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Body Procedures > Liposuction


SmartLipo, Laser, Tummy Tuck and Liposcution New York City

The passage of time and the effects of gravity, coupled with weight fluctuations and pregnancy, take their toll on the body. The abdomen often becomes slack and buttocks and thighs saggy. Even with exercise and a healthy diet, some fat resists attack. Unsightly bulges and poorly fitting clothing can become frustrating.

Improvements in technology and techniques now enable surgeons to remove excess fat through liposuction.


Key Facts
Anesthesia: General or sedation anesthesia
Length of procedure: 1 1/2 hours to 4 hours, depending upon how much fat is being removed, the removal technique and the number of sites that are suctioned
Length of stay: Usually home the same day
Discomfort: Varies mild to moderate controlled with prescription pain medications
Anticipate: Swelling up to 4 months bruising up to 2 weeks
Final results: 4 to 6 months
Duration of results: Should be lasting with weight maintenance and healthy lifestyle

Liposuction
The removal of unwanted, localized fat by suction technique is a surgical procedure that offers an improved body contour with minimal scarring. Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States. However, it’s important for patients to understand that liposuction is not a weight-loss alternative, but rather a way to treat isolated areas of fat that are resistant to exercise and diet.
Liposuction is used to remove the superficial layer of fat rather than the deep one. Some areas of the body respond better to liposuction. The most common areas of the body where liposuction is performed are on the abdomen, hips, thighs, arms, neck, back and flanks.
Fat cells increase in size and volume with weight gain. Liposuction reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The resulting contour changes are long lasting, if weight remains stable.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with routine exercise & diet is equally as important after liposuction. Although fat will not return to the treated areas, if a person gains weight after liposuction, fat can be re-distributed to other areas of the body.. For example, if the abdomen and hips were the areas suctioned, the thighs or buttocks may become problem areas, if weight is gained after surgery.
Because the skin must mold itself to new contours following surgery, candidates for liposuction are generally physically active, near their ideal weight and have good skin tone and elasticity. If the skin is thin and loose with poor elasticity, the skin in the areas treated with liposuction will often appear loose.

For people who are moderately overweight, liposuction can provide the motivation to lose weight. The best time to have liposuction is when weight has been stable for as long as six months. The reason is because a person who has liposuction during a period of weight gain would likely develop fat deposits in untreated areas.
Areas of the body that are most effectively treated with liposuction are the abdomen, hips, chest, flanks, thighs, neck, upper arms and knees. One way to tell if a person could benefit from liposuction is to stand in front of a full-length mirror and note the contours of the body’s silhouette. If hips and thighs bulge outward, liposuction may be beneficial. Points to be discussed with Dr. Shafer prior to having the procedure are goals and expectations, the number of sites to be treated, and the techniques that will yield the best result and least scarring.
Body fat removal also can be a complementary treatment to surgical procedures to improve body contour, such as an abdominoplasty tummy tuck or body lifts to the arms or thigh. Patients typically report that they do not lose much weight with liposuction, but rather lose inches, which results in their clothing fitting better.


What to expect
Before surgery, Dr. Shafer will mark the areas of body to be treated with liposuction. These will be used as a guide during surgery. Patients may be asked to stand partially naked during preparation for the surgery. The skin will be washed with a surgical soap to thoroughly clean all surgical sites.
During liposuction surgery, a sterile solution may be injected along with a local anesthetic to control pain and epinephrine to minimize bleeding. The result is often less bleeding, bruising and pain following the procedure. The injections lessen recovery time.
After anesthesia is administered, one cm incisions are made near the area where the fat is to be removed. The incisions may be hidden in the pubic hair, the belly button or in natural skin creases. A thin, hollow rod cannula is inserted through the incision to create tunnels through the fat the suction forces the fat into the cannula and out a high-vacuum hose.

