What's the different between smart lipo and reg lipo ?

Doctor Answers 14

Smartlipo Uses a Laser to Destroy Fat First

This is an excellent question and one that I hear frequently at my Las Vegas practice, where I offer both Smartlipo TriPlex and traditional liposuction (along with other body contouring treatments). Smartlipo and traditional liposuction share the same goals and procedure steps, but Smartlipo uses laser energy to liquefy the unwanted fat before it's suctioned out. That makes removing the fat easier and helps speed up the recovery process because only a local anesthetic is needed. The laser energy also helps promote new collagen growth, leading to tighter skin in the treatment area. I recommend scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who offers multiple body contouring treatments to ensure the procedure is tailored for your needs.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 187 reviews

Smart Lipo

Depending on the version of the Smart Lipo used, it offers 1,2 or 3 lasers that melt the fat, coagulate vessels and create heat to tighten the skin. Traditional lipo solely removes the fat cells. Smart Lipo patients tend to have less bruising and less pain after surgery.

Lee E. Corbett, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Liposuction and Techniques -- SmartLipo Versus VASER Versus Traditional Versus WAL Versus ThermiRF

What matters most is who is doing the procedure.  If you are looking for a hi definition contouring result / full body transformation please see an expert trained in 4D body sculpting. regardless, see an expert with expertise in liposculpting.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

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Smart vs reg lipo

I always tell patients it is not the wand( the machine) but the magician ( the surgeon) that creates all the magic. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


Smart liposuction refers to the addition of a laser to treat or melt fat prior to liposuction removal of the fat.  It involves an extra step in the standard liposuction process.  It is helpful in secondary cases, male fat, gynecomastia and back fat. 

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

What's the different between smart lipo and reg lipo ?

Thank you for your question about liposuction.  Smart liposuction and "regular" liposuction both involve suctioning fat for contouring of the body.  Liposuction can be performed with ultrasound and/or laser both of which liquefy the fat before it is removed with suction.  In addition, the heat generated by the ultrasound or laser energy can help tighten the skin to some degree, but this is not reliable.  Smart liposuction is one of the brands of laser liposuction devices.  I've tried both laser and ultrasound liposuction and prefer ultrasound for my patients but both are effective.  I recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in liposuction so that you can discuss which option is best for you.  Best wishes!

Nicholas Tarola, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

What is smart liposuction

Smart liposuction is simply regular liposuction with an adjuvant secondary laser procedure.

To two procedures are not done simultaneously.

Most frequently the laser is done just before the fat is your movies with regular liposuction.

The big question is does the laser do any good?

having done well over 1000 smart liposuction surgeries I am skeptical in saying that it adds any significant benefit.

again having done so many of these it's hard for me to say with a straight face that the fat is melted or skin is actually tightened.

regular liposuction and smart liposuction can be done using local anesthesia or general anesthesia.

I personally like to use power assisted liposuction and find that to be much more helpful than the laser though given the choice I do add the laser treatment.

Probably the biggest difference in technology is the use of ultrasound assisted liposuction such as VASER.

this device truly does change the fat prior to having it removed with liposuction.

Much more so than with the use of a laser.

that is not to say that VASER is necessarily better.

I've seen lots of complications and bad results from VASER from practitioners who don't know how to use the equipment correctly or simply aren't very good.

picked a surgeon not the equipment.

I cannot overemphasize enough the importance of technical skill and experience when it comes to liposuction.

Almost all plastic surgeons can do perform liposuction but relatively few are really good at it.

My practice is exclusively devoted to two procedures.

Liposuction and fat transfer.

I am one of very few plastic surgeons who have devoted my practice exclusively to these two procedures only.

I feel qualified to speak on this topic as an expert.

I'm also exceedingly honest about what's real, what type and what can be reasonably expected from surgical outcomes.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

How Smart is your Lipo?

Liposuction is one of the most common, as well one of the most commonly misunderstood cosmetic procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Liposuction, or suction assisted lipectomy (SAL) as it is also known, allows a surgeon to contour a patient’s shape and address those areas resistant to diet and exercise. It is not a weight loss procedure and is best performed on patients who are at or near their target weight. Common target areas include:

  • Abdomen/Flanks (“love handles”)
  • Hips/Thighs/Legs
  • Upper arms
  • Back
  • Buttocks

Traditional liposuction or SAL (Suction Assisted Lipoplasty) is typically performed under sedation/general anesthesia. The procedure involves the use of a hollow metal tube called a cannula, which is inserted via series of small incisions. These cannulas are first used deliver a combination of local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor (to minimize bleeding). Once anesthetized, the cannula is used to disrupt the fat cells for subsequent aspiration. This technique can be augmented through the use of ultrasound or power (vibration) facilitating fat aspiration. These are employed at the surgeon’s discretion.

SmartLipo is a relatively new technique that allows the physician to use a laser to liquify and remove excess fat while tightening the skin the in the area. A cannula outfitted with a small laser fiber melts the fat which is then removed with suction using traditional liposuction methods. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic only and is purported to be relatively atraumatic resulting in faster recovery times. The patient will likely be conscious during the entire procedure as it is performed under local anesthesia only. However, it is more limited by an ability to address multiple areas as the local anesthetic is delivered to a smaller more focused area to ensure minimal discomfort for the awake patient.

The primary difference between SmartLipo and traditional liposuction is the use of the laser facilitating the fat removal. Rather than manipulating the cannula to manually break up the fat cells, the laser melts the excess fat. This is supposed to allow for a gentler, less invasive procedure with less discomfort, less bruising and swelling, and a quicker return to normal activities. The laser also helps to tighten the overlying skin in the treated areas.

Once either procedure has been completed, the patient will be given a special compression garment to reduce swelling. On average, patients are able to recover from SmartLipo within two to four days, but they will be advised to avoid rigorous activity for at least week. The recovery period for traditional liposuction is typically one to two weeks.

To determine which technique is right for you, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Most importantly, the success of your surgery will not be dependent on the technology employed, but rather the experience of the surgeon performing the procedure.

Donovan Rosas, MD
Kissimmee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

What's the different between smart lipo and reg lipo ?

Thank you for your question.  Smart Lipo uses a laser to liquefy the fat first, which is then suctioned as it would be in "regular" liposuction.  This can be advantageous in small areas where skin tightening is desired and is associated with less bruising.  There is a higher risk for burns from the heat.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Smart Liposuction liquefies/melts the fat cells first

Thank you for your question.  Smart liposuction utilizes a laser to help liquefy or melt the fat cells prior to removal.  Traditional liposuction simply suctions out the fat cells in the areas treated.  If you are interested in a liposuction procedure I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well experienced in these procedures.  I hope you find this helpful!    

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.