Liposuction has been around since the 1970s, and is still the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. The SmartLipo system makes it an even more attractive option for dealing with stubborn pockets of excess body fat.
How Does SmartLipo Differ from Traditional Liposuction?
The traditional procedure involves a large cannula, or tubular needle, that is inserted into the fat deposit and used to vacuum out the unwanted fat. This has some drawbacks: it requires general anesthesia for all but the smallest jobs, and it can cause significant pain, swelling, and bruising afterward.
SmartLipo avoids these problems by using a laser to liquefy the fat before draining it out of the body. This means a much smaller cannula is necessary, and therefore a smaller incision, and less pain and scarring.
Another benefit is that the SmartLipo laser stimulates the connective tissue that underlies your skin to produce more collagen. This fills, tightens, and stretches the skin, producing a healthier and more youthful look.
What Is a SmartLipo Procedure Like?
SmartLipo can be done on an outpatient basis by a board-certified dermatologist. Unlike traditional liposuction, general anesthesia is not required: it can be done under local anesthesia or a sedative. Your doctor will inject sterile fluid into the area to be treated, and then make one or more small incisions to insert the cannula, melt the fat cells, and drain them away.
A SmartLipo treatment usually takes about 45 minutes. Afterward, there may be some pain, bruising, and swelling on the site, but this should heal quickly. Results should become visible after about a week, and the benefits of increased collagen may take a few weeks to appear.
The fat reduction caused by SmartLipo is permanent. Your body may begin to deposit fat again if you gain significant weight, however. This means SmartLipo is best for basically healthy people who have areas of fat that they can’t remove by other means. It is not a treatment for obesity.