Even with a strict regimen of diet and exercise, many areas of your body are resistant to change. Love handles, saddle bags, flabby arms, thick bra lines, turkey necks, cellulite of the thighs and pudgy bellies, are frustratingly stubborn.
However, a real solution to achieve the slender and toned body you desire does exist with less invasive procedures. In our offices, we offer the most advanced array of body contouring procedures and treatments including SmartLipo™,VASER® Lipo, Cellulaze™ and CoolSculpting®. As a single treatment or in combination with other technologies, we are able to banish cellulite, tighten skin, and remove fat in way that traditional liposuction could never duplicate.
The most amazing aspect of these technologies is that they are almost exclusively used in my office, a surgical center or hospital is not required. There is no need to have sedation or general anesthesia and there is no need to pay expensive operating room or anesthesia fees. Excluding CoolSculpting®, which is a non invasive treatment, each of these procedures are completed under local anesthesia, with minimal prolonged pain or discomfort and with a reduced recovery period of 7 to 10 days.
SmartLipo ™ is a laser-assisted liposuction device that not only removes unwanted fat but also tightens loose skin. Using a laser underneath the skin, fat is liquefied and loose skin is tightened, allowing for a remarkable change in the area being treated. Utilizing this technology can reduce bruising, swelling and recovery time by ½ when compared to traditional liposuction. It is also very effective for treating areas not well suited to traditional liposuction, such as the face, chin, neck, abdomen, and knees.
VASER® Lipo is an energy assisted liposuction device that is a great option for contouring problem areas like the hips, thighs and abdomen. It is also the only device that selectively preserves fat cells, allowing them to be re-injected in other areas of the body like the breast, buttocks or face. VASER® Lipo uses ultrasound energy to break up the fat underneath the skin and as with SmartLipo™, post-operative discomfort and recovery time is reduced when compared to standard liposuction.
In the United States, cellulite affects 80% of women between the ages of 20 and 55. It is a universal problem and historically, the treatment options have been limited. Enter Cellulaze™, the first body contouring device that treats cellulite at its source: beneath the skin. Using a proprietary side-firing laser, Cellulaze™ targets the divots, bulges and loose skin associated with cellulite. It is a true game changer as is the first treatment to offer long term results.
The standard over the past 30 years, tumescent liposuction removes unwanted pockets of fat with an aspiration cannula (metal tube that is the width of a straw and is hollow in the middle) after numbing the problem area with tumescent fluid (a mixture of saline, lidocaine and epinephrine). With this procedure, the cannula is inserted through a small incision in the skin and the excess fat is removed by vacuum suctioning. As a stand alone procedure, tumescent liposuction has a much longer recovery than SmartLipo™ or VASER® Lipo and little to no skin tightening.
What do you desire?
A Sculpted and Toned Body
For those fit people who are looking for a little boost, liposcultping (aka ‘Hi-Def’) offers a powerful way to improve body definition while simultaneously removing small pockets of fat.
A much more advanced procedure than standard liposuction, liposculpting requires the inclusion of SmartLipo™ or VASER® Lipo technology and has a recovery time up to 2 weeks. It is ideal for anyone who is unable to get that allusive last 20% even with the most intensive workout regimen. Problem areas like the chest, abdomen, hips and arms can be anatomically sculpted and transformed.
VASER ® Lipo harvested fat transfer procedures offers an effective, natural and long acting way to augment the breasts, buttocks, and face.
It is a great alternative to implants and cosmetic injections and since the fat is derived from your own body, there is no risk of tissue rejection or allergic reaction. There is also minimal scarring and recovery. I now combine fat grafting with more complicated procedures like face lifts and breast lift procedures and it has become the preferred method of treatment for wrinkles of the face.
It is easy to understand why Cellulaze™ is one of the most requested office based procedure in my practice.
The advanced laser technology typically provides a 60 percent improvement in the appearance of cellulite on the legs, buttocks, or other dimple-prone areas. It is long lasting and takes less than 2 hours to complete in the office. A majority of my Cellulaze™ cases are combined with SmartLipo™ treatments which allows me to remove the unwanted appearance of cellulite while improving the body contour.
With the advent of laser- and ultrasound-assisted liposuction devices like SmartLipo™, Cellulaze™ and VASER® Lipo, the skin can be tightened from the inside out (up to 30% in one study).
The loose skin on the neck, arms and abdomen can be noticeably tightened with these devices thus allowing you to avoid more invasive surgeries. I also perform Smartlifts which combines SmartLipo™ technology with a facelift, giving you more skin tightening with less downtime.
Recovery time for these procedures ranges from 7 to 10 days, but it can be significantly shortened with the addition of SmoothShapes™.
This device combines dynamic light, laser energy, and mechanical manipulation (vacuum and rolling massage) to reduce recovery time, discomfort, and the risk of complications (like seroma) or needing touch-up procedures. Our office was the first in the United States to integrate this technology for post-liposuction treatments.
The scars associated with these procedures are very small (less than a ¼ inch), hidden in creases and fade quickly with time.
The cost of treatment will vary depending on which procedure and the size of the treatment area(s).