How much fat is removed is based on the appearance of the area and the volume of fatty fluid that can be safely suctioned. When the desired amount of fat is removed, dressings are applied. Patients will wear a compression garment for several weeks after surgery. The garment helps minimize swelling and discoloration, and enhances the final contour.
Liposuction will not improve cellulite dimpling or other surface irregularities present before the procedure. It also will not get rid of stretch marks. An abdominoplasty tummy tuck can sometimes be performed in combination with liposuction.

Smartlipo Triplex

Smartlipo by Shafer Plastic Surgery
Smartlipo™ Laser Body Sculpting Laserlipolysis

As more women and men want to look and feel better about themselves, body contouring and lipo-sculpture continue to grow in popularity, which is why liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery performed today. SmartLipo™ is the first and only laser-assisted lipolysis system to offer a revolutionary and minimally invasive procedure for the removal of fat. Unlike traditional liposuction, Smartlipo™ uses a high-powered laser to remove unwanted fat from the body. Smartlipo™ is a new Laser Body Sculpting procedure with less down time and side effects than traditional liposuction.


How SmartLipo™ Works
If you’re seeking a cutting-edge, highly effective method to significantly improve the safety and efficiency of many surgical techniques, then laser technology is definitely the technique you’ll want to consider. Laser technology is routinely used in dental procedures, lasik eye surgery, reconstructive work and cosmetic procedures—including liposuction—which is what sets SmartLipo apart from its competition. Most patients are unaware that the word “laser” is actually an acronym which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Precise and safe, today’s medical-grade lasers work by creating a powerful light beam that is adjusted to a specific frequency range. SmartLipo is also different from traditional liposuction in that it uses a carefully calibrated laser to liquefy fat deposits through the top layers of the patient's skin. The laser actually ruptures fat cells, and the resulting oily, liquid substance is then removed through a tiny incision in the skin by the surgeon.
The small laser can also seal blood vessels as it zaps fat, so there is less swelling, bleeding and bruising than with traditional liposuction. Research has shown that little, if any, fat is reabsorbed back into the body with SmarLipo. The minimal invasiveness of the procedure allows patients to see faster results and to experience fewer complications. In addition, SmartLipo’s patients only require a local anesthetic for this procedure, whereas liposuction requires general anesthesia. Because the patient is not completely unconscious, SmartLipo carries much fewer risks than traditional liposuction, and the recovery time is much shorter. SmartLipo…cutting-edge, safe and effective. 

How does the Smartlipo™ procedure work?
A very small cannula, or tube, approximately 1.0 mm to 2.0 mm in diameter containing a laser fiber is inserted into the skin. The cannula is moved back and forth delivering the laser's energy to the fat cells, causing them to rupture and easily drain away. The laser energy also interacts with the dermis it resulting in collagen shrinkage. Due to the cannula's small size, Smartlipo™ is a minimally invasive procedure and can be performed under local anesthesia. The laser causes small blood vessels to coagulate immediately on contact, resulting in less bleeding, swelling and bruising, and a quicker recovery time than conventional liposuction. Because general anesthesia is unnecessary, the procedure is very safe with only minimal side effects. 

Is SmartLipo Right for You?
Almost anyone can be a good candidate for SmartLipo. In general, the ideal candidate: (1) is in good health, exercises regularly, is within 25 lbs. of his or her ideal weight; (2) has one or more areas of local body fat deposits that have responded poorly to diet and exercise; and (3) is bothered by these fatty areas, and is motivated to get rid of them permanently. Your doctor will review the benefits and risks of SmartLipo with you during your consultation visit. He will assess whether you are a good candidate with respect to your medical health, and he will clarify what SmartLipo could do for you.


Generally, SmartLipo might be right for you if:

You don’t have a lot of time to spend in recovery. – SmartLipo patients are typically back to work within 1–2 days following the procedure. Bandages are removed 1–2 weeks after that.

You’ve worked hard to eat right and exercise, yet you still can’t lose those “love handles” or other fat deposits you consider unsightly. – Human fat, or adipose tissue, can be very hard to get rid of through exercise and diet alone. SmartLipo can be a relatively simple solution to remove stubborn fat permanently.

