Ask a doctor

Smart Lipo Vs. Liposuction on Upper Arms and Love Handles

I'm 5'2", 110 lbs, and Asian. I had Liposuction on my upper arms in 2004 and never really saw the results I was looking for. Will Smart Lipo on this area and love handles be any better, in results and downtime? I remember awful downtime before and would like to avoid it.

Doctor Answers 16

Smart Lipo will add more skin contraction

In terms of fat removal, I agree that laser and traditional lipo should get you to the similar place. However, the laser will stimulate cells in the skin to create increased collagen and elastin production which should show better contour not seen immediately, but with improvement over the next several months.

Montclair Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Both should give good results

Smart lipo uses a laser to liquefy the fat, which is then suctioned out. Skin tightening is often the biggest issue with lipo of the upper arms. Proponents of smart lipo claim that it produces better skin tightening but this has never been proven in any published study, so either technique should be satisfactory.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Consider Radiofrequency (RF) Devices instead of Invasive Treatments

You have options here that change over time as new technology emerges in the aesthetic space. There is no question that Smart Lipo is good for the upper arms and for the love handles — and skilled, board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons know how to use the device to give the results you want. And in the upper arms, the faster skin tightening that we know as a result of the laser makes this an attractive area to treat.New radiofrequency (RF) devices are now being used on the upper arms with good success — Venus Freeze, Pelleve, Accent or VShape, EndyMed 3Deep, Exilis, and others. Also, some have used Ultherapy here — ultrasound with good results. Consult your doctor for the best options.As for the love handles, you can use Smart Lipo — it works. You can also use any of the RF devices I mentioned above with some nice results. And you can use CoolSculpting or UltraShape — these are working very well as well.So you have options and need to discuss with the proper doctors to make the most informed choice or choices.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

The results of liposuction are more dependent on the skill of the surgeon and not the device used.

The discomfort following surgery can be controlled well with anti-inflammatories.  Arnica helps decrease the bruising.  Based on the pictures you have sent, you would be a good candidate for a repeat attempt at liposuction.

Smart lipo giving improved results in previous areas of traditional lipo

Good and interesting question. It depends on the layer of fat that was left from the previous lipo and what is now causing the fullness. Many people think that anything remaining that is full and wiggled is always fat. But it may be looser muscle or skin. While the most important thing is the surgeon and how complete or aggressive they are choosing to be I do feel that the smart lipo laser can be more complete it emulsification of the fat before extraction and has the potential to thermally get more skin retraction. BUT!!! Be be very careful because it also has the potential to cause more problems in the wrong hands or without the proper judgement about whether the patient should or can benefit from it. It is possible that the previous surgeon took out exactly the right amount and got the correct amount of skin tightening and what is remaining should not be approached with trying to get more out or more skin retraction. One of the worst mistakes is to be too aggressive.

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Smartlipo of the arms and love handles

Based on your information provided and photos you should be able to get a home run result with smartlipo or ultrasonic liposuction .  Downtime and bruising, pain, discomfort should be minimal with either procedure. Mae sure your plastic surgeon has a lot of experience in liposuction to get the results you are looking for. 

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Upper arms

I think that laser lipo will get you a better result. In my opinion traditional lipo cannot get as much fat nor can it contour as well. Skin tightening will happen to some degree with the use of the laser and of course, it is performed under sedation only. Be aware that a repeat procedure is difficult because of the scar tissue. Flanks are hugely successful.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

There is another technology

There is also VASER Lipo. This technology uses ultrasound to break up the fat cells. This is a safe alternative for eliminating unwanted fat, revealing a smooth new shape with fast recovery. This technology helps to gently reshape your body. There has been great results especially when VASER Lipo is used on arms.

You might want to find a plastic surgeon who performs VASER lipo.

Good luck!

Andrew Y. Kleinman, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Smart Lipo only as smart as your surgeon

The truth is that all current available techniques of liposuction are comparable and can deliver comparable results. I have used several systems and can get good results with all. The key is experience and good judgment with proper patient selection.

The data we have to review at the present time does not demonstrate the clear advantage with the Smart Lipo system or other available laser lipo systems. To some surgeons the tool may help them acheive their personal best results, but we cannot assume that laser lipo is right for all.

The contouring you seek may be possible with any liposuction technique. Keep your focus on a surgeon whom you can trust.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Smartlipo- shorter down time

You should have less down time from Smartlipo. i expect my pts to return to work in 2 days and resume exercising in 7-10 days. You may get some or even excellent improvement in your love handles and upper arms or you may not. It is very hard to predict how much improvement a pt will get from either Smartlipo or ultrasonic liposuction in a pt, who already has quite a good shape, as you do. Smartlipo, I believe, is especially advantageous when you have already had liposuction to these areas before.

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.