OverviewDeveloped by Cynosure, Inc. in 2006, SmartLipo is a type of liposuction treatment performed using advanced laser-assisted technologies. Also referred to as Smart Liposuction and Laser Liposuction, the procedure has gained in popularity since being approved by the FDA in 2009 as an alternative to traditional liposuction.
Are You a Candidate?
Although widely available in plastic surgery centers throughout the country, SmartLipo isn’t for everyone. If you are morbidly obese or significantly overweight, you are unlikely to be a candidate for the procedure. In this case, you may want to consider weight loss surgery. Ideal SmartLipo candidates are those looking to minimally improve their appearance through the removal of relatively small fatty deposits that have collected in the so-called problem areas. As such, SmartLipo candidates are typically younger and more active men and women.
If you think you might be a candidate for SmartLipo, or wish to discuss your options further, consult with an experienced Smart Lipo surgeon for more information.
The SmartLipo Procedure – How Does it Work?
SmartLipo uses laser energy to break down fat deposits through a process called lipolysis. Lipids are liquefied and removed through a small incision made in the skin. (Some surgeons may allow melted fat to be reabsorbed by the body.)
The minimally invasive outpatient laser procedure is typically performed in less than two hours, after which the patient may return home. SmartLipo is most often performed under local anesthetic, though general anesthesia may be requested. The procedure is relatively pain-free, with only a minimal amount of discomfort and light pressure expected. A compression garment may be used after treatment to assist with recovery.
Body Areas Best Treated with SmartLipo
Smart Lipo may be performed on any area of the body with loose skin or minor fatty deposits. The most common body areas treated with the laser procedure include the neck, face, arms, chest, lower torso and knee joints. During an initial consultation, target areas can be evaluated to determine whether SmartLipo is a viable treatment option.
Vs. Traditional Liposuction
Proponents of SmartLipo claim that the advanced laser-assisted procedure improves the results of liposuction surgery, though this is a controversial view not held by all surgeons.
Patients may find themselves with the dilemma of being advised to choose SmartLipo by one surgeon, and traditional liposuction by another. It is for this reason that it is incredibly important to thoroughly research and select a board-certified surgeon whom you trust.
Oftentimes, there is no single treatment solution available for you. Rather, you have several options from which to choose from. The benefits of a procedure like SmartLipo vs traditional liposuction essentially boils down to the minimally invasive nature of the former. SmartLipo patients are often quicker to recover from the treatment and see results in as little as one week. However, this does not necessarily mean that the results achieved are better than those realized with traditional liposuction. Discuss your options with your surgeon to determine the pros and cons of SmartLipo.
SmartLipo is an outpatient procedure, meaning it does not require hospitalization. A single treatment should yield results within one week after surgery, though full recovery is likely to take from three to six months. The minimally invasive nature of the procedure means that patients are unlikely to experience a long recovery period. Slight bruising may be present, though patients are typically able to return to normal activity within a couple days after treatment. Scarring should not be an issue given the small size of the incision.
What Does it Cost?
The cost of any plastic surgery procedure can vary significantly depending on where the procedure is performed and who performs it. For example, SmartLipo performed in a bustling metropolis like Manhattan will likely cost more than that performed in the Midwest.
The average cost of SmartLipo ranges from $2,000 up to $6,000. The procedure is considered elective, and therefore not covered under health insurance.