Dr. Finical: Working to Repair Damage from SmartLipo

Over the past several months, we at Charlotte Plastic Surgery have received numerous inquiries from patients who have been damaged and have unacceptable results after Smart lipo. Several patients have started reconstructive efforts to improve the negative effects of this procedure.  Obviously, these are difficult both physically and emotionally.  Patients who have unacceptable results from an invasive surgical procedure to improve their body contour are certainly emotionally injured, reluctant and oftentimes embarrassed to pursue proper surgical management.  I have suggested to most of these patients that they wait at least six months before pursuing any additional surgery.  This allows time for scars to mature.  Although external scarring may be minimally visible, the entire area internally that has been treated is scarred and does need to mature and soften before we can begin the corrective process.  When a patient is both physically and emotionally ready to pursue this, it is absolutely essential to find a Board-Certified plastic surgeon.  A plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is trained in body contouring in a training program that is accredited.

Repairs have taken two tracks.  If a person has a large amount of redundant skin on the abdomen, then oftentimes unsightly areas can be removed by converting abdominal liposuction to an abdominoplasty.  Most patients who would be abdominoplasty candidates have had children or have had weight loss.  This is a typical patient who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty initially.  The second type of reconstruction which is good in any of the areas of involvement and has successfully been used on the abdomen, flanks and arms has been fat grafting.  This is harvesting fat from other areas of your body and replacing it in areas that were left with divots and dents in order to smooth the surface.  Unfortunately, this usually takes several sessions of fat grafting because, when your own fat is replanted, it has to be dispersed evenly over an area similar to planting seeds in order to obtain blood supply.  About 50% of the fat that is put into place eventually takes hold and survives, so fat grafting is usually done in a series of procedures done several months apart.  Although improvement is seen from the first session, the final result is not immediate.

If you are considering having repair after Smart lipo, please give yourself the benefit of the doubt and see a doctor who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  This is your best chance of getting legitimate and honest evaluation and treatment.

Stephan J. Finical, MD