Body contouring procedures, specifically liposuction, have been around since the late 1960s. While our desire to perfect our aesthetic hasn’t changed, body sculpting techniques certainly have. At Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA, we pride ourselves on staying abreast of the safest, most effective techniques to address our clients’ needs, including Smart Lipo.
What Is Smart Lipo?
Smart Lipo, also known as laser lipolysis or SmartLipo, is a cosmetic procedure that harnesses the power of laser energy to sculpt the body contours of your dreams. While there are other lipolysis techniques involving radiofrequency energy, ultrasound energy and injections, laser lipolysis is the most commonly used technique because it is the most effective.
How Does Laser Lipolysis Work?
Laser lipolysis works by heating the targeted fat cells through the heat produced by laser light. Once the fat cells reach the appropriate temperature, they liquefy. This makes suctioning them out through a medical-grade suction device quicker and more comfortable than previously possible. However, depending on the volume of fat that needs to be removed, the fat may be massaged out of the area rather than suctioned out.
How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?
Luckily, there isn’t much you have to do to prepare for laser lipolysis. If you are on blood thinners, ask your physician if you can stop taking them for the two weeks leading up to and following your procedure. This mitigates your risk of the treatment site bruising. For the same reason, you should also avoid taking NSAIDs, vitamin E supplements and St. John’s Wort.
You should also avoid any activity that could potentially irritate the target area, such as shaving or tanning, for seven days pre-op. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a detailed list of all pre-op steps.
How Long Do the Results Last?
The results of laser lipolysis are considered permanent. Since adults can’t grow new fat cells, once fat cells are destroyed and eliminated from the body there are permanently fewer fat cells in the treated region. However, we strongly recommend that you feel confident you can maintain your weight in the future.
With few exceptions, there is no telling where a person will put on weight if they consume too many calories. Therefore, you may find that if you gain weight in the future, the remaining fat cells in the treatment area expand with fat and you need a follow-up procedure.
10 Signs You Should Consider Smart Lipo
1. Your Clothes Don’t Fit Right
Many clients are surprised to learn that they should consider Smart Lipo when their clothes don’t fit right. To some, this may sound silly. However, the fit of your clothes plays a really important role in your life. If your clothes fit poorly, there’s a good chance you will act less self-assured. Confidence is important in every aspect of your life, from landing your dream job or long overdue promotion to making new friends or catching the attention of a potential significant other.
Unfortunately, many people are at their ideal weight but their body is disproportionate. If you can’t find clothes to fit you because one part of your body is significantly larger than the rest, we strongly recommend asking an aesthetic expert if this innovative procedure is right for you.
2. You Are Near Your Ideal Weight
The right time for you to consider this technique is when you are within 30 pounds of your ideal weight. This is not a weight loss or bariatric procedure. It is a body contouring, or fat removal, procedure. It’s important to be at or near your ideal weight because if you’re too far from your goal weight, you won’t be satisfied with your results and will need to come in for a follow-up session to achieve your ideal aesthetic.
3. You Have Realistic Expectations About Results
Another sign that now is the right time to consider this procedure is you have realistic expectations. For your safety, there is a limit to how much volume can be removed at one time. Depending on BMI and other factors, we are limited to removing between 10 pounds (5 liters) and 12 pounds (6 liters) of excess adipose tissue and the surrounding liquid.
4. You Have Realistic Expectations About Recovery
It is important to note that Smart Lipo is not a non-invasive treatment. While it is not a totally invasive treatment, incisions are made during the procedure so the cannula can be inserted. As a result, there will be a little downtime after the procedure.
Specifically, you should expect to take at least two days off of work to rest. If you have more fat removed, either from one large area or several smaller areas, you may need up to four days off of work to rest.
5. You Have Realistic Expectations About the Procedure
The time is right to consider SmartLipo if you have a clear understanding of what to expect from the procedure. For most clients, the procedure takes around two hours. However, this is heavily dependent on how many areas are being treated during the session, the size of the areas and how much fat you are looking to remove.
