A tummy tuck is an effective way to remove excess skin and fat from the stomach, and is often a follow-up to liposuction surgery. For many patients though, they prefer to avoid the scars and downtime associated with these procedures and now have a choice of a less invasive alternative with the combination of the laser lipo and skin tightening devices SmartLipo and Thermage
SmartLipo technology works by first melting the fat so that it is easier to suction it out. Once the emulsified fat is removed, the laser is used under the skin to new stimulate collagen growth, helping to tighten the skin. Dr. Louis Cole, a cosmetic surgeon who offers Thermage in Duluth, GA, uses the SmartLipo device and says, "We use the SmartLipo on everybody just because it's so good at tightening the skin."
This three step process makes for a longer procedure than standard liposuction, and many physicians prefer not to perform SmartLipo on very large patients. Dr. Cole will often perform a standard power assisted lipo procedure and then go back with the SmartLipo laser to tighten the skin. As Dr. Cole describes, "If we're going to do a larger person we can get out some of the fat just with the power assisted liposuction or the small micro cannular liposuction that we do, then we use the skin tightening and the sculpting ability of the SmartLipo to get definition and skin tightening."
Actual Results of Dr. Louis Cole with Thermage and SmartLipo Tummy Tuck Alternative
Though SmartLipo offers some skin tightening, for the maximum result, Dr. Cole turns to Thermage. "We also use the Thermage procedure in conjunction with the SmartLipo and the power assisted because the radio frequency performed right after the SmartLipo seems to synergistically work for skin tightening. If somebody has a large amount of fat that we removed, and they don't want to have a tummy tuck - where they have surgery to cut away skin and reposition the belly button - we use the SmartLipo with the power assisted lipo then 3-5, or even 7 days after the surgery, we do a Thermage procedure."
Dr. Cole says that patients are very pleased with their results from this combination of laser lipo and radio frequency skin tightening. "People who were thinking of tummy tucks are really satisfied after we do the SmartLipo, power assisted lipo and follow up with the Thermage within the first week."