Will Smart Lipo Tone and Tighten my Abdomen?

I am 48 and weight 137 I am planning to do the Smart Lipo to remove the excess fat in my upper and lower abdomen area, and also to get rid of my love handles. Will it help tighten and tone my skin enough? Please advise. Thank you

Doctor Answers 1

Smartlipo will NOT rid you of excess skin

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Hi there-

Contrary to the aggressive marketing campaigns we've all been subjected to, laser-assisted liposuction techniques (like Smartlipo) will not cause skin that has lost its elasticity and is in excess to become taut and firm. The manufacturers and proponents of these devices insist that they make fat go away and that the skin contracts after the treatment.

Having used these devices, as well as ultrasound based liposuction devices, and tumescent liposuction as well, I can tell you that it is not the assertion that laser assisted devices make fat go away that bothers me (because I think they do work to make fat go away), or even that the treatment is followed by skin contraction (because it does seem to occur).

What bothers me (and most Board Certified Plastic Surgeons I know), is the assertion that these laser assisted devices work better than the other devices available. Smartlipo has NEVER been shown in a well performed study to be more effective at removing fat or tightening skin than tumescent liposuction or ultrasound assisted liposuction, and in my opinion, (again, remember that as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I can use whatever device I think will give my patients the best outcomes) these devices are not as safe as the alternatives. In fact, I do not know of a single Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in my area who uses Smartlipo- the only providers who do so are eye doctors, gynecologists, and other physicians who hope to build a liposuction practice based not on their experience and training in plastic surgery (because they do not have any), but on advertising what amounts to a gimmick... "Smartlipo"...

The laser devices are non-specific in their destruction- the laser burns whatever is in front of it- that's why the manufacturer's marketing materials say bruising is minimal- because the laser burns your blood vessels... Well I'm not sure this is a good thing- In my opinion as a plastic surgeon, the best liposuction would PRESERVE your blood vessels, not burn them! I see a few patients every month with deformities caused by poorly trained providers (not board certified plastic surgeons) with Smartlipo machines... These unfortunate patients must then pay me to correct these deformities- and end up spending a lot more money than if they had just seen a board certified plastic surgeon in the first place...

Your best bet is to find a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and review your options with them after a discussion of your goals and a careful examination. A board certified plastic surgeon will also be able to tell you whether you need something OTHER than liposuction in order to achieve your goals.

After all is said and done, whether you are satisfied or not is going to be determined by how you look- not by which machine was used on you. This outcome, in turn is a lot more dependent on the skill, training, and experience of your surgeon than on the machine used...

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.