Thank you for choosing Beleza Medspa and Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Lawrence Broder for your SmartLipo laser liposuction procedure! At this point you are probably experiencing a range of emotions: from excitement to fear. Rest assured these feelings are very normal and we would like to provide you with some further information about the SmartLipo procedure so that you may proceed with confidence.
This is an elective cosmetic procedure and it is important for patients to expect realistic results. Dr. Broder will speak to patients directly to ensure that they understand the nature of this procedure. It is crucial that your expectations are in line with what the procedure can deliver. SmartLipo laser liposuction can provide targeted fat removal and skin tightening to the areas we treat. Dr. Broder guarantees at least a 50% improvement, and typically far surpasses this goal. SmartLipo is not a weight loss procedure, nor a guarantee against further weight gain. You will always have the results we provide if you maintain your weight or lose weight. We do leave a layer of fat and these fat cells can still enlarge. So it is possible to out eat your liposuction! We hope this procedure will be a jump start to a new and improved program of diet and exercise for our patients. To further support this initiative, we offer our SmartLipo patients a discounted HCG Diet weight loss program to assist with this goal.
Dr. Broder will start by taking a medical history and perform a physical exam to determine if you are an appropriate candidate, and do not have any medical contraindications. It is not unusual that we detect an umbilical hernia that must be repaired prior to the procedure. We also frequently run into medications that must be discontinued prior to the procedure. Many anti-depressants interfere with the metabolism of the local-anesthetic lidocaine and must be temporarily stopped. Anti-inflammatories such as Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, etc., must be discontinued since they can make you bleed. We may be required to draw some blood for screening labs and sometimes require an EKG or other type of medical clearance. Dr. Broder will ensure utmost patient safety and will not perform the procedure unless completely convinced that you can safely tolerate it.
On the day of the procedure, you will be asked to take a mild sedative that will help relax you before coming in. We will also provide sedatives, when necessary, during the procedure to make you as comfortable as possible. All medications will be given orally. Using this regimen, the procedure is well tolerated by the majority of our patients.
The first step will be to complete your consent forms and ask any questions you have. Once you change, Dr. Broder will take pictures and place markings on the body areas we will be treating.
We will then prepare your skin with an antiseptic. Dr. Broder will inject a few areas with tiny amounts of lidocaine. He will then use a circular punch to make small ‘adits’, so that we may introduce instruments into the fat layer. We work in the layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. Dr. Broder will then use a small cannula to introduce a saline solution containing: lidocaine (numbness) and epinephrine (no bleeding) into the fat layer. This solution lifts the fat layer off the muscle and makes it firm, hence the term ‘tumescent anesthesia’. All underlying structures: muscles, organs, major veins, etc., still retain sensation. If we were ever to get too close to them, you would feel it and stop us. This is why ‘awake’ liposuction is so much safer. We cannot hurt you unless we try to!
The administration of the anesthetic is the only part of the procedure where you will feel any discomfort. There may be a little pain or irritation before the lidocaine fully numbs the area. The discomfort is fleeting and the entire anesthesia process is quick. We will then give you 20-30 minutes to allow full anesthesia to take effect. Once we start you will feel some vague movements but there will be no pain! We always keep a reserve of anesthesia in case we feel we need to top up the dose, to ensure maximum patient comfort.
The amount of lidocaine is calculated based on your body weight. This dictates how much anesthetic fluid we have to use and how many areas we can do in one session. This is one of the limiting factors, and why we are only able to treat a few areas at once. It is always safer to return another day to do more areas. This is for your safety and we never deviate from this rule.
Once we are certain you have good anesthesia, we will begin the procedure. Your skin will be cleaned again. Dr. Broder usually begins with microcannula liposuction. This means he will use very fine liposuction instruments to suction fat from the area. The smaller cannulas allow finer work and less risk of irregularities. As this is as much an artistic procedure, as it is a scientific one, Dr. Broder will work carefully to shape and sculpt your body. This takes talent, experience and a careful eye. Dr. Broder is guided by the feel of the fat layer as well as how it looks. Good results are not entirely dependent on how much fat he removes, but how much he leaves and what condition he leaves it in. His goal is to leave a smooth, uniform and well contoured fat layer that will make the area look thinner, tighter, and more shapely.
Dr. Broder usually introduces the SmartLipo laser towards the end of the procedure. The laser generates heat in the fat layer and helps to melt fat cells. Dr. Broder uses this to smooth out the fat layer. The heat also causes skin contraction and collagen stimulation. Dr. Broder will apply the heat from the laser in the areas that need skin tightening. Dr. Broder will alternate between suctioning and lasering until he has the best cosmetic result he can produce.
At the end of the procedure you will be placed in a compression garment. This is a tight, medical-grade under garment that must be worn at least 3-4 weeks after the procedure, sometimes longer. As you can imagine, when we remove fat cells from your fat layer, an empty space is left. Your body naturally doesn’t like empty spaces and will fill it with lymphatic fluid that will manifest itself as swelling. Your body will eventually repair the area that we treated and this swelling will resolve over the next few weeks. Some residual swelling may remain for up to 3 months after surgery. This is when your part of the procedure begins. The swelling responds to 3 things: compression, massage and exercise. You must wear your compression garment as much as possible until we clear you to stop. We are trying to keep that empty space closed, so that it heals tighter and smaller. We will also teach you to massage the area and push the fluid away. The lymphatic fluid causing the swelling is normally propelled through your body by muscle action, so exercise will help you further.
The small adits we made will be left open, so that you can drain until they close in 48 hours. You will drain the remaining anesthetic fluid and any melted fat. This is done to shorten your recovery time. We ask that you keep all your initial dressings on for the first 24 hours after surgery, essentially up until you take your first shower. No baths, hot tubs, or swimming are permitted for one week.
You will go home feeling numb and this will last for several hours. Unlike the prolonged recovery expected from general anesthesia, your recovery time after the local tumescent anesthesia is minimal. We do require that you do not drive and have a ride to and from the office. We will give you some oral pain medication to take as needed. We find that the majority of our patients do not require a lot of pain medication. The tumescent anesthesia you were given is protective of your tissues and allows a relatively pain free recovery.
You will be required to return to the office the next day so that we can assess the status of your dressings and answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to return in one week for your massage, and weekly after that for follow-up visits. We are always happy to see you at any time if you have any concerns. Since there are no large incisions or sutures, you will not have any activity limitations or restrictions.
Your immediate results will be variable. As we previously discussed, swelling will inevitably settle in. Rest assured, the fat is not returning! Just give it time, compression, massage and activity and those great results will return!
Complications from this procedure are extremely rare. Your physical and screening prior to the procedure were the first step in preventing complications. We will keep you on a prophylactic antibiotic to prevent infection. Some patients will experience bruising. We encourage these patients to use Arnica Montana, a natural supplement that helps with bruising and swelling. If you are an easy bruiser, we will prescribe a vitamin K supplement when necessary. Other more serious complications can be avoided as long as we stick to your lidocaine limits, and you follow our post-operative instructions. Of course, we are a fully equipped medical office and can handle any unforeseen problems.
The final results of SmartLipo laser liposuction may take 3-6 months to be fully seen. Your body will go through a healing process that will remove the swelling, reorganize the remaining fat, and tighten the skin. We will take pictures at 3-4 weeks out and provide you with before and after photos so that you may see your transformation at that point.
Dr. Broder aims for every procedure to be a home run. However, individual patient results may vary. Sometimes further fat removal will be needed or skin tightening may be required. Dr. Broder is always willing to perform touch up procedures to get you as close to your ideal as he can.
We hope we have been able to explain the process of SmartLipo laser liposuction at Beleza Medspa. Dr. Broder and his staff are 100% committed to your safety and providing you with the results you desire. As you can see, the procedure itself is just a small part of a cooperative process that will continue for months after. Our goal is to safely guide you through all phases of this procedure until you reach the goal of great results!
Lawrence Broder, M.D. and the Staff at Beleza Medspa Smartlipo Laser Liposuction Austin
Smartlipo laser Liposuction: http://www.belezamedicalspa.com/spa-services/medical-spa/redefine/smartlipo-liposuction-austin/