SmartLipo Laser LiposuctionView More Before & Afters
SmartLipo uses the latest advancements in laser and cosmetic surgery technology to provide a safer, quicker, and more cost-effective method of liposuction. This is why Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified Omaha dermatologist and board-certified cosmetic dermatologic surgeon, chose to be the first surgeon in Nebraska to offer this exciting dual procedure technology at his state-certified and Medicare-certified ambulatory surgical center.
Dr. Schlessinger and his team are fantastic! I was very nervous before my surgery, but everyone went above and beyond to make sure that I was comfortable. I couldn’t be happier with the care I received. Not only did they explain every step of the process, they checked on me via email, phone calls, and handwritten notes before and after. I couldn’t ask for a friendlier, more professional group of people and will happily use their services again. Where else will a surgical team set you up with a Jimmy John’s lunch in the recovery room? As soon as I arrived, I was given a tour of the entire facility and told about their retail location. After having such a great experience at the clinic, I naturally checked out their store. The staff at the store were also amazing. I was greeted at the door, and they set me up with some new products and a ton of samples. If you’re in the market for a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, look no further!
– Nichole D.Read More Patient Reviews
Q&A with Dr. Schlessinger
Your commonly asked questions answered.
What is SmartLipo?
The SmartLipo procedure is the first laser-assisted liposuction procedure and was approved by the FDA in November 2006. Since this time, this laser liposuction procedure has quickly been labeled the cutting-edge procedure in cosmetic surgery and achieved highly positive ratings from patients and unbiased website reviews such as those on RealSelf.com.
According to SmartLipo’s manufacturer, Cynosure, the SmartLipo system has quickly become one of the most successful liposuction procedures in the cosmetic surgery field for its use of revolutionary technology.
How does SmartLipo work?
Does SmartLipo work?
Absolutely. But, it works best on small areas of fat that can be quickly liquefied and easily removed and always in conjunction with tumescent liposuction as the method to actually remove the fat.
With SmartLipo, a thin wire-sized laser is inserted into a small incision made by Dr. Schlessinger. The laser is used to liquefy the fat under the skin and tighten the skin. Then, Dr. Schlessinger follows this liquefaction using a small, sippy-straw-sized cannula to drain the fat away.
Because the cannula is only about 1.0 mm (the size of a paper clip wire), it is able to pass through the skin easily, without any damage to the surrounding tissue. The fat is destroyed, but the adjacent tissue remains healthy.
SmartLipo is a less invasive procedure, dramatically reducing the risk of bruising and promoting a quicker recovery. In addition, the cannula’s laser acts as a visual guide, helping Dr. Schlessinger make more precise movements than typical liposuction would allow.
Dr. Schlessinger invested in the safest version of the powerful SmartLipo laser for his practice in Omaha, Nebraska. As the laser liquefies fat cells, the laser simultaneously coagulates small blood vessels, thus preventing bleeding and swelling.
Which areas can be improved with SmartLipo laser liposuction?
SmartLipo can be used anywhere traditional liposuction is used and is perfect for liposuction touch-ups for those who may have had traditional liposuction with imperfect results.
Because the SmartLipo cannula is so small, this laser liposuction procedure can be performed on these troublesome areas:
- Bra strap area
- Breasts (gynecomastia) in men
- Thighs (saddle bags)
- Upper arms
- Areas of loose and flabby skin
SmartLipo laser liposuction works best on small areas of fat that can be quickly liquefied and easily removed.
SmartLipo…re-sculpting the body you always dreamed of.
Is the fat removal permanent?
Yes! It seems that after puberty, we do not create new fat cells. When you gain weight, you expand the fat cells that you have. Tumescent liposuction permanently removes fat cells to improve your body’s contour. Should you gain weight after liposuction, it goes to the fat cells that remain in your body, which can lead to an unusual look. Therefore, it is important to be careful to not gain significant weight after one of these procedures. The localized fatty deposits that existed prior to the laser liposuction procedure can no longer balloon up out of proportion to the surrounding areas.
What will my skin look like?
SmartLipo laser liposuction will improve your ability to wear and look good in clothes, but dimples, ripples, and stretch marks will not improve and sometimes are even accentuated following liposuction. New cellulite treatments, such as Cellfina can sometimes address these areas during or after liposuction
Your new figure will be similar to what you would expect if you could lose an equal amount of localized fat through diet and exercise alone. The use of smaller cannulas allows the fibrous connections between your skin and body to remain. These connections will contract over time. As a result, retraction of mild to moderate skin folds may avoid the necessity for surgical skin excision such as the tummy tuck by having excellent results with liposuction alone. Sometimes a small, ‘mini’ tuck can be done to improve skin after the laser liposuction procedure.
How many dress sizes will I lose after SmartLipo?
There is no way to know, and Dr. Schlessinger suggests patients not go into the procedure hoping for dress size changes. SmartLipo is a great tool, but it isn’t something that can definitively deliver dress size changes. More often, patients see a change in shape. You generally do not lose pounds in this procedure (if so, it may only be a pound or so).
For patients who seek weight loss, the best approach is to use diet and exercise.
Which is better between tumescent liposuction and SmartLipo?
Both techniques are good if performed by the right medical professional. Dr. Schlessinger performs both tumescent liposuction and SmartLipo using the laser. The issue is to choose a skilled surgeon to perform your procedure. It all comes down to experience. If your surgeon isn’t skillful enough or doesn’t have good judgment, you can end up having poor results whichever method is used. It’s not the laser or the procedure as much as who is doing it.
Most surgeons do not offer tumescent liposuction; whereas, most dermatologists do as it was invented by a dermatologist and offers the quickest recovery possible with the least risk. For example, if you are put under general anesthesia and are asleep or have to go to a hospital for your surgery, you are not getting true tumescent liposuction. Additionally, if you have significant bruising or are told you will have prolonged initial recovery periods that are more than about 24 hours, you likely aren’t getting tumescent liposuction.
