Christopher Chung, M.D.
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Chief Medical Officer
Looking for a safe and effective way to shape and contour your body to match your ideal look? You may want to consider SmartLipo for your fat removal procedure.
SmartLipo is a body contouring procedure that uses laser liposuction technology and is designed to provide focused and effective results almost anywhere on the body.
To help decide whether SmartLipo is the right choice for you, it helps to better understand what makes the SmartLipo procedure unique, and when it might be the right choice for achieving your ideal body shape.
SmartLipo is a fat removal and body contouring procedure that harnesses the power of laser-based fat removal technology to carefully and efficiently remove fat in the body.
The heat produced by the laser actually liquifies the fat cells in targeted areas of the body, which allows a surgeon to then suction and remove those fat cells permanently. In some cases, the fat may also be massaged out after laser treatment to help aid removal.
The name SmartLipo is a term coined by Cynosure, a leading manufacturer and inventor of laser lipolysis technology. Although SmartLipo may be the most common name for the procedure, there are many highly effective and safe laser units that are all based on similar technology.
Although SmartLipo may be able to provide similar (if not better) results for some patients compared to traditional liposuction, it is important to understand how the two procedures compare with one another and where SmartLipo offers its own unique benefits.
The main distinguishing factor of the SmartLipo procedure is the use of laser energy to heat fat in targeted areas. While other types of liposuction may work to achieve similar results using other energy sources, SmartLipo specifically utilizes laser energy to achieve the desired contouring result.
Like other energy-based forms of liposuction, laser liposuction uses the heat and energy generated by lasers to help break down and remove fat from targeted areas. By pointing a focused laser at areas where contouring and fat removal is desired, the surgeon is able to liquefy fat for removal via suction.
Laser liposuction is beneficial in two main ways: it breaks up the fat in specifically targeted areas of the body and promotes skin tightening via stimulation of collagen in areas where the laser is focused.
Generally, liposuction can be conducted utilizing various energy sources. While “energy” sources like electrical, ultrasound and traditional (man-power muscle) are common laser energy is among the most modern options available to surgeons and patients.
In traditional liposuction procedures, a surgeon may simply use suction and physical manipulation to remove fat, often using tubes called cannulas to remove fat manually during the procedure. Sometimes, a surgeon may also use one or a combination of energy sources to help remove fat and contour body shape.
During a SmartLipo procedure, a surgeon will specifically use laser heat to soften and liquify fat cells in targeted areas, which can provide more focused contouring and may help reduce bruising for the patient.
Because SmartLipo typically does not involve as much physical manipulation of fat, there is a good chance that patient bruising can be significantly reduced during and after a SmartLipo procedure.
While traditional liposuction techniques may be specifically contained to the usual areas of the body—abdomen, thighs, buttocks—laser liposuction can be used to treat all regions of the body and face safely and effectively with permanent reduction in fat.
In addition to efficiently removing fat, SmartLipo may provide an added benefit of skin tightening, as the heat of the laser may be able to help tighten skin in targeted areas and decrease the possibility of sagging or dimpling skin sometimes seen after a traditional liposuction procedure.
Like all forms of liposuction, SmartLipo and laser liposuction is entirely safe when performed by a skilled surgeon, and when applied to patients who meet the basic requirements as candidates for liposuction.
One important note to remember is that SmartLipo should only be used by experienced liposuction surgeons, as the heat generated by the laser can also cause unwanted burns if not carefully controlled and applied.
Like any other liposuction or cosmetic procedure, SmartLipo may cause pain during and after the procedure itself. Although we utilize localized awake anesthesia during our procedures, some patients experience mild discomfort after the procedure is complete and during the recovery period.
Because SmartLipo uses the heat from lasers to liquify fat, along with micro-sized cannulas to suction fat away, there is a much better chance that the procedure will cause less pain and discomfort than even traditional liposuction. However, it is still good to plan for some discomfort during the recovery period, which should reduce significantly around two weeks post-operation.
As with other forms of liposuction, SmartLipo is a great choice for anyone looking to tone or contour their body by removing small amounts of fat. It is not a good choice for individuals looking to remove large amounts of fat, or individuals who are not healthy enough to undertake the procedure.
For more information on who is the right candidate for liposuction, and what steps you should consider before choosing SmartLipo, refer to our helpful tips on how to prepare for a liposuction procedure.
Recovery from SmartLipo looks a lot like recovery from other forms of liposuction, and the same considerations should be taken when planning for recovery after any laser lipo procedure.
In many cases, recovery from SmartLipo may even be shorter and easier than with traditional liposuction. Thanks to the precision and micro-sized cannulas used in the laser liposuction procedure, there is less trauma to the tissue and hence faster recovery for many patients.
Like other forms of liposuction, SmartLipo helps to permanently remove fat cells from the body. That means most patients will not need to return for repeat procedures, provided they maintain healthy lifestyle choices after the procedure is complete.
Most people will swell 2-3 days after their liposuction procedure and then it gradually goes down over time. The area suctioned may be bruised as well. The area can remain firm or even lumpy as the swelling recedes. You will be told when to start massaging the suctioned areas. Individual healing varies, but most patients end up using their compression devices at least 3-6 weeks. Most will start to see results in the first days to weeks with a final result seen by 6 months postoperatively
At Sono Bello, we deliver highly safe and effective outcomes via our laser-assisted liposuction by the most experienced liposuction surgeons.
Our TriSculpt Micro-Laser Lipo procedure utilizes both power-assisted and laser-assisted liposuction technology. Combining these with awake localized anesthesia and our skilled physicians, we are able to completely customize the laser liposuction procedure to best match you and your body contouring goals.
If you’re searching for a reliable, effective way to trim your body fat, you may want to consider a laser liposuction procedure or SmartLipo to help reduce stubborn fat and achieve your ideal look.
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