SmartLipo: An Alternative to a Tummy Tuck or Not?

Many patients, medical professionals, and so on, claim that SmartLipo is an effective alternative to a tummy tuck, however, SmartLipo isn’t for everyone. 

What is SmartLipo?

SmartLipo is a less-invasive procedure that uses laser energy to liquefy fat tissue before being suctioned out. It was approved by the FDA in 2006 and has been a great alternative to traditional liposuction, which includes a large amount of trauma to the surrounding tissues, as well as general anesthesia. 

SmartLipo is an advance over traditional liposuction methods, which frequently make loose skin worse. The fat is first broken up and liquified by the laser, it is then gently suctioned away with specialized cannulas or tubes which are smaller than conventional types and can be inserted through a 2mm incision. But don’t be deceived by size, these tiny cannulas can remove just as much fat, and the collagen the laser encourages to produce, hardens, and tightens the skin.

People who wish to lose weight shouldn’t consider SmartLipo, instead, it’s best for those who just require an extra push to get closer to their goal weight and body image. It is intended for those who already engage in regular exercise and dieting as part of a healthy lifestyle.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Even with a healthy diet and enough exercise, getting the ideal “beach body” can be very challenging to impossible. Sometimes, no matter what we do, excess fat and saggy skin won’t disappear. One of the most well-liked body contouring treatments offered is the tummy tuck, a treatment, also referred to as an abdominoplasty, which aids in reshaping the stomach area. Doctors help their patients by removing extra fat deposits and loose skin tissue through this tummy tuck treatment. Additionally, the abdominal muscles can be strengthened, which may have weakened due to pregnancy or weight increase. Each patient has the opportunity to develop a customized treatment plan with their surgeon that would help them achieve their body image goals. 

SmartLipo vs. Tummy Tuck

SmartLipo provides numerous advantages over a tummy tuck for people with extra skin and fat in the abdominal area. Hip-to-hip incisions and going “under” are less preferable than a small incision and local anesthetic. Since most people don’t have a lot of time on their hands, laser liposuction seems like a no-brainer at first because of the shorter recovery period it requires.

The ideal candidate for SmartLipo has some extra stomach fat, minimally or completely firm skin, and strong abdominal muscles. Although SmartLipo can tighten skin, you won’t see a significant enough difference to be satisfied if your skin is really loose, you have a lot of extra fat, or your abdominal muscles are damaged.

A tummy tuck is the next step for patients who require more than laser liposuction. Although the scar from this surgery is somewhat bigger than the one from SmartLipo, it will enable the surgeon to remove a significant quantity of loose skin on top of the excess fat being removed.

Both of these methods can help you achieve a more attractive belly area, by removing persistent fat pockets or sagging skin. These procedures are done under different forms of anesthesia, SmartLipo uses local anesthesia and oral medicines in the office, while a tummy tuck uses general anesthesia in a hospital. Yes, a tummy tuck can remove more fat and loose skin at once, but SmartLipo recovery is shorter, and unlike a tummy tuck, SmartLipo can be performed on other parts of the body.

Discuss your needs, options, and goals with your doctor, so they can help you determine the best course of therapy. Although SmartLipo is a desirable tummy tuck substitute, not everyone can have it. Find out if the outcomes you’re hoping for can be accomplished with SmartLipo alone, and be sure to mention them. Each patient is different in their goals, their current health status, how big of an area that needs to be worked on, how much fat and skin are involved, and more. All of these factors come into play when it comes to this decision. 

The Takeaway

Wow! So much information all at once. This blog is full of the information you need to help push you to see your doctor and maybe ask some additional questions about your specific wants and needs. SmartLipo seems to be one of the biggest advancements when it comes to liposuction, but a tummy tuck can achieve a little more for someone who may be struggling with excess loose skin and fat pockets in the abdominal region. 

Another thing to consider is cost. When it comes to these types of procedures, the cost may be a big factor in what path you choose to take. The quality of the results will increase the worth of the procedure to each patient; getting the results you want will be important when you consider the cost of the treatments. 

In some cases, SmartLipo can be combined with other treatments like a tummy tuck to help achieve the full desirable results the patient needs. Not all patients are the same when it comes to recovery and results, however, it may be beneficial to you to discuss with your surgeon what to expect before and after whatever procedure you choose.

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