Ask a doctor

What is the Difference Between Vaser Lipo and Smart Lipo? Is One Better That Other? Any Preference and Why ?

Abdomen, flank and hips, arms

Doctor Answers (7)

3-D sculpting requires more than the right technology

+3

FancyNancy,

I agree with the comments which emphasize that both are similar types of artistic tools which allow us to sculpt shape.  In general, determining which technology is optimal to use for you depends on your body type and which areas you would like to sculpt. 

Sometimes both technologies can be artistically blended: Vaser used to emulsify the deep layer of fat, which allows for harvest of intact fat cells for transfer to another area, while the Smartlipo is used on a more superficial level to smoothen the skin surface.
Since both are heat-producing devices, there is a risk of burning the skin, and many burns have been reported with the Vaser technology (Cedidi CC, Berger A. Severe abdominal wall necrosis after ultrasound-assisted liposuction. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2002 Jan-Feb;26(1):20-2). 

The unique benefits of the Smartlipo technology are (1) safety and (2) skin smoothing: The laser has several safety checkpoints which prevent the laser from overheating and burning the skin.  I primarily use the laser to heat up the undersurface of the skin so that it settles smoothly.  This smoothing effect gave rise to Cellulaze, a cousin-technology of Smartlipo which smoothens cellulite in the thighs.

Aside from laser technology, other instruments used in a sculpting procedure have an important impact on the outcome, specifically microcannulas.  The use of true microcannulas minimizes bruising, swelling, skin creasing, and lymphatic congestion.  This also reduces post-procedure pain and therefore expedites the recovery process, which means that you can usually begin exercise within a week. 

Finally, and equally important to the final result, are diet and exercise.  With the sculpting methods described above, I am able to eliminate the fat and ensure even and smooth skin.  This effect is magnified by building muscle tone and optimizing nutrition.  In my practice, I often include several training sessions with our team of highly-specialized personal trainers, who work to build lean muscle mass after the procedure, and synergistically deliver a 3-dimensionally-sculpted result.  We refer to this as the “Smart-Sculpt” program.

Good luck!


Bellevue Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Lipocontouring technology

+2

Hi FancyNancy. I have performed standard and "energy" based lipocontouring for close to two decades now and have witnessed a variety of devices that initially generate excitement only to see surgeons loose their enthusiasm for these devices over time. The two "energy" based devices that have "stuck" are those you mention. Laser devices have improved in their speed and efficacy as has ultrasound of which VASER is the most popular and current technology. Cynosure has been the most aggressive in both the development and marketing the Laser system. Both Smart Lipo and Vaser work well overall for body contouring and have minimal differences. Vaser can be used to harvest fat with the same efficacy as standard lipo. Laser may have superior improvement in skin tightening but the data is still not clear at this time. The Cellulaze by Cynosure is the only FDA approved device to reduce cellulite. The data shows that both tighten skin more effectively than traditional lipo and can do this with less trauma in some cases. So what to use really depends on what your goal is. Are you looking for a dramatic improvement, more skin tightening? Are you an older person who might benefit from these devices? Do you want fat transfer? I have the Smart Lipo Triplex system, the latest of the devices using three wavelengths for treating the area. I do not use it to harvest fat and don't need the VASER for this. I like it for the effect on the arms, the inner thighs, neck and tightening of the abdomen. So these devices are pretty similar in there results and outcomes, assuming the person is an experienced plastic surgeon. They also have limits and these should be discussed during the consultation with your plastic surgeon. 

David R. Stephens, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Vaser or Smartlipo

+2

Vaser and smartlipo both use heating components.  Vaser uses ultrasonic energy and smartlipo uses lasers.  I prefer non-heat component liposuction methods for most patients.  I always say that it is not the wand but the magician that created the magic.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

You might also like...

Difference between VASER lipo and Smartlipo?

+2

Thank you for your question. These are tools at the plastic surgeon's hands to use to improve your results. But, no tool is better than another if it ends up in the wrong, inexperienced hands. The biggest and best tool is between the surgeon's ears. In my over 20 years in practice, I used them all, including the Smartlipo, VASER, PAL, Power X, traditional lipo. I personally prefer the VASER. This is an amazing technology and allows me to literally sculpt a body by not just removing fat, but also injecting it back in areas which need enhancement. The VASER does not melt the fat like the Smartlipo. The Smartlipo or laser lipo by Cynosure is very good for small areas (i.e. the neck), but very slow for larger areas. Cynosure has an extremely clever and effective ad campaign to the public and they request this new "magical" technology. There's no magic behind it, healing is not faster, results are not better either. I personally had to correct over a dozen Smartlipo misadventures from other practitioners so far. The company was selling the laser to anyone with an M.D. behind their names. Many surgeons bought the laser because people request it and brings them into their practices. How they utilize the laser dutring surgery is another matter. See a board certified plastic surgeon for an in person consultation/evaluation. Good luck.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Liposuction Technology

+2

Vaser is the trade name for ultrasound-assisted liposuction. Smart Lipo utilizes laser technology. Both are used to treat the fat immediately prior to removal via auctioning techniques. Ultrasound came before laser. Both work well but I find that ultrasound is less elegant. I utilize Smart Lipo. The most important factor is how the fat is removed. I use power-assisted technology. It's amazing. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

What is the Difference Between Vaser Lipo and Smart Lipo? Is One Better That Other? Any Preference and Why ?

+2

       The most important factor is the surgeon performing the liposuction and not the type chosen.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 237 reviews

Vaser lipo, Smart lipo vs traditional lipo? It's all in the operator not the device

+1

One uses ultrasound technology while the other uses lasers.  There is a lot of marketing hype but in the end it comes down to choosing the procedure that gets the results you desire.  Consider traditional Liposuction and discuss this with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.