Smart Lipo vs Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck
I hope I can make you feel more enlightened rather than add to the confusion.
First, it is somewhat difficult to fully assess your situation based on your picture alone, but you appear to have some fat excess, some skin excess - particularly in your lower abdomen, and probably some muscle wall laxity. Liposuction procedures primarily address only fat excess, (with the possible exception of Smart Lipo which can get some increaed skin tightening-but is not a miracle device). A Mini tummy-tuck can take out skin laxity in the lower abdonem but does not address any laxity in the upper abdomen, and usally does not address muscle wall laxity. A full tummy tuck will addrss all three but is a significantly bigger surgical procedure with more downtime and bigger scars, but overall much greater change. You must decide, in consultation with your surgeon, which procedure, or combination of procedures, will best meet you needs in terms of quality of result, degree of downtime, and costs.
Liposuction, whether SmartLipo or not, of your abdomen, flanks, and chin would not be toxic. But a Tummy Tuck would likely get you an overall more dramatic result. A combination of SmartLipo of your abdomen combined with a Mini Tummy-tuck, could give you a reasonable result but with the understanding that you would still have some laxity of the skin in you upper abdomen and some residual muscle wall butge if no muscle tightening is performed.
So there's your not so simple but honest answer.
The notion that "tumescent" liposuction is "the" thing that provides the greatest benefit is utter hogwash. Everybody does tumescent liposuction, it is an integral part of virtually any liposuction technique performed today. Dermatologists don't do tummy tucks because they can't. Go see a reputable, experienced, Real Plastic Surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has experience with all these procedures, and you and he/she can decide on a plan that best meets your goals, downtime tolerance, acceptance of scars, etc.
That is a good picture but, seeing you is better. If You have had several babies and your stomach muscles are weakened and separrated, a tummy tuck is needed. However, if this is only fat and skin smart lipo will do a good job. The laser procedure has a much easier recovery and can be done without going to sleep. Skin tightening does occut but, if not enough for you, a little skin can be removed later. Because it take several hours to do,I prefer multiple sessiions close to each other
How best to slim your torso? Who to trust to do it?
I don't blame you for being confused by the various claims. As a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast and cosmetic surgery you can take my advice for what it is worth.
I suggest you focus your attention on finding an experienced surgeon you can trust. Ask friends and neighbors. Ask your primary care physician (or their nurse). Ask women at your gym, hair salon, etc. Your county medical society may offer a referral service.
Notice I DID NOT say to decide which procedure you should have first. It's not about the operation method! It's about the man or woman doing the operation! You want the best surgeon to examine you and discuss your options. Then decide what you want.
You may need to consult a few different surgeons before you make an educated decision. And that will set you straight...
You will have much better result from tummy tuck
Each procedure is designed for specific condition. You have extra fatty tissue(liposuction) lose skin(tummy tuck) and also separation of the abdominal muscle (tummy tuck). You will get a great result with lipo and tummy tuck combined.
Laser lipo has a limited indications .
SlimLipo pictures are worth a thousand words
I have used SlimLipo (different laser wavelength than Smartlipo) for over a year; in fact I helped the company develop the machine. I do not own stock or have a financial interest in the machine or company but am paid honoraria to give lectures and teach doctors how to use the machine.
I am a practicing plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and do many tummy tuck procedures.
If you have lax muscles or a doiastasis recti ( a split in your muscles caused by pregnancy) then you will need an abdominoplasty to repair the muscles.
However, looking at your pictures you appear to have a small amount of fat beneath your skin and minimal excess skin. If these are your only issues, then SlimLipo done by an experienced surgeon who knows how to use this new technique can give you an acceptable result and avoid the scarring and surgical procedure of a tummy tuck or an abdominoplasty.
I can only speak for SlimLipo--I have never used Smartlipo, Coolipo or any other laser assisted technique. If you are interested in the technical details comparing these various lasers read the reference below.
Your photo looks similar to the patient in the photos here. Actually, I believe she had more fat but the same amount of loose skin.
Her 12 day results are shown. Notice carefully the improvement and tightening in her waist area in the 12 day result.
