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A Q & A from Dr. Christine Petti on Smartlipo™ and Cellulaze™ Incisions

Q: Should incisions made from a Smartlipo™ or Cellulaze™ procedure be closed up following treatment?

Dr. Petti: There are many schools of thought on this subject, but in most cases closing an incision is generally based on your surgeon’s preference and/or training. I typically close Smartlipo™ incisions, whereas I leave Cellulaze™ incisions open.

Q: Why do you close Smartlipo™ incisions?

Dr. Petti: Truthfully, all Smartlipo™ incisions close on their own after about 24 to 48 hours because of their miniscule size. The tumescent solution, or the liquid injected to make fat swell for removal, is dispersed throughout the fatty layer under the skin and ends up being absorbed by the body’s lymphatic and circulatory systems after the incision is closed.

Q: Is drainage ever required to get rid of excess tumescent solution after Smartlipo™?

Dr. Petti: The only instance in which I would drain tumescent solution is if I’m combining Smartlipo™ with another procedure, such as face lift or tummy tuck. In that case, I would insert tiny, siliconized tubes into each incision that allow the excess solution to drain out.

Q: Why don’t you close incisions after a Cellulaze™ treatment?

Dr. Petti: For Cellulaze™, the tumescent solution is distributed between the skin and fat which necessitates the need for draining. If the solution remains trapped under the skin, it can “pool” and often lead to undesired results.

Q: How does the draining process work for Cellulaze™?

Dr. Petti: I normally leave the lower incisions open so that gravity can take over the drainage process. Since no “suction” is used for the Cellulaze™ treatment, the tumescent fluid is not removed during the procedure and needs to be massaged out of the incision points. I encourage my patients to leave padded bandages on their incisions for one to two days following treatment as a precaution for any excess drainage.

For more information on Smartlipo™ or Cellulaze™, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Petti, please contact the Palos Verdes Plastic Surgery Medical Center.

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