SmartLipo Risks Newport Beach

SmartLipo is an incredibly safe procedure with few potential risks or complications. Since its approval by the FDA in 2006, Thousands of patients are extremely happy with their new look and new figure after SmartLipo treatment. As with any technology and especially with the use of lasers, training and skill are key to minimizing the chance of complications. Board certified Plastic surgeon, Dr. Hendricks has been recognized as a Luminary for Cynosure and for the technology, and as a certified trainer, has instructed many other plastic surgeons right here in Southern California to safely use the technology to obtain the significant benefits for each and every patient.

SmartLipo is an outpatient procedure, often taking little more than an hour to perform per area treated. It is minimally invasive, requiring only small incisions, and works with the body’s natural healing process to achieve results. Small incisions may not require stitches, allowing you to leave the surgery center with no more signs of surgery than a band aid. The small incisions, coupled with special occlusive bandages used by Dr. Hendricks minimize your risk of infections which could lead to scarring.

Lasers can potentially cause burns, so care is taken to constantly monitor the temperature at the tip of the instrument. A special electronic shut-off will safely stop the laser if any area beneath the skin becomes warmer than is needed for the treatment, thus decreasing the likelihood of burns or other heat-related conditions or problems.

Irregularities, Ridges, or Indentations: are rare but can occur when any method of liposuction is employed. Experience, gentle handling of the tissues and improvements in the equipment allows these potential problems to remain rare.

Anesthesia and SmartLipo

After years of treating patients in all settings, Dr Hendricks now performs SmartLipo almost exclusively for patients using general anesthesia. With his experience and safety record with this method he has developed, this is the safest and most accurate method of treatment for his patients. In fact, most studies support the fact that general anesthesia, which is essentially very deep sedation, is actually much safer than local anesthesia. It is also usually safer than administering strong sedatives in a doctor’s office, where monitoring of the sedation is often done by the same doctor that is trying to also concentrate on performing the liposuction procedure at the same time. This multitasking attempt is a compromise of the patients’ safety.

Another concern about using local anesthesia is that with local anesthesia alone or even when adding a mild sedative, there is an exaggerated release of adrenaline, the stress hormone, from the adrenal glands. Adrenaline can make someone feel anxious and jittery, and increases the heart rate and blood pressure. The stresses on the body, the brain and the heart specifically from the adrenaline release can be significant. In fact, excessive adrenaline release has the potential to cause a heart attack or stroke in people with pre-existing heart or blood pressure conditions.

In addition, many people do not realize that local anesthetic drugs by themselves, when administered in the large quantities required for procedures like awake liposuction and body contouring, can cause numbness and tingling, seizures and even heart rhythm abnormalities leading to cardiac arrest. It can take as little as 3 to 5 ounces (100 to 150 milliliters) of local anesthetic administered to a patient undergoing the procedure under local anesthesia to potentially result in a toxic level of local anesthetic in the blood stream.

Dr. Hendricks has also found that when performing the procedure in the past for patients requesting local anesthesia only, the laser had to be turned down because even with local anesthesia, there was still the uncomfortable feeling of heat, no matter how much local anesthesia was administered.

Most importantly, utilizing general anesthesia administered by a physician specifically certified in the field of anesthesiology allows the procedure to take about half the time to perform, as opposed to the time it takes to do the same procedure under local anesthesia.

In summary, Dr. Hendricks wants to have the all of the components in place for a safe and successful outcome for every single patient he treats. Those being:

  1. A safe, comfortable procedure where there the patient feels absolutely no discomfort during the entire length of the procedure
  2. The ability to use the laser to its maximum power and thus get the maximum benefits from the technology, such as tightening the skin, without worry or concern about the patient feeling any discomfort from the laser itself
  3. An efficient procedure in a comfortable outpatient setting, instead of being awake in a physician’s office. This allows the procedure to be done in half the time that awake anesthesia requires

Other SmartLipo Complications

In addition to risks associated with general anesthesia, some patients may experience minor complications while recovering from the surgery itself, including:

  • Minor swelling or bruising may last for a few days
  • Minor scaring can result in asymmetrical results
  • Infections at the site of the incision can occur in rare cases

Like complications with general anesthesia, these issues are also very rare. In fact, SmartLipo is considered one of the safest plastic surgery options available today.

Dr. Hendricks has been specially trained to perform SmartLipo surgery in a safe and effective way. If you live in Newport Beach, California and are interested in learning more about SmartLipo, its advantages, as well as potential risks, please contact the office of Pacifica Cosmetic Surgery Center for an initial consultation.