually performed with an incision that extends from hip to hip across your lower abdomen.  If you have lots of loose skin, this would be the best procedure.  If you want to reduce fatty tissue and you have good skin tone which would be expected to retract, I would recommend Smartlipo.  This is done through small incisions, under local anesthetic, and there is virtually no down time except for a day or two. The laser also promotes skin tightening as well.  Regular liposuction depends on how the surgeon would perform it, how large the incisions, but usually there is more blood loss with regular liposuction (versus Smartlipo) which could contribute to post operative fatigue and delayed recovery versus Smartlipo.


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In your situation liposuction is the best approach for you. Only 1 single treatment is needed with the least amount of downtime.

Liposuction only

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You just need to have traditional high definition liposuction of your entire abdomen. The traditional liposuction technique requires a single session and will provide you the best results. Please see examples below.

Vaser Liposuction vs. Smart Lipo

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With the photos you posted you look like a great candidate for high definition body contouring using VASER liposuction. Your skin looks good as far as elasticity goes not knowing your age, that a tummy tuck would not be needed. If you want the best outcome I suggest this surgery with fat transfer to the buttocks and breasts to give your body more of a feminine contour and sculpt. In my opinion I think SmartLipo is a great alternative but will not give you the best outcome. The recovery time from VASER is 1 week with the best aftercare recovery treatment options and plan. Please consult with an experienced Cosmetic Surgeon who is experienced in body sculpting and non invasive treatment options for skin tightening and fat reduction.

If you want a fast recovery go with Smartlipo

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Smartlipo is excellent. it will make your stomach flatter but not perfect and your skin will tighten gradually. it will take 6 months to get your final result. you can return to work the very next day, which sounds like this is very important to you.A TT,  involves a long incision and you probably need 8-14 days off from work. However, the TT allows the surgeon to tighten the stomach muscles and to remove much more skin and fat. You will definitely get a more dramatic change from the TT. 
so the question you have to answer is, do you want a nice but imperfect improvement and essentially an immediate return to work and less expense.or do you want a much more dramatic improvement but this will require more money, 8-14 days off of work and a significant scar, which will improve with time.only you can decide.david berman md

Liposuction Techniques -- SmartLipo Laser, Vaser Ultrasound, Body Jet Water

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I suggest you go to an expert. I find that the combination of water and ultrasound (VASER 4D HI DEF) gives the best hi definition result. I think laser does very little for the ultimate outcome. you may need skin removed but a formal consultation is needed.  Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

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.