You want a procedure that is FDA approved. – The SmartLipo device was approved in November of 2006, and today is one of the fasting-growing, safest procedures in the cosmetic surgery field. You don’t want loose skin as a result of the procedure. – Many patients of traditional liposuction find that their skin does not adjust to the reduction of fat deposits. This tendency often results in unattractive “droops.” These patients often require skin lifts that can lead to scars, thus rendering the initial liposuction treatment useless. But by pulling the surrounding skin inward, SmartLipo laser technology can reconstruct the layers immediately under the patient’s skin, completely eliminating skin drooping.
You want permanent results. –Once the fat is removed from a particular area of the body, it will never return. If you gain fat in the future, it will be deposited elsewhere on your body. To be a good candidate for SmartLipo, you should have realistic expectations about the procedure’s capabilities. And while SmartLipo can improve your appearance and self-confidence, it won’t necessarily match your mental ideal, nor will it cause other people to act differently toward you. Before you decide to have SmartLipo, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with the physician during your consultation visit. SmartLipo…the safe, affordable and permanent alternative. 

Who is a good candidate for the SmartLipo™ procedure?
If you have areas of fat that will not respond to diet and exercise, then you’re a candidate for SmartLipo™. Ideal candidates are in good health, of normal body weight and have realistic expectations for the results. 

What body regions can be treated with Smartlipo™?
Smartlipo™ can be a great adjunct to traditional liposuction procedures and it is ideal for treating small areas of the face, neck, arms, knees, back, bra strap, mons pubis, breasts (gynecomastia), and areas of loose and flabby skin (floppy skin). 

How many treatments will I need?
For most patients, typically only one treatment is required. The session may last from 45 minutes to one hour for each area treated. 

Do I have to do anything post-treatment?
After the treatment you will have minimal pain or bruising. We recommend 1-2 days rest but most patients are able to return to work immediately “Lunch Hour Lipo” 

Does Smartlipo™ treat cellulite?
The procedure will improve the body’s shape and may improve cellulite to a certain degree and will tighten sagging skin. 

When can I expect to see results?
Results can be seen immediately with continued improvement over several months. 

Does laser-assisted liposuction produce lasting results?
Yes! Adults do not create new fat cells. When a person gains weight, the fat cells expand. The Smartlipo™ procedure permanently removes the fat cells. Should you gain weight, most fat will be deposited in areas where the procedure was not performed. *Aest. Plast. Surg. 26:335-339, 2002 

Advantages of Smartlipo™
We have chosen Smartlipo™ after studying the pros and cons of various methods of liposuction. Here are some key points: 

Minimal downtime
A few of our patients even return to work immediately, almost like a "lunchtime Liposuction". Of course we normally advise a day or two of rest. 

Minimal discomfort
During the procedure, there is no pain. After the anesthesia has worn off, it only feels like the aches and pains that follow a vigorous workout. This is unlike in traditional liposuction where a patient feels as if a truck was driven over the body. The bruises too are much less with Smartlipo™. 

Less traumatic
The fiber-optic cannula is inserted through a small puncture in the skin usually along creases that conceal the scar. As the laser melts the fats, it also coagulates the loose ends of small blood vessels. Compression garments are optional as the area will not bleed very much after the laser is removed. The granulation tissue (healing-tissues) does the rest of the work in contracting the treated area as well as the overlying skin. 

Post-Operative Care:
Almost "normal" skin after 3 months It would be very hard to find the insertion points or tell by looking at the skin that any liposuction has ever been done. Skin contracts with the healing-tissues that replace the melted fats. 

Safety and Complications:
Smartlipo™ is safer than traditional liposuction because there is less bleeding and anesthetic drugs used. In fact, in doing the procedure under tumescent technique, we have eliminated a lot of risks normally associated with general anesthesia.

 
     
 
 
 
 
 
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Dr. David Shafer is a Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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