|Reshaping Not Just Your Body But Your Ideas About Lipo|
|Written by Instinct Staffer | Thursday, 25 August 2011|
SmartLipo, the latest liposuction technology, takes away your dismay and the fat with minimal discomfort or downtime...
Once you’ve turned that corner in your life (and in your mind) and decided you are ready to “go under the knife,” as they say, you still might sweat a little bit when you walk into that physician’s office. And even though the medical director of Sono Bello Body Contour Center in Beverly Hills stands six feet eight inches, you don’t need to feel intimidated. Dr. Aaron Rollins is quick to smile, offer a handshake and let you know that he and his staff know exactly what they’re doing and that there isn’t a “knife” or a scalpel in sight.
Dr. Rollins is the sole lipo provider on site at this particular Sono Bello clinic (one of 10 in the country), and according to him, Sono Bello facilities are offering the highest level of technology available today. “It’s laser liposuction, also known as SmartLipo, in combination with something called Tickle Lipo, where we’re using two of the most groundbreaking technologies available,” he explains. “Imagine sewing your shirt by hand—that’s regular lipo. Tickle Lipo is like a sewing machine. It does the movement for you and gets a lot better quality, consistency and even results. I’ve used every piece of equipment, and I’ve never seen anyone get as smooth as with Tickle Lipo.”
The SmartLipo process allows for safe and precise debulking in all body areas and is recommended for those who are moderately overweight. But it shouldn’t be seen as a weight-loss procedure, like some other forms of liposuction might be. SmartLipo is really about shaping or contouring your body and getting rid of the fat in those places that seem resistant to exercise and diet. “Any problem area will cease being a problem once you have liposuction in that area,” says Dr. Rollins.
Originally I had come in to have the male chest liposuction because my sagging chest was something that had bothered me for years. But as it turns out, that procedure wouldn’t happen. As I stood looking at myself in a full-length mirror, Dr. Rollins asked me what my concerns were, and he wouldn’t offer his suggestions until I told him what I considered my problem areas. Once I told him about my chest, he took a look, then pinched each side over my nipple. He felt both together, then had me pinch where he just had. He had reservations about the male chest lipo because I had a relatively large amount of breast tissue on the left side of my chest—much more than I had under my right nipple (practically none). He feared I would look uneven after a procedure (breast tissue can regenerate itself, and lipo only removes fat cells—not breast tissue). Dr. Rollins went so far as to say that if I were his brother or his best friend, he would recommend against the lipo for my chest. I appreciated that and was impressed that this man not only knows what he’s doing, but that he cares about what he’s doing.
Dr. Rollins asks if there’s anything else I might want to consider since we’ve agreed to leave my chest alone. My hands immediately slap onto my love handles. Who doesn’t want a slimmer waist, right? He smiles widely and promises that this procedure will be a “home run” for me because he can shape that area with ease. He advises me to make a “cool lipo playlist” on my iPod for the procedure because I’ll be awake throughout it. (What?!)
For all surgeries, Dr. Rollins will numb the area with a device called a jet injector that delivers compressed air without injections. This is the first of its kind for liposuction, and you actually can’t feel it at all. “From start to finish, I’m not using a needle,” Dr. Rollins tells me. “I’m not using a scalpel. I’m not using stitches, and you’re awake. Is it completely pain-free? I’ll say this: It’s ‘ow’ free. Very rarely do I ever hear a patient say ‘Ow.’ A patient I just did said she felt like she was getting a massage,” he says with a smile.
The typical SmartLipo procedure takes about an hour to an hour and a half and can cost between $3,500 and $8,000 depending on your BMI (body mass index) and the areas you want treated. You’ll be sore for a few days afterward, and some bruising will occur, but the good doctor will prescribe something for your pain. (I found that after the first day ibuprofen worked perfectly for me.) “Typically, in terms of scars, there will be two-millimeter circles on each side that will look like little freckles. It’s very, very hard—even for me—when some patients come in after I’ve done their surgery, I can’t even find their scars,” Dr. Rollins says.
For the healing process, you’ll wear a compression garment (like Spanx) for two weeks. “It basically glues your skin back,” says Dr. Rollins, and it helps you heal faster by reducing swelling and making the contouring smooth. You’ll take an oral antibiotic for five days and begin walking the day after lipo for at least 20 minutes a day. This is important for circulation and healing. After one week of walking, you can go back to normal exercise routines—within reason—because there will be some bruising and swelling to account for. “If it doesn’t hurt, it’s okay by me,” says Dr. Rollins, who recommends 48 hours off from work after a procedure.
It makes one wonder: Is it all too good to be true?
“After doing over 3,000 people, I hear the same thing all the time: ‘It was much better than I expected,’” Dr. Rollins tells me. And I’ll attest to this. Plus, just one week after surgery, the results are noticeable. My love handles are clearly MIA. They’re not there! It’s kind of surreal, but because there is still some swelling, I’m advised that my results will only get better and that I should be sure to exercise to reap the full benefits of the contouring procedure. “Results will depend on the area, depend on the patient, but I’d say typically patients will see results in about six weeks,” explains Dr. Rollins. “Two months, you look better. And by six months, you look great.”
Since we’re in Beverly Hills—arguably the plastic surgery capital of the world—and there are all sorts of places to get these kinds of procedures done, I ask Dr. Rollins why patients should choose him or another Sono Bello location. “I think if you need plumbing, you should go to a plumber, not a general contractor. If you want lipo, you should go to someone who specializes in lipo, not someone with a long list of procedures they offer. This is all we do. I’m a doctor who only does lipo. The other facilities in Beverly Hills, the doctors do everything. This is our thing. This is my thing. I’m not going to touch someone unless I’m going to be proud of what they’re going to look like.”
Bring your iPod, make your playlist and leave your fears about lipo at home. It’ll be over before you know it, and you might just look like you’ve always dreamed you could.
Check back in with instinctmag.com/health in October to see my SmartLipo results. To learn more about Dr. Rollins or Sono Bello services in your area, go to sonobello.com