How does fat leave the body if melted but not sucked out?

Doctor Answers 9

Just smart lipo, not suction

The use of Smart Lipo (laser lipo) by itself is probably not indicated unless the amount of fat is minimal and the main purpose is skin tightening, typically as when we perform neck liposuction. In all other cases I always perform a thorough tumescent liposuction removing all the excess fat in an even, pleasant and esthetic way and then at the end use the Smart lipo to increase skin tightening. Not removing the fat and only using the laser lipo is not a good idea and has poor results. Best of luck

Chandler Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Smartlipo How does it Work?

Hi There 

Thank you for your interesting question.

Smartlipo was first invented in Italy and introduced in to the UK in 2005 by a company called DEKA. 

The hypothesis behind it was that the sound of the laser (going phut phut phut....) burst the fat cells and the fat absorbed through the lymphatic system!! If one was only removing a fist sized amount there was no problem metabolically etc.

It soon became evident that it was the heat from the tip of the laser fibre melting the fat cells. 

Also it became apparent that the energy required was higher than had been stated and the endpoint was clinical (ie when the lump of fat you were treating was gone, you were done) not some preconceived number of shots to be fired in to the area.

As the safety of the device was proven it became increasingly accepted practice to suction the melted fat from the area. This meant that larger areas could be treated. Also the results became instantly visible and certain.

Smartlipo prepared the way for the widespread adoption of Vaser in the UK. By 2008/9 certainly most people had dumped smartlipo system and moved on to better options.

2009 Bodytite arrived in the UK and really since then there has been no smartlipo of any significance done in the UK.

In the UK the standard is to break down the fat in one way or another and then suction it.

As I have said elsewhere it is odd that the USA is still using Smartlipo....

The suction debate has reignited with the introduction of external fat removal machines that freeze or heat the fat from outside the skin. 

A lot of them don't work or do anything significant, some of them have odd and rather unpleasant side effects. The problem is just how much fat can you break down without causing other nasty problems and where does it go?

Does it go from the belly on to your thighs or on your chin? My thoughts are quite probably yes it does unless you are in calorie deficit.

I hope this answers your question rather fully so you can see through the fog that surrounds these things.

Kind Regards 

Dr Dinesh Maini 

Dinesh Maini, MBChB
London Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Smart liposuction melts fat

The laser does destroy the fat cells and they break up  and the body's immune system has white blood cells that basically remove the destroyed cells and liquefied fatty acids. This is a slower process than intended with smart liposuction. During smart liposuction the laser is used to rupture and destroy the fat cells and then a smaller liposuction cannula is used to remove these broken up cells and fatty acids. This leaves a smoother result a lot faster than just leaving the damaged tissue in place for your body to take care of slowly.

W. John Bull, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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The laser destroys the fat cell that is then reabsorbed however this needs to be combined with liposuction for the best results.

Christopher Balgobin, MD
Minneapolis Physician
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Body metabolizes the fat

Fat tissues that are melted, but not suctioned out are metabolized by the body over time.
Sculpsure is non-invasive laser fat melting from the outside, and no fat is suctioned away.
It just takes more time for the body to metabolize the destroyed fat.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

I always suck out the fat

There is no reason, not to suck out the melted fat. However any residual fat, not sucked out, will be absorbed safely by your body.
remember it will take 6 months to see your maximum improvement.

david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Smartlipo Laser Liposuction

Thank you for this interesting question.

Traumatizing the vascular supply of fat anywhere in the body can result in partial resorption (apoptosis and death of the fatty tissue). There are accounts that automobile trauma to the abdomen or facial area has resulted in permanent dents. Smartlipo Triplex uses 3 wavelengths of laser to disrupt the vascular supply and also physically (using sound waves) to break the fat cells apart. This liquefied fat is then suctioned out. Some of the fat remains behind and the body resorbs and metabolizes this fat over the ensuing few months.
I hope this was helpful. Yours, Dr David R

A. David Rahimi, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Laser liposuction

Thanks for your question. The fat cells that are destroyed by the laser light/heat will eventually be absorbed and discarded by the body. This process takes a few months generally. The heat generated can also help to minimize pain, bruising, and edema, and provide the possibility for a small amount of skin tightening too. Best wishes.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Fat Melting

If fat is melted, the body resorbs it without any issues or increase in your body cholesterol.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 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.