PROCEDURES :: SMARTLIPO :: LEARN MORE

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If you are considering SmartLipo™...

 

LaserBodySculpting is a revolutionary, minimally invasive treatment. SmartLipo™ is a procedure that can help sculpt the body by removing unwanted fat from specific areas, including the abdomen (love handles), hips (saddle bags), breast (bra fat), buttocks, and inner and outer thighs, knees, upper arms, jaw line, and neck. Dr. Mars was the first surgeon in Tucson to use laser assisted liposuction. She has been performing this surgery for over 5 years and on hundreds of patients. Her surgery center is used as a teaching facility for Cynosure, the makers of the SmartLipo™ system.

This laser-assisted lipolysis procedure is performed using a one millimeter cannula (or tube) inserted into skin. A laser fiber inside of the cannula delivers energy directly to fat cells, causing them to rupture and drain away as liquid.  Simultaneously, tissue around the area coagulates, resulting in overall tighter skin tissue.

THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR SmartLipo™
To be a good candidate for liposuction, you must have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. It's important to understand that liposuction can enhance your appearance and self confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

The best candidates for LaserBodySculpting are normal body weight, who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas that do not respond to diet or exercise. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations.

Liposuction carries greater risk for individuals with medical problems such as diabetes, significant heart or lung disease, poor blood circulation, or those who have recently had surgery near the area to be contoured.

HOW DOES SmartLipo™ COMPARE TO CONVENTIONAL LIPOSUCTION?
Liposuction may be performed in a surgeon's office-based facility, in an outpatient surgery center, or in a hospital. Smaller-volume liposuction is usually done on an outpatient basis for reasons of cost and convenience. However, if a large volume of fat will be removed, or if the liposuction is being performed in conjunction with other procedures, a stay in a hospital or overnight nursing facility may be required.

PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and assess the condition of your skin. Your surgeon will explain the body-contouring methods that may be most appropriate for you. For example, if you believe you want liposuction in the abdominal area, you may learn that an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" may more effectively meet your goals; or that a combination of traditional liposuction and tummy tuck would be the best choice for you.

Be frank in discussing your expectations with your surgeon. He or she should be equally frank with you, describing the procedure in detail and explaining its risks and limitations.

PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding vitamins, iron tablets and certain medications. If you develop a cold or an infection of any kind, especially a skin infection, your surgery may have to be postponed.

Also, while you are making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and, if needed, to help you at home for a day or two.

WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
SmartLipo™ is performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility. Smaller-volume liposuction is usually done on an outpatient basis for reasons of cost and convenience.

ANESTHESIA FOR LIPOSUCTION
Various types of anesthesia can be used for liposuction procedures. Together, you and your surgeon will select the type of anesthesia that provides the most safe and effective level of comfort for your surgery.

If only a small amount of fat and a limited number of body sites are involved, SmartLipo™ can be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs only the affected areas. However, if you prefer, the local is usually used along with intravenous sedation to keep you more relaxed during the procedure. General anesthesia can be an option for surgery if a large amount of fat or if more than two areas will be done.

THE SURGERY
The time required to perform SmartLipo™ may vary considerably, depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, and the type of anesthesia.

There are several SmartLipo™ techniques that can be used to improve the ease of the procedure and to enhance outcome.

SmartLipo™ is a procedure in which localized deposits of fat cells are ruptured and drain away as liquid to recontour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny needle incision, a narrow tube or cannula with laser is inserted, then pulled through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and melting them. If needed, an additional narrow cannula is used to vacuum the melted fat layer that lies deep beneath the skin. The suction action is provided by a vacuum pump or a large syringe, depending on the surgeon's preference. If many sites are being treated, your surgeon will then move on to the next area, working to keep the incisions as inconspicuous as possible.

ALL SURGERY CARRIES SOME UNCERTAINTY AND RISK
SmartLipo™ is normally safe, as long as patients are carefully selected, the operating facility is properly equipped and the physician is adequately trained.

As a minimum, your surgeon should have basic (core) accredited surgical training with special training in body contouring. Also, even though many body-contouring procedures are performed outside the hospital setting, be certain that your surgeon has been grated privileges to perform liposuction at an accredited hospital.

Your surgeon must have advanced surgical skills to perform procedures that involve the removal of a large amount of fat (more than 5 liters or 5,000 ccs); ask your surgeon about his or her other patients who have had similar procedures and what their results were. Also more extensive liposuction procedures require attentive after-care. Find out how your surgeon plans to monitor your condition closely after the procedure.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that even though a well-trained surgeon and a state-of-the art facility can improve your chance of having a good result, there are no guarantees. Though they are rare, complications can and do occur. Risks increase if a greater number of areas are treated at the same time, or if the operative sites are larger in size. Removal of a large amount of fat and fluid may require longer operating times than may be required for smaller operations.

The combination of these factors can create greater hazards for infection; delays in healing; the formation of fat clots or blood clots, which may migrate to the lungs and cause death; excessive fluid loss, which can lead to shock or fluid accumulation that must be drained; friction burns or other damage to the skin or nerves or perforation injury to the vital organs; and unfavorable drug reactions.

In the tumescent and super-wet techniques, the anesthetic fluid that is injected may cause lidocaine toxicity (if the solution’s lidocaine content is too high), or the collection of fluid in the lungs (if too much fluid is administered).
The scars from liposuction are small and strategically placed to be hidden from view. However, imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon after lipoplasty. Numbness and pigmentation changes may occur. Sometimes, additional surgery may be recommended.

AFTER YOUR SURGERY
After surgery, you will likely experience some fluid drainage from the incisions. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.

Don't expect to look or feel great right after surgery. Even though the newer techniques are believed to reduce some post-operative discomforts, you may still experience some pain, burning, swelling, bleeding and temporary numbness. Pain can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon, though you may still feel stiff and sore for a few days.

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
Healing is a gradual process. Your surgeon will probably tell you to start walking around as soon as possible to reduce swelling and to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You will begin to feel better after about a week or two and you should be back at work within a few days following your surgery. The stitches are removed or dissolve on their own within the first week to 10 days.

Activity that is more strenuous should be avoided for about a month as your body continues to heal. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three weeks, some swelling may remain for six months or more.
Your surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and to see if any additional procedures are needed.

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