In-office procedures like SmartLipo™, Cellulaze™ and VASER® Lipo, cost significantly less than more invasive hospital based procedures. The savings is further realized when these devices are used together and multiple problems are treated.
With my patients, there is only mild discomfort with these procedures, usually resolving within 5 to 10 days.
In more aggressive liposculpting procedures, discomfort can be present for up to 2 weeks. Swelling and bruising does occur but is minimized with the use of SmartLipo™, Cellulaze™ and VASER® Lipo and with the use of a compressive garment for 2-4 weeks after your procedure.
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Almost anyone could benefit from SmartLipo™ or VASER® Lipo procedure but who is the ideal candidate?
An ideal candidate for these types of procedures is someone who exercises regularly and is within 25 lbs. of his or her ideal weight. In most cases, they have one or more areas of fat that have responded poorly to diet and exercise and they are motivated to get rid of them permanently.
What type of patient would most benefit from a Cellulaze™ procedure?
The best candidate for a Cellulaze™ procedure is a healthy and active patient with mild to moderate cellulite of the abdomen, buttocks, arms and legs. Patients with severe skin looseness, especially after a large amount of weight loss, would not be a good candidate and would be better served by a more formal procedure (e.g. body lift).
Why do you prefer SmartLipo™ or VASER® Lipo procedures versus standard liposuction?
With a standard liposuction procedure, there is little associated skin tightening. For young patients with thick elastic skin, this is not a concern. But for patients with loose skin after pregnancy and weight loss, standard liposuction has the potential to make the treated area look worse. This is especially true for places like the neck, which often have loose skin related issues. With the advent of ultrasound (VASER® Lipo) and laser (SmartLipo™) assisted liposuction devices, the concerns regarding loose skin have been greatly reduced. Due to their skin tightening abilities, these devices have revolutionized the body-contouring field and have allowed for the integration of more advanced liposculpting techniques. Over 90% of our body-contouring cases use SmartLipo™ and VASER® Lipo devices. In contrast to standard liposuction, there is also an extreme reduction in post-operative swelling, bruising and discomfort with these devices. In general these devices reduce the recovery time and discomfort by 50%. With the addition of post-procedure Smooth Shapes treatments, the recovery time in some cases is negligible (limited to less than 1 week)
What occurs during the consultation process?
A majority our consults are spent discussing this technology and the steps of the procedure. The most important aspect of the consultation is the exam, which is key in determining if a patient is a candidate for the procedure. Around 80% of patients I evaluate are candidates for SmartLipo™ and VASER® Lipo procedures and 70% are candidates for a Cellulaze™ procedure. A majority of those cases combine the technology.
What should you expect during and after the procedure?
The procedure on average takes less than 2 hours to complete. My patients are given pain and relaxation medication before the procedure and discomfort is therefore limited. The recovery time is around 7 to 10 days and it can be shortened with the addition of Smooth Shapes treatments. Return to work duties usually occurs in 3 to 4 days after the procedure. Exercise is initiated at 2 to 3 weeks and 90% of the healing will be completed at 1 month. Final results are seen after 6 months, and this is especially true with Cellulaze™ and CoolSculpting®.
Can you describe the steps of the procedure?
For SmartLipo™, Cellulaze™ and VASER® Lipo, the selected area is filled with a lidocaine solution that helps numb the area of surgery and shrinks the blood vessels (minimizing blood loss and reducing bruising). Next, a small ultrasound or laser probe is inserted, transmitting sound or laser energy to break up and liquefy fat. The fat is then removed through a gentle suction process designed to minimize trauma to surrounding tissue structures. For CoolSculpting®, the device is applied to the skin over the area of concern and then cooled for about an hour. Multiple treatment sessions on the same area may be necessary to achieve your desired result .
What areas of the body can be treated?
Nearly all the areas of the body are potential treatment areas for these devices. Common areas include the upper and lower abdomen, flanks (upper hip), upper and lower back, bra line, saddlebags, inner thighs and knees. More advanced areas of treatment include the neck and face, male breast, arms, buttocks, circumferential thighs, calves and ankles. The most common area of treatment with Cellulaze™ is the back of the thigh and buttocks.
Do these procedures have risks?
Although the risk profile with these devices is much more desirable than with more invasive surgical procedures there are some important points of discussion. The risks of infection and bleeding is extremely low. Pain and swelling should be expected but this is rarely present for greater than 3 weeks. In the case of SmartLipo™, this device is powerful and can have undesirable results (e.g. burns) if not utilized by a medical professional with proper training. Our Aspen office is now the only Cynosure certified training center in the Western Colorado. We regularly train other surgeons and their office staff and I lecture nationally and internationally on the use of this device. It is very important to research the surgeon that you would consider choosing for this type of procedure. The VASER® Lipo device has a much lower risk of burns but the skin tightening capabilities are not equal to the SmartLipo™ device.
Why do you personally like these procedures?
The field of plastic surgery has changed drastically in the past decade. The benefits of combining technological advancements with superior surgical technique has allowed for procedures with transformative results and minimal downtime and discomfort. My interest initially was related to the technology and how that could progress patient care. But I never imagined how these devices could transform my practice to the point that they are the most common procedures we perform on a weekly basis.
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