Frequently Asked Questions
How does the SmartLipo™ work?
SmartLipo™ works by passing a very small canula, 1.0 to 2.0 mm in diameter under the skin. The canula contains the laser, which melts the fat in front of it. Part of the reason that this is not a procedure for removing large quantities of fat is that the laser only blasts a 2 mm hole in the fat. Two millimeters is not as big as the lead you would find in a pencil. So just imagine only melting pencil lead amounts of fat with each pass. If there is a lot of fat then it would take you all day to do and produce more trauma.
One SmartLipo™ website states that “little or no fat is reabsorbed back into the body. I really doubt that. The excess fat in any amount needs to be gently suctioned out. Fat is fat and the body will put “loose” fat back into other fat cells otherwise.
What body regions can be treated with SmartLipo™?
SmartLipo™ can be a great adjunct to traditional liposuction procedures and it is ideal for treating small areas of the face, neck, arms, knees, back, bra strap, mons pubis, and breasts. Even though one SmartLipo™ website says it can be used on gynecomastia (the breast tissue sometimes found in young males) it is not very good. This is because over 50% of the breast is very fibrous and this does not melt.
How many treatments will I need?
For most candidates, typically only one treatment is required. The session may last from 45 minutes to one hour for each area treated.
Do I have to do anything post-treatment?
After the treatment you will have minimal pain or bruising. We recommend 1-2 days rest. On one SmartLipo™ website they state “but most patients are able to return to work immediately “Lunch Hour Lipo” “. Assume this is, “marketing hype”. Nobody I ever work on goes back to work the day it has been done!
Does SmartLipo™ treat cellulite?
The procedure will improve the body’s shape and may improve cellulite to a certain degree.
When can I expect to see results?
Results can be seen after the procedure, but there usually is swelling due to the anesthetic fluid injected. This improvement will continue for several months but it is important to resume your exercise activities and healthy eating patterns afterwards.
Does laser-assisted liposuction produce lasting results?
Yes, if you don’t gain much weight afterwards. Adults do not create new fat cells. When you gain weight the fat will be deposited in areas where the procedure was not performed as well as small amounts in the areas that has been sculpted. Some women gain a ½ cup size or more in their breast if they gain weight. *Aest. Plast. Surg. 26:335-339, 2002
During the procedure, there is no pain. There may be a slight stinging where a local anesthesia is injected to introduce the canula as well as a pressure sensation when the anesthetic fluid is introduced. After the anesthesia has worn off, there will be minimal bruising and stinging soreness that is well controlled with pain relievers. The bruises too are much less with SmartLipo™.
The fiber-optic cannula is inserted through a small puncture in the skin usually along creases that conceal the scar. As the laser melts the fats, it also coagulates the loose ends of small blood vessels. Compression garments are applied to minimize the bruising and help control some swelling. The above scenario is only if SmartLipo™ is used alone. Many times it is used in conjunction with regular liposuction in order to remove the melted fat therefore and incision site can be a bit larger. I believe compression garment are necessary with any form of liposculpting to aid in the resulting shape of the underlying tissues as they heal.
It would be very hard to find the insertion points or tell by looking at the skin that any liposuction has ever been done. Skin contracts with the healing-tissues that replace the melted fats. Again this is only if SmartLipo™ is used alone.
Safety and Complications:
SmartLipo™ is safer than traditional liposuction because there is less bleeding and anesthetic drugs used. In fact, in doing the procedure under tumescent technique, we have eliminated a lot of risks normally associated with general anesthesia.