What is the difference between Smart Lipo and regular lipo? Also which one is more effective?

What is the difference between smart lipo and regular lipo? Also which one is more effective?

Doctor Answers 11

Lipo differences

SmartLipo uses a laser to tighten the skin and sometimes to emulsify fat. Liposuction just sucks out fat. Both must use liposuction techniques to reduce the fat via suction cannulas.


Grapevine OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

It's the surgeon, not the tool, that gives a good result

Smart lipo is simply an extra step in the middle of an otherwise "regular" lipo procedure. In a regular lipo, numbing medicine (tumescent anesthesia) is injected into the fat, then the fat is suctioned out to reshape the area(s). In smartlipo, a laser fiber is passed into the fat near the surface of the skin right after the numbing medicine is injected to help "shrink" the skin. The skin shrinks anyway, but it might shrink a little bit faster with the heating effect of the laser. What makes or breaks a good result is a smooth and even removal of the deep fat during the suction phase and this is where surgical skill, talent and expertise make all the difference in the world.

Difference Between Smart Lipo and Regular Lipo?

Smart Lipo is a type of Laser Liposuction, which means that a high energy laser is used to