SmartLipo® in St. Louis, MO
The doctors and staff at Parkcrest Plastic Surgery are proud to offer SmartLipo® to patients throughout the area, including St. Louis, St. Charles, Chesterfield, O’Fallon, St. Peters, Creve Coeur, and surrounding areas. We have also assisted men and women across the United States and abroad.
Please schedule a consultation today to find out more about SmartLipo®. During your initial visit, take a look at our SmartLipo® before and after photos and see how we have helped hundreds of patients with their aesthetic dreams.
What is SmartLipo®?
SmartLipo® involves the use of a laser and a small tube called a cannula to dissolve localized fat and tighten the surrounding skin. The procedure can be performed anywhere on the body, such as the face, neck, upper arms, waist, hips, and thighs.
Dr. David A. Caplin of Parkcrest Plastic Surgery has been a board-certified plastic surgeon for 25 years. During his career, he has performed thousands of surgeries and has participated in the development of numerous surgical techniques and devices. During the past year, Dr. Caplin has had extensive experience using SmartLipo®.
Dr. Caplin was one of the first plastic surgeons in this part of the country to perform SmartLipo® and has been active in training other plastic surgeons on the procedure. But as with any surgery, prospective patients should make sure they are well informed.
The staff at Parkcrest Plastic Surgery is dedicated to answering any questions you may have about SmartLipo®, including details of the procedure and a breakdown of SmartLipo® costs.
What Is the Procedure for SmartLipo®?
The procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia (and sometimes mild sedation) and generally takes 30 minutes to several hours to perform. Many patients select the relatively painless treatment as an alternative to more invasive surgeries.
Your surgeon will start by inserting a very small cannula containing a laser fiber under your skin. As the cannula is moved back and forth, the low-level laser energy breaks down fat cells, melting them into an oily substance that is removed with a very small suction device.
What Does SmartLipo® Recovery Entail?
After SmartLipo®, you may experience some minor bruising, swelling, and tenderness, but these side effects should start to resolve in two or three days. Most patients return to their normal activities, with the exception of sports or exercise, the day after surgery. Because limited downtime is required, the results from SmartLipo® have garnered enthusiasm both nationally and internationally.
Some of the effects of SmartLipo® will be seen immediately after the procedure. But patients can expect the majority of improvement within 12 weeks, with possible continued results over a 12-month period.
Read what Dr. Caplin has to say about SmartLipo®.
An Interview with Dr. David A. Caplin on SmartLipo®
Q: How is the new SmartLipo® technology different from the traditional method?
A: For many years the most powerful method I’ve used has been ultrasonic liposuction. Performed in the operating room under general anesthesia, ultrasonic liposuction uses a metal cannula attached to an ultrasound machine. The cannula is inserted under the skin, and the ultrasonic waves break up the fat cells and make them easier to remove.
Q: What is the SmartLipo® procedure like?
A: All liposuction procedures use a metal cannula that is inserted underneath the skin to treat the fat cells. SmartLipo® uses a much smaller cannula about the size of a very thin piece of pasta with a very fine laser fiber running through the tube. When inserted under the skin through small incisions (one to two millimeters each), the laser melts the fat cells, which can then be removed with a very small suction device. The procedure is done in the office using only local anesthesia and requires no stitches.
Q: What appealed to you about SmartLipo®?
A:I’ve always hoped it would be possible to develop a procedure that was as safe or safer than traditional liposuction, could be done under local anesthetic with a faster recovery than the techniques that I have used in the past, and produced less post-operative discomfort. When SmartLipo® was approved by the FDA in 2006, I was eager to learn more about it and see if it had a place in my practice when treating smaller areas of excess fat.
Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: Depending on the areas being treated, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
Q: Is it painful? What is the recovery time like?
A: Discomfort is usually minimal both during and after the procedure. There is usually little bruising, and depending on the size of the area treated, most patients can go back to most normal activities the next day and totally unrestricted sports within one to two weeks.
Q: Are the results visible right away?
A: Although some of the result is visible immediately after the procedure, I tell patients that they’ll usually see the majority of the improvement within 12 weeks, with possible continued improvement in the months that follow.
Q: On which areas can you perform SmartLipo®?
A: I’ve used it successfully on the neck, face, abdomen, flank, hips, arms, knees, the fat above and below the bra-strap lines, and on the outer and inner thighs.
Q: Are there any other benefits?
A: This device has been used extensively internationally for many years and some of the most experienced surgeons have reported tightening of the skin in the areas being treated with SmartLipo®. There are currently studies underway to try and quantify this. For decades lasers have been used on the outer surface of the skin to smooth and tighten, so the potential to tighten by using a laser on the undersurface of the skin is very appealing. The best areas to attempt this seem to be areas around the neck where the skin is thinner.
Q: I’ve seen advertisements that make it sound so easy. What risks are involved?
A: It’s true that SmartLipo® has allowed us to achieve results with a degree of simplicity, comfort, and safety that wasn’t often possible in the past. However, as with any surgery, there are always potential risks that patients should discuss with their doctor.
Q: Do I have to go to a plastic surgeon to have the procedure?
A: The key to most successfully using this device is to have extensive experience performing traditional liposuction and body contouring procedures. Patients should look for these qualifications when choosing a surgeon. Having performed thousands of liposuctions, I know that, as with any surgery, the outcomes are very technique dependent and require proper patient selection.
Q: Does it replace the need for traditional liposuction?
A: No. Comparing SmartLipo® to traditional liposuction is not like comparing apples to apples. This is a tool I can use in my office or in the operating room. It is best suited for smaller, localized areas of fat. When treating necks, as an example, this technique is not designed to produce the results we see with face or neck lifts. Rather it is a wonderful option to offer patients who may not need, or want, a more extensive surgical procedure at this point. The feedback that we have gotten from our patients has shown a remarkable level of satisfaction with this technique.
Q: Is it as expensive as traditional liposuction?
A: No. Because it can be performed under local anesthesia in the office, it has proven to be significantly less expensive for our patients.
At the Parkcrest Plastic Surgery office, Dr. David A. Caplin, Dr. Melvin Maclin, and Dr. Patricia McGuire offer plastic and reconstructive surgery to patients across Eastern Missouri including St. Charles, Chesterfield, O’Fallon, St. Peters, and Creve Coeur. Contact the Parkcrest Plastic Surgery office today to schedule your SmartLipo® consultation!