Q1. Will I be awake during the procedure, what will I feel?
Even if you take the prescribed pain pill or sleeping pill, you will be awake, but relaxed. Many of our patients choose not to take any medication before the procedure and they do great. You will not feel pain. The most you will feel will be slight pressure. Tumescent liposuction has proven to be the safest method of liposuction, because the risks associated with general anesthesia are eliminated. We use lidocaine to thoroughly numb the fat to be removed, and add epinephrine to greatly reduce bleeding in the area. This will allow you to have less bruising, swelling, and a shorter recovery time. You will not feel us make the incisions as we use lidocaine to numb the area. Many people express their anxiety about being awake but as a rule of thumb, everyone says the procedure was “much easier” than they expected. We have had several patients offer to speak to people considering this procedure so this is available to you if you’d like.
Q2. Why should I choose Dr. Kulkin to do my procedure?
Dr. Kulkin has used lasers for over 24 years and understands how to use them in surgical procedures. He has worked with the pioneers in Smartlipo who have trained him personally in the newest techniques of liposuction and skin tightening. It is important to know that there are several Smartlipo machines, but only one (Triplex) has the ability to tighten skin and this is the machine used at WIFH. In addition, he is personally available by cell phone after your procedure to assist with you with any questions or problems. We think you'll understand why our Smartlipo program has become so popular when you come for your complementary consultation.
Q3. Where is the procedure done?
Your Smartlipo procedure will be performed in our office, in our own operating room. We use a full sterile technique and have a large flat screen monitor in our operating room, displaying your before photo while we sculpt your problem areas.
Q4. What medication should I discontinue before the procedure?
Please avoid aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) two weeks prior to your surgery. In addition, stop taking vitamins and herbal supplements (including fish oils). We also recommend avoiding all types of alcohol one week before surgery. We will discuss other medications specific to your situation at your consultation. It is important that we are aware of all medication and doses that you are taking.
Q5. What if I smoke or use recreational drugs?
As with any surgical procedure, smokers should be aware that tobacco use interferes with the blood's ability to carry oxygen, and slows the healing process. Street drugs can be very risky when combined with the lidocaine anesthetic used in Smartlipo. We will discuss these issues during your consultation.
Q6. Can I just eat before the procedure?
Yes, please eat a light meal. We want you to have some food in your stomach so that the oral medication will not upset your stomach.
Q7. What can I expect when I get home?
You need to spend a day or two lying around the house. You should wear loose fitting clothes and if you are having your abs done you will wear a compression garment that we provide. It is normal to experience some fluid drainage from the lower incision sites for the first 24-48 hours post procedure. Expect some mild bruising and swelling, though some people have no bruising.
Most patients are able to return to work in 1-3 days. You may gradually resume your normal activities. You may return to your exercise routine in about a week or two, depending on the area treated. Although you will be able to see an improvement in your shape immediately after surgery, it takes about 1 month until all noticeable swelling has resolved and the area has healed completely.
Q8. When will I notice results?
Immediately, but we do not take after photos for 3-5 months. For abs, by one month the change is quite noticeable.
Q9. Is smartlipo better than traditional liposuction?
After performing almost 2,500 procedures we have no doubt that laser assisted liposuction is better than traditional lipo for most people. We have done many people who have had traditional liposuction years ago and to them the difference is like night and day. Smartlipo melts the fat into a liquid before suctioning it from the body, rather than using an instrument to scrape the fat from the skin like in traditional liposuction. As a result we are able to do evenly remove the fat, Smartlipo also provides the added benefit of skin tightening. Patients experience less bruising because Smartlipo is a gentler technique causing less tissue trauma to the skin resulting in bruising. You also have a few days of downtime rather than weeks or months. It is so amazing and rewarding to watch our patients get up and walk out of our office after having a 2-3 hour procedure feeling great!
Q10. Does someone have to drive me home?
We have had many people (who have not taken any oral sedating medication) drive themselves home after their procedure, however, Dr. Kulkin always recommends that you have a driver when at all possible. This is a surgical procedure.
Q11. What major complications have you had?
NONE. This means we have not had any patients go to the Emergency Room or hospital, no infections, no scarring, burns or hemorrhages.
Q12. Am I covered during the procedure?
We drape everyone in a full sterile surgical technique so as to protect patients from infection and to simply protect everyone’s dignity. Even when we take before and after photographs, we never take images of faces, breasts or private areas. Women are asked to wear a bra during photographs and all patients wear bikini briefs.
Contact our Patient Concierge by email or call 404-832-0300 with questions or to make an appointment. We also can arrange for a free demonstration in our office. We know you'll be pleased. Register now to receive our newsletter and special offers.