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What is SmartLipo

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Updated December 01, 2013

SmartLipo is a trademark name for a type of liposuction. Per the manufacturer, it is labeled as “the industry’s leading laser-assisted lipolysis." Lipolysis is the medical term or fancy way to say fat cell rupture. As with any other type of liposuction, such as water-assisted liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, or traditional liposuction, SmartLipo involves removing unwanted fat from your body with a vacuum-assistance through a cannula (long hollow tube). The difference between SmartLipo and the other forms of liposuction is that SmartLipo makes use of a laser that creates a powerful light beam that breaks open fat cells, making fat removal easier than if the fat cell were still whole. This process is known as fat liquefaction. This step is done prior to the actual removal of the fat with suction through a cannula.

The laser probe is inserted through a small incision and then moved back and forth through the fat layer as well as directly under your skin. Skin burns are indeed possible with any type of laser-assisted liposuction or ultrasound-assisted liposuction.

Depending on the number of areas to be treated with SmartLipo and your comfort level, SmartLipo can be done with only tumescent/numbing fluid. However, in most cases, patients opt for something a little extra in addition to the numbing solution to take away the sting. This something extra can come in the form of oral sedation alone, oral sedation with intravenous/twilight sedation, intravenous/twilight sedation by itself, or general anesthesia.

As with many other forms of liposuction, SmartLipo claims to be a “minimally invasive procedure.” I personally do not like this phraseology for describing ANY form of liposuction. Liposuction, in all its forms, involves moving a metal cannula of varying diameter back and forth in your fat layer until it is thinned. This causes trauma to your body. Trauma is painful. While the phrase “mininamlly invasive proedure” may be justified because there are no large incisions involved with liposuction, “minimally invasive” is NOT the same thing as pain free. This goes for all forms of liposuction, not just SmartLipo. While it is true many patients may get away with nothing more than extra-strength acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) after surgery, others may require something a bit stronger to take away the edge.

appearance of cellulite or stretch marks.

Another type of laser liposuction is SlimLipo.

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