You should know that as a result of the pulling down on the abdominal skin during a tummy tuck, many patients actually complain that their waist is wider or thickened.
If improvement in your waist profile is what you desire, study the 12 day result photo-the waist area was treated with the SlimLipo as well as the rest of the abdomen.
Since this technology is new you may have trouble finding a doctor who has the Slimlipo or is experienced in its use. I would wait and find the right doctor - be sure he/she is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Full Tummy Tuck will yeld the best shape
After reviweing the advice below, I totally agree with many of the doctors that:
1- Slim Lipo and Smart Lipo are a waste of time and money.
2- Because of the norizontal laxity of your belly button that a mini- tuck won't be the answer.
3- A full tummy tuck will yeld the best shape, but two warnings: a. Look for a doctor who makes the belly buttons look natural. look at their photos.
b. Get ready for a scar on the low abdomen. Look at the doctors photos and make sure that they can keep the scar within the bikini line, because in the end, you want to wear a bikini, right? My favorite technique is the Lockwood High Lateral tension abdominoplasty with liposuction of the flanks.
I am having a great time reading the various opinions, as each one is different. I'll give you my algorithm:
Fat only, normal skin= lipo
Loose skin below the belly button= mini-tummy tuck, +/- lipo (rare!)
Loose skin above the belly button, or a hooded horizontal belly button: full abdominoplasty (This means you!)
Smartlipo is, indeed, a gimmick. I have been trying out slimlipo, which uses a different wavelength laser, and seems to have a little tightening, but I don't think it will be enough for you. You have that little loose skin sag factor on the lower abdomen which is just not going to adequately respond. If you loathe the idea of the long scar you could do the slimlipo on the upper fat, a mini-tummy tuck, and six treatments with the alma accent (an RF laser), after. I think that course is risky though, you may have loose and irregular skin and need the tummy tuck anyway.
I trained with Gary Breslow who is in your area who is a fabulous, honest, and talented surgeon. I would recommend him highly. He is board certified by the ABPS and trained at Penn.
Both seem like a bad idea for you.
1) First, SmartLipo is a gimmick. In Manhattan, I don't know any experienced, board certified plastic surgeon who uses it. You want to go to a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. (there are many "boards", and some don't mean anything it is very confusing for the patient.) On my website, you will find links to the plastic surgery societies, where you can find a qualified surgeon near you.
2) From your picture, you may not need a tummy tuck, and a MINI tummy tuck for you is a bad idea, because it will make the area above the belly button look worse.
3) You may just need expertly done, no gimmick, tumescent liposuction. This is safe and effective. I don't blame you for being confused.
A mini-tummy tuck is not for you
Smart Lipo is a very good tool for liposuction alone. It helps to remove fat and the laser portion can actually tighten your skin (a little bit). A mini-tummy tuck only addresses your lower abdomen and removes some excess skin in the lower abdomen. It does nothing to address your upper abdomen and nothing to address the bulging muscles underneath.
In my opinion, you could benefit from a tummy tuck, which would remove as much excess skin as possible, tighten your abdomen, tighten the muscles, give you a flatter abdomen. However, it will leave you with a scar. Smart Lipo will remove some of the fat and give you minimal skin tightening. If you are ok still having excess skin and are not interested in a scar at all, then you should pick the Smart Lipo. However, if you are ok having a scar on your abdomen, then a tummy tuck will give you a substantially better result.
It is true that you need to see a plastic surgeon about this. A plastic surgeon will be able to honestly tell you whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is better for you. Any non-plastic surgeon does not have the ability or training to perform a tummy tuck and will likely tell you that liposuction alone will give you a substantial improvement. Go see a good plastic surgeon and make a decision for yourself. I'm sure you can find many great ones in NJ. Good luck!
If it's worth the scar - do the tummy tuck...
Just from the one pic, you look like you would have the most dramatic outcome with a full abdominoplasty. You need to see someone who knows everything - not just the weekend course that they attended. I would suggest that you see at least 3 Plastic Surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in your area and see what their opinions are. You can find them in your area by going to www.plasticsurgery.org and using the surgeon finder. You can certainly travel to see anyone you want, but there should be good, honest surgeons right in your backyard!