Because this procedure is performed under local anesthesia without a sedative, you will be awake. While you won’t feel any pain, you may feel pressure during the procedure as the liquefied fat is being suctioned out. You can reasonably expect that each trouble region being worked on will take an hour. Therefore, if you are targeting your stomach and chest, the procedure shouldn’t take more than two hours.
6. You Have Enough Fat to Remove
It is just as important to have enough fat to remove as it is to not have too much fat that needs removal. Thanks to incredible advances in medical technology, you can now remove fat from surprisingly small regions. For example, we can safely and effectively remove fat from the face and neck. However, as a general rule of thumb, there should be at least an inch of pinchable fat if you are considering SmartLipo.
7. You Have Multiple Trouble Regions
The perfect time to consider SmartLipo is when you have multiple trouble spots. Traditional liposuction can also remove fat from several locations. However, targeting several trouble spots with SmartLipo makes much more sense than traditional liposuction because of the drastic increase in requisite recovery time when you target several trouble spots with traditional liposuction.
8. You Want Rapid Results
It is time to consider SmartLipo when you want to re-contour your body but don’t have time to wait six months for results. With traditional liposuction, there is such extensive swelling that it will take several months before you see the results of the procedure. Moreover, the degree of swelling is so severe that you have to ice the targeted areas and take Arnica Montana several times per day for several days.
With this revolutionary procedure, your results will continue to improve three to six months post-op. However, significant results do become apparent within a mere seven days post-op.
9. You Want Pain-Free Results
When you opt for traditional liposuction, you are committing to several weeks of significant discomfort and at least several days of pain. With SmartLipo, there is no pain and no discomfort.
10. You Have Loose Skin
If you have loose skin and are thinking about body contouring, you should only consider SmartLipo. Due to the heat generated by the laser, your body’s collagen production process is prompted.
Collagen plays several critical roles in ensuring you look young, healthy and beautiful. One of these roles is keeping your skin taut. If you have loose skin before fat removal and don’t want an additional skin tightening procedure performed, laser lipolysis is the only option for you.
2 Signs You Shouldn’t Consider SmartLipo
You Are Obese
If you are currently obese, you are not yet a good candidate for SmartLipo. Don’t despair. Weight loss is hard and you don’t have to do it alone. At Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA, we offer medically supervised weight loss. Weight loss is a lot easier to manage when you have a dedicated support team with access to resources and information that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
You Are Not Confident You Can Maintain Your Weight
If you are still losing weight or have only recently achieved your goal weight, now may not be the best time to consider SmartLipo. Unless you are confident you can stay within 10 pounds of your goal weight, you may want to wait until you have maintained your weight for six to 12 months.
We often see clients coming in for a follow-up appointment after gaining weight again. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you’re going to be the most satisfied with your results if they are permanent. If you’re not quite confident yet, we strongly recommend reaching out to one of our weight loss experts for help developing a custom nutrition and workout plan that will help you achieve your goal of a healthy weight for life.
Am I a Good Candidate for SmartLipo?
If you’ve determined that the time is right for you to consider SmartLipo, you may be wondering if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Unlike traditional liposuction, the requirements for candidacy are not very extensive. If you have regions of excess adipose tissue which will not shrink with a healthy diet and regular exercise, you’re probably a good candidate for this procedure.
However, it is not right for everyone. For example, you should not consider this procedure if you are pregnant, nursing or menstruating heavily. Moreover, during your initial consultation, you should let us know if any of the following apply to you:
- Blood clots
- Heart disease or other heart conditions
- Insulin-dependent diabetes
- Liver disease or other liver conditions
- Multiple sclerosis
- Any vascular condition
- Abnormal tissue growth
- Surgery within six weeks of the procedure
- Anticoagulants you can’t stop taking
- Dependence on medications which make you light-sensitive
Find Out If Body Contouring Is Right for You Today
If you are at or around a healthy weight and you hate the way certain parts of your body look, you may be a good candidate for body contouring with Smart Lipo. This treatment can revolutionize your life, allowing your clothes to fit better and helping you feel more confident about yourself.
To determine definitively if this is the right procedure for you, contact the cutting-edge aesthetic experts at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA today to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and answer any and all questions you have about this safe, effective liposuction technique.