What Surgery Will Help Me (SLE) Get Rid of the Fat Around my Waist? (photo)

I eat right (veg, fruit, water) & exercise. My legs & arms are toned. I can not get rid of the fat around my stomach. I've tried thermal creams, pills, & belts. I would like to have Smart Lipo bc it tightens. "Lupus" seems to scare the doctors away. I have never had this much weight. I had four children & didn't have a stomach like this. At 40, I still had a flat toned stomach. Now at 45 I look like this. I wear at least 2 shirts to cover it up. Stopping my prednisone isn't an option.

Doctor Answers 2

Lupus and cosmetic surgery

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease where self generated antibodies attack different organs systems in the body including blood vessels, liver, kidneys, joints, heart, heart valves, skin, brain...and/or form complexes with their protein targets (antigens) that damage these organ systems. The degree of damage to each organ system is highly variable. Arthritis and joint pain is the most frequent complaint. It is thought to be due to a genetic predisposition combined with viral infections. The disease can spontaneously remit, respond to corticosteroids like prednisone or be unresponsive to available medications. 50% of those with SLE have some degree of heart and/or kidney involvement. Much of this organ damage can be masked and then suddenly become apparent. I am aware of one women in her 30s who died in the recovery room after breast augmentation by another surgeon due to a heart attack caused by SLE induced damage to her coronary arteries.

Therefore it is imperative that you have a complete examination of all major organ systems before undergoing any elective cosmetic surgey. The fact that you cannot be weaned off of prednisone may be an ominous sign.

Lastly, look for an appropriate surgeon not whether or not they will use a smartLipo machine. The tennis racquet does not make the tennis player any more than the smartLipo machine makes the surgeon.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction with health risks such as lupus

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For the safest result from liposuction you should be at your best health wise, and a medical clearance from your primary is essential. Your SLE and prednisone dependence is a special concern as the prednisone directly implacts your healing and infection resistance. It also impacts your metabolism and fluid balance and weight retention is common. A good alternative might be a professionally monitored weight and exercise plan.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.