What Kind of Results Can One Expect from SmartLipo?

I often spend time answering answering questions on RealSelf from users considering plastic surgery, or recent surgery patients sharing their results on the website. I do this for several reasons. Obviously, it’s a great way to connect with potential patients. It has also helped me to stay connected to what people’s biggest concerns are, the results they’re seeking and what they are wanting from their experience.

I recently came across a post from a woman who felt that her surgeon was “cold” when she discussed not feeling she had experienced much of a change after her SmartLipo treatment, and I feel compelled to share my response here for those considering SmartLipo:

“It is important to understand that almost certainly your doctor is not trying to be cold. He is just not sure what to say. On your front view, it does appear that you have improved. The side view seems to show less change. You note that two liters came out – which is a lot. I do feel that many patients are very focused on how much comes out, but there are other factors to consider, such as how much is left behind and how many pulses were given to an area, since this will melt fat that may not get sucked out immediately. Some doctors put in a lot of fluid, which means that they will remove far more fluid but that does not mean you will get a better result.

All doctors want to do a good job. He did remove fat but he cannot control how much that will impact your looks and appearance. You could ask him to do some of those areas again, but you should expect to pay and not expect it to be free. Many plastic surgeons, myself included, would give you a discount. There is significant cost to the surgeon each time we perform SmartLipo. The fibers are not reusable, so a new one has to be used for each case and they are expensive.

He, no doubt, does feel bad and wishes you had a more dramatic change. He just does not know the right words.

All of us who perform a lot of Smartlipo treatments have had this experience. I warn all of my patients that I will be taking out fat, but it is impossible to predict how much improvement you will get. The best analogy I use is: you can lose 4 lbs and still feel fat and feel your clothes are still tight. You can then lose 0.5-1.0 lb more and all of a sudden, your clothes fit better. It is not that the first 4 lbs did not do anything, but it did not reach that “tipping point” (to borrow a phrase from Malcolm Gladwell) to make your fat loss visible. Any surgeon who says all of his patients are thrilled with his results is simply not being honest or does very, very few cases.

We try our best for every patient, but some patients will always get better results than others.”


Thinking about cosmetic surgery? Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 703-406-2444 to schedule a private, complimentary consultation with me.


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