The beauty of tumescent along with SmartLipo is that you get the best of both worlds.
Is SmartLipo FDA approved for skin tightening?
Dr. Schlessinger does not recommend SmartLipo alone for skin tightening. This laser liposuction procedure is useful for removing fat, but if you are truly looking for only skin tightening, it won’t be that impressive. Many other options for skin tightening work better, are less expensive and have shorter recovery times such as laser procedures.
Can SmartLipo be used for bags under the eyes?
Dr. Schlessinger would never use SmartLipo for bags under the eyes. In fact, the prevailing thought is that it is better to leave this fat in place rather than removing it. You may want to even increase the volume in this area by injectables such as Restylane, RHA or Perlane or Juvederm. It is NOT SAFE to do SmartLipo laser liposuction near this area, whatever the case.
Why won’t SmartLipo work for visceral fat (fat under the muscle)?
Visceral fat develops in the abdomen below the muscle layer. SmartLipo, by design, does not go below the muscle where visceral fat is located. SmartLipo (as with all liposuction procedures) is good for only the fat that is above the muscle and easily and safely reachable. The safety of this procedure is that it doesn’t go below the muscle to areas where large blood vessels and organs are located. For now, the only way to reduce this area is diet and exercise!
Can I have liposuction even if I intend to get pregnant and have more children?
While liposuction can be done at any time of life, it is best to wait until after all childbirths in order to have liposuction. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done before, but pregnancy will redistribute fat to the areas that have already been treated.
Many patients wish to address tummy fat they just can’t seem to lose after having their babies. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) leaves most women with a significant scar, while SmartLipo done by the tumescent method is nearly scarless. It is wise to consult Dr. Schlessinger to discuss this procedure and your needs.
While plastic surgeons will often encourage a tummy tuck, oftentimes a well-done tumescent liposuction with or without SmartLipo can avoid the scarring, the long recovery time and the pain involved in a tummy tuck.
Tummy tucks have a cute name, but the reality is that they are quite expensive, risky and often aren’t even necessary. When necessary, they are a great tool, but if not needed, there are other options to consider.
How long will the results for SmartLipo last?
Results can vary. SmartLipo, just the same as regular liposuction, involves suctioning of fat from areas where excess accumulation has occurred. Whether this laser liposuction procedure will have short-term results or long-term results depends entirely on how you diet afterward. Dr. Schlessinger has seen many patients who never again need any help in the areas treated, while others who had poor habits after the surgery needed extra procedures within a year or so. Whatever the case, it is unlikely that the same amount of fat will re-accumulate in the exact same areas.
What is more concerning is that the areas where the liposuction was performed will not gain fat, but other areas will, creating the appearance of an apple core. Dr. Schlessinger always encourages his patients to prepare for a healthy life after liposuction and make sure they are fully committed before undergoing this expensive and important procedure.
How do doctors achieve symmetry during the SmartLipo laser liposuction procedure?
In a word: competence. The toughest thing to achieve after a liposuction is symmetry and this is what tests the skill of a surgeon and separates the experts from the rest when it comes to results. Some individuals are asymmetric to begin with and it is unlikely they will be symmetric after the procedure, but Dr. Schlessinger will attempt to improve symmetry as much as possible.
SmartLipo itself involves the laser only, but what most patients don’t realize is that the fat has to be removed in some way and that portion requires great skill. Any person can learn to shove a laser in and out of the body, but it takes finesse and a true artistic appreciation for the body in order to make a liposuction case not look lumpy or asymmetric. That’s where it pays to go to a professional who has done cosmetic surgery for years, rather than to a cosmetic surgery novice without the talent and skill of someone like Dr. Schlessinger.
Can SmartLipo be used if you are overweight?
SmartLipo isn’t a method of weight loss and if you are doing it for that, you’re wasting your money. Liposuction and SmartLipo typically won’t result in any weight loss. Do not consider this procedure to even “jump-start” a weight loss program. You will be disappointed.
The problem is that if you aren’t motivated prior to surgery, you probably won’t be after surgery. Dr. Schlessinger recommends to these patients that they go back to diet and exercise and make sure they can lose weight on their own. If they can get within 10-20 percent of their goal weight and still have areas that need improvement, then SmartLipo is an option.
Do the bumps from SmartLipo go away?
Yes, it should if the bump is just swelling from fluid. During the healing process, you may develop an infection. If so, see Dr. Schlessinger immediately. Sometimes you may develop a collection of fluid called a seroma. Seromas typically can grow and are not very hard, but if this doesn’t go away, that may be a possibility that needs to be reviewed by Dr. Schlessinger.
When can a patient return to work?
Recovery from SmartLipo depends on the type of anesthetic used. While many physicians try to tell patients it is all about the SmartLipo, here is the secret: it’s about the anesthetic that is used prior to doing the procedure. Tumescent liposuction, invented by a dermatologist, is the reason that dermatologists typically have patients up and about the day of the procedure and the reason that many of Dr. Schlessinger’s patients go to work the next day or two after surgery.
If your physician tells you the initial recovery will take more than a day, the surgeon is likely not doing the tumescent method, and you are likely going to have extra bruising and more unnecessary risk from your procedure. Additionally, you may have more lumpiness after the procedure as well.
It pays to ask questions prior to your surgery or you could be bruised, tender and out of work for longer than necessary due to not doing your homework.
“All liposuction isn’t the same. I use methods that are safe, effective and with incredibly easy recoveries. With over 2000 procedures and 25 years of experience, my patients get the best results possible and I make sure they are good candidates before any work is done. This is incredibly important as best results don’t happen by accident – planning and selection are essential.”