For years, the old mantra of achieving fat loss and a beautiful physique has been diet and exercise alone. While it’s true that these are extremely important components of a healthy lifestyle and weight loss, fat cells don’t always respond to these methods. Many people find that they plateau in weight loss, and are left with “problem areas” of stubborn fat. These can occur in many areas of the body, but they tend to be most common in the stomach, hips, thighs, and arms. These stubborn pockets of fat can be extremely frustrating after the hard work put in for weight loss, and sometimes the only way to get rid of them is through liposuction surgery (SlimLipo). This is a classic fat removal procedure that has evolved over the years to become safer and gentler—and more effective. Today, we offer modern, minimally invasive body contouring with SlimLipo at our offices in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
What is SlimLipo?
SlimLipo is an advanced liposuction technique that combines laser lipo technology with traditional liposuction methods for minimally invasive, yet effective body contouring. The laser is made up of two different wavelengths of light, making it a safer and more precise laser for fat removal compared to other laser liposuction devices. The device gently melts unwanted fat areas so it can be suctioned out with little trauma to the patient. SlimLipo can also be combined with the traditional tumescent liposuction technique, which uses an anesthetic fluid to numb the area and reduce trauma during the procedure. The laser energy of the SlimLipo technology is also designed to tighten the skin while simultaneously melting fat as it uses two laser energy wavelengths. One designed to stimulate collagen and the other to melt fat. A significant amount of excess skin can be addressed at the same time as fat removal.
Many people are under the impression that liposuction is a tool for weight loss. While the procedure does remove body fat, liposuction is a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss surgery. SlimLipo laser liposuction is appropriate for treating large and small areas of stubborn fat, not for significant weight loss. However, the liposuction results will often create a smooth and slim physique by contouring the trouble areas and enhancing the body’s overall figure. Because SlimLipo uses laser technology, the skin in treated areas may also tighten somewhat following surgery, further enhancing the contours of the body.
Before & After Liposuction Patients:
Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
SlimLipo is a safe procedure that carries only minimal risk when performed by an expert board certified plastic surgeon. However, not everyone is a candidate for the procedure. Good candidates are healthy adults who are at or near their stable goal weight, with isolated areas of fat that will not resolve on their own through diet and exercise. This procedure is also a good option for people with skin laxity or poor contour from previous liposuction procedures. If you are considering liposuction but aren’t quite at a stable weight yet, it may be best to wait a bit, as you’ll help optimize your results by doing so. Patients should have realistic expectations for the results of liposuction, and it may be a good idea to take a look at some liposuction before and after pictures to get an idea of what the procedure can accomplish.
Scheduling a Liposuction Consultation
If you think SlimLipo is the right choice for you, then your next step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schoenfeld at Renu to discuss your candidacy. Your consultation is a one-on-one meeting with Dr. Schoenfeld to go over your goals for the procedure and get to know our staff and offices. During the consultation, Dr. Schoenfeld may use digital imaging to give you a preview of your expected SlimLipo results. He will ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure, and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Most patients benefit from having a list of questions prepared prior to the consultation, as it’s easy to forget what you wanted to ask while you’re learning about the surgery.
The SlimLipo Procedure
Because it is a gentle procedure, SlimLipo can be performed in a few different settings: either a plastic surgery office, an outpatient facility, or a hospital. Local anesthesia (with or without sedation) will be administered, but patients should not need general anesthesia for safety and comfort. Small incisions are made in the area to be treated, and the laser device is then inserted into these incisions. Once the laser is in place, fat is gently liquefied and suctioned out. The laser treatment also produces a skin tightening effect that will help improve the contour of the area.
Compared to other liposuction recovery downtimes, recovery for SlimLipo is fairly brief. Patients will be placed in compression garments following the SlimLipo procedure and will be asked to wear the garment for about two weeks. Patients can return to work the day following their procedure and Dr. Schoenfeld generally asks his patients to refrain from more vigorous physical activity for at least two weeks following the SlimLipo procedure. Most people are able to get back to work within two days, though you might want to allow a few more to ensure you are feeling well enough to resume your normal routine. Though there will be less swelling and bruising with SlimLipo than with other liposuction methods, you will see swelling and bruising following the procedure and your compression garment will aid in the resolution of this swelling and bruising. Liposuction results will be immediate however, it will take several weeks before all of the swelling subsides and your final result is realized.
What areas of the body can be treated with SlimLipo?
SlimLipo is a gentle and versatile treatment that can be used to treat many different areas of the body, including the face. Common treatment areas include the neck, arms, “love handles,” stomach, knees, and thighs. Many people also seek treatment for the submental area under the chin, which is prone to stubborn fat and skin laxity, often known as a “double chin”. SlimLipo is perfect for small, difficult to treat areas, due to the precision the laser offers.
Will the fat ever come back?
Fat cells destroyed through liposuction will not come back; however, it is still possible to gain weight following liposuction surgery. Other fat cells can still expand, resulting in weight gain and new problem areas, which is why it’s so important to be at a stable weight before the procedure, and to continue practicing good diet and exercise habits long-term. This will help preserve your results.
Will there be liposuction scars from the procedure?
The incisions made during the procedure are so tiny that the risk for visible scarring is extremely minimal. You shouldn’t even be able to notice them at a glance unless you look closely, once everything has healed.
What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
SlimLipo does not require the use of general anesthesia, but all patients will receive at least local anesthesia for safety and comfort. Some patients prefer to be sedated, while others do not and all patients are offered oral sedation prior to the procedure but are fully awake if they choose to be without any of the anxiety. Tumescent anesthesia will also be used to help reduce bruising and discomfort, and to assist with fat removal during the procedure.
When will I see my results?
The swelling from the procedure will subside gradually, but you can expect to start seeing results after about a week, when the initial swelling has resolved. In the weeks following, the contours of the body will settle more, and you’ll be able to see the results emerge.
I’ve had liposuction before. Is SlimLipo an option for me?
SlimLipo is often a great option for people who have had a prior liposuction procedure that resulted in contour irregularities or skin laxity. The precision of the laser, combined with the skin-tightening effects, can sculpt the body and help improve the overall appearance.
What are some SlimLipo liposuction side effects and risks?
SlimLipo is a very safe procedure, but all surgery carries at least some risk. Aside from minor discomfort, swelling and bruising, which occur following almost any surgery, patients may also rarely experience infection or bleeding. These risks are minimized by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure.