Berman Cosmetic Surgery - How to Improve your Results after a Tummy Tuck, SmartLipo or Sculpsure - Blog

How to Improve your Results after a Tummy Tuck, SmartLipo or Sculpsure

Whether it’s a tummy tuck, SmartLipo or SculpSure, you have invested considerable time, money and effort into your body contouring procedure and you surely want to get the maximum results. There are several things I recommend my patients do to optimize their procedure.

Almost of the people doing these body contouring procedures are trying to reduce fat in specific areas. Sometimes there is one area which has been treated, but more often, several areas have been treated. In a minority of the tummy tucks that I have performed, there was no extra fat at all – it was entirely a loose skin problem. If you have a bit more fat than is ideal, you can definitely enhance your results by decreasing your total body fat. I am decreasing fat in specific areas but if in addition to that, you can decrease your total body fat everywhere, you will look even more amazing.

There is no magic here. Modifying your diet is extremely helpful.It is almost impossible to out-exercise a poor diet. I believe that following a Paleo or Paleo-like diet works the best. It’s for that reason that I do offer my favorite Paleo meal replacement through my office. This makes it very easy to follow the Paleo diet if you can simply replace your regular breakfast and/or lunch with the powder. I realize that there are many different diets that can work. I am, however, not a fan of diet pills or anything artificial.

Maintaining or increasing your activity level is also key. More and more evidence is confirming that some variation of a high intensity workout done a few times per week gives you the greatest return on your time. Most gyms offer this and there are countless free videos on Youtube that you can do in the comfort of your own home with no equipment. I have a lot of opinions on exercising, and will be blogging about those in the future, but in short, it is my strong belief  that everyone should be doing core exercises as part of their routine. As we get older, this is even more important. For women especially, strength training for the upper body in women is critical.

Regarding the scarring from a tummy tuck or the small scars from Smartlipo (there are NO scars from SculpSure), we sell a scar cream that should help the scar fade and mature more quickly. I have many years experience and some people’s scars fade much quicker than others and this has little to do with the surgeon’s skills. Virtually every scar will continue to fade with time, but it should be noted that they will never completely disappear. They’ll be visible if you look hard enough for them! I have seen some women get tattoos over they TT scars and this does a great job hiding them. But of course this won’t be a desirable option for everyone.

It is important to recognize that there is plenty you can do to help you look and feel better overall. A tummy tuck, SmartLipo or SculpSure can help to eliminate fat and loose skin, but proper attention to your overall health, fitness and nutrition will help your skin look it’s absolute best.

SmartLipo versus SculpSure – Which is Better?

This is an interesting question, especially since they are both designed to be spot treatments for areas of unwanted fat.

First, let’s look how these two treatments work to eliminate fat. Fat has a poor blood supply compared to muscle or organs. This means that when fat is heated to 47 degrees Celsius, it will die. Both Smartlipo and SculpSure work on this principle.

SculpSure requires no anesthetic. Essentially 4 cell phone size attachments are secured to the area where you want to decrease the fat. (a belt holds them in place against your body). These attachments allow a laser to send wavelengths through your skin to heat the underlying fat. These attachments also cool the skin. The skin is not damaged but the underlying fat is heated to the necessary 47 degrees. It definitely gets warm and is somewhat uncomfortable. However, I had no problems treating my flanks. The entire treatment only takes 25 minutes. I was able to go to the gym immediately afterward with no problem. The company’s research revealed that 24% of the fat will be removed (the body just breaks down the killed fat cells with no problems). Most people should do a second treatment 6 weeks later. A person with more fat may want to do additional sessions and can expect further improvement (though not likely 24% each time). They will continue to improve for 3 months after the treatment.

Smartlipo is done in the office with local anesthetic and usually some oral sedation (if you take oral sedation you need to have a driver). I make small incisions (only 2-3 mm) which allow me to infiltrate the local anesthetic. I then insert a fiber-optic laser fiber directly into the fatty layer and significantly heat the fat (there is a temperature probe in the fiber so that the area is not over-heated). It also heats the underside of the skin which causes the skin to tighten. I then liposuction out the melted fat. You can return to work the next day and resume exercising after 5 days. You will continue to improve for 6 months.

So which is better, Dr. Berman?


Clearly, SculpSure is the easiest. You can do this on your lunch break or on your way to the gym. You do need to repeat this at least twice. There is no bruising and little to no swelling. There may be some minor tenderness but you should not require any painkillers afterward. This is the clear winner for ease of treatment.

Smartlipo is definitely more involved. You can expect to lose a day from work. You should expect some discomfort the next day and many people require painkillers, at least at for a few nights. Many people will get some bruising. The improvement will continue for 6 months. However, if you think about it: The laser fiber is in direct contact with the fat, gets very hot, and the fiber is  continuously moved to contact multiple fat cells. Liposuction is then carried out after the laser is removed. Except in very thin people, you can expect more fat to be removed with Smartlipo and more skin tightening to take place. This should be considered a more aggressive treatment.

Ultimately they are both great tools to help get you closer to the body you want. It depends on what you want to achieve, and how easy you want the treatment to be.

It is best when going for a consult, to see a board certified plastic surgeon, who offers both of these treatments, to help you decide which is best for you.

Get SculpSure Consult with a Plastic Surgeon – Not at a Medispa

The Sculpsure laser is revolutionary!  It works great and takes 25 minutes from start to finish. It is slightly uncomfortable but not painful. There are no incisions and very little risk. The laser is very simple to use and is safely operated by an Esthetician or someone with formal training. So what is the advantage of seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for your Sculpsure consult?

If you go to a spa or a non-plastic surgeon, then likely the only treatment they can offer you is Sculpsure. The old adage, “if you are a hammer, the entire world are nails.” This means that every patient they see is going to get Sculpsure. Now, as I mentioned above, it is a great laser and can reduce fat up to 24% with one treatment and more fat with multiple treatments.

However, there are those people who would benefit more from Smartlipo. Smartlipo allows me with just 1-2 very tiny incisions, to place a fiberoptic laser into the actual layer of fat and melt it and then liposuction out the fat. This is performed in the office with local anesthetic and oral sedation. For many patients, but not all, this may be a preferred option.

Also, there are some patients, who will do best with a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck procedure is not an option unless you go to a plastic surgeon who has these skills. Of course, a medispa or non-plastic surgeon will have no knowledge about either of these options and therefore will never suggest them.

I specialize in Sculpsure, Smartlipo and tummy tucks.  All cosmetic consultations are complimentary.

SculpSure vs Coolsculpt: Why I chose Sculpsure

SculpSure vs Coolsculpt: Why I chose SculpSure

You may wonder, why didn’t I buy a Coolsculpt laser? After all, they were the first to the market and have the name recognition. However, that is exactly the reason why I waited. Cynosure is the laser company that makes the SculpSure laser. They are the largest laser company in the USA. They basically watched the Coolsculpt laser become very popular and they realized, if they were going to compete, they had to come out with an even better laser, since they were not the first to market. They waited 5 years and that is exactly what they did.

Coolsculpt works on a principle of freezing the fat. The problems with this technique are significant:

  1. You have to be able to suck a considerable piece of fat and skin into the apparatus, making it tough or impossible to use on those with smaller quantities of fat.
  2. After the fat is sucked into the apparatus, the freezing has to be applied for an hour.
  3. Then, the frozen skin and fat have to be “butter sticked” which should be more appropriately termed, “stick beaten”.
  4. There is a period of prolonged healing where the skin can become incredibly sensitive or the patient can experience a lot of nerve pain in the area treated.
  5. There is some risk that there will unevenness and ridging.

Contrast this to SculpSure:

  1. Four cell phone size units are placed firmly on the skin. There is no need to suck the skin up.  With SculpSure, it can be done on areas with only a small amount of fat and is much more comfortable.
  2. The entire heating process is done in only 25 minutes from start to finish, during which you can relax and peruse your mobile devices or watch TV.
  3. It definitely gets very warm and slightly uncomfortable but it is not painful (I can attest to this since I had the procedure done to address my love handles!!)
  4. There is no post care treatment required like the butter stick etc.  I was even able to go straight to the gym afterwards and exercise without any issues.
  5. Since SculpSure uses heat, which diffuses better than cold, there are no problems with uneven edges or that post op pain syndrome that many patients experience with Coolsculpt.

The results?

SculpSure is the hands down winner!

Please consider coming in for a complimentary SculpSure consult.

Experience SculpSure


Many people are not familiar with SculpSure, but I am sure over the next few months, they will become much more aware of this exciting new laser. This is a new laser and a new concept. Cynosure, the number one laser company in America and who is also the manufacturers almost all of the lasers that I have in my office, developed this and is promoting it heavily in magazines, TV and the internet.

It is a revolutionary laser that in just 25 quick minutes, through the transfer of heat through your skin, kills fat cells below the skin. The science behind this is based on the fact that fat, has a poor blood supply (compared to muscle) and is very sensitive to heat. If fat is heated to 47 degrees, many of the fat cells will die. Using a specialized laser, heat is able to be transferred through the skin, without burning it, to kill the underlying fat cells. Approximately 20-25% of the fat cells under the skin, will be killed. Most people will require two treatments spaced about 6 weeks apart. Larger patient and many patients may want to do additional treatments. You will continue to improve for 3 months after the last treatment, so you need to be patient.

before and after sculpsure

Of course, if you lose additional weight on your own (eg with our Paleo protein program), you will get an even better result.

Does it hurt? I did the treatment on my love handles and every one of my staff has done the treatment. It definitely gets very warm but it is very tolerable. For the first 5 minutes, it is just warming up. Then it gets quite warm for the next 5 minutes or so and then after that, you get distracted watching TV or playing on your phone and it is quickly over. You can do this if you are diabetic or have a hip replacement (like I do)

Does it hurt afterward? No. Immediately afterward, I went to the gym and exercised with no problems. I had no tenderness the next day, though some patients may be a bit tender. You can return to work or do whatever you want after a treatment.

Come Experience SculpSure – Office Event

We are having an “office party” on November 10 from 5:30 to 7 pm to show off our new machine. We will be doing 1-2 live demos. Plus we will have special pricing that evening only. All of your questions can be answered then. We won’t do your treatment that evening, but we will allow you to reserve future treatments at that price.

Please RSVP to the office by calling 703-406-2444 and please bring along friends.