SmartLipo™ is a form of liposculpting that uses a laser to melt the fat and improve the tightness of the skin above the areas lipolasered. Despite the marketing hype that would lead one to believe that SmartLipo™ is the magic bullet for any area of extra fat in all people, it is definately not for everybody. The choice of a body contouring technique depends upon the amount, shape and distribution of fat as well as the quality of the skin overlying the fatty area. Body contouring can requires more than just liposculpting to obtain the desired results. Contouring for you might involve a particular type liposculpting method or require a more extensive surgery for the best obtainable results.
A plastic surgeon, like myself, can give you the best surgical options to get you closer to your desired shape. Liposculpting tools come in many forms and types. There are liposuction canulas, ultrasonic lipolysis, power assisted liposuction or laser assisted liposuction like SmartLipo™. All of which depending on the amount to be contoured can be done in an office setting. The SmartLipo™ is minimally invasive but is only applicable to individuals who don’t have a great deal of fat to remove. You usually find most of these people in the gym. They have very discreet areas of fat that are exercise resistant that they wish to remove. This is the ideal candidate for SmartLipo™. You can be up to 25 lb over your ideal body weight and be an “ideal” candidate but if have found if you don’t exercise and eat right 25 lbs is actually stretching it. Other forms of liposculpting would be more effective.
For SmartLipo™ specifically, there are several advantage over traditional types of liposuctions. There is less bruising and bleeding. It is stated that there is also less swelling but I don’t believe it nor have I seen it. Remember any type of surgical procedure is a type of trauma and the body does not stop and say “Oh, this is cosmetic surgery, maybe I shouldn’t swell as much with this type of trauma!” With any type of procedure there will be swelling. The bruising is controlled because the laser coagulates the blood vessels. Without as much bruising this could contribute to maybe some less swelling but this is not certain.
Another advantage is that it can be done without the use of general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is used. Therefore it can be performed safely in the office. In many cases regular liposuction can be performed safely in the office with local anesthesia. Again individuals that weigh over 15 lbs over there ideal body weight will probably end up using a combination of SmartLipo™ with some other form of liposculpting.
Because general anesthesia is not used and the patient is not completely unconscious there is a lesser risk than that of liposuction performed under general anesthesia.
Recovery time is shorter and this is true. There is generally less discomfort with SmartLipo™.
Honestly, I present this information only for those that are good candidates for the SmartLipo™. This may be 20% of the liposculpting patients. Those that aren’t a candidate don’t need to know the advantages because I’m not trying to “sell” SmartLipo™ to them because it wouldn’t be the most effective type of body contouring for them. Some physicians use these advantages as strong selling points. And realistically, who wouldn’t want a procedure that has less downtime, or less bruising, less discomfort or less potential swelling. A patient would be crazy not to go for it. But honestly I won’t offer something I don’t feel will get them close to thier expected goal. People work hard for their money, I’m not going to waste it on a procedure that promise more than it can ever deliver for a particular individual. I feel I would be cheating them. So beware of the marketing hype and poorly trained physicians. An example is illustrated on, "A True Story, Don’t Make this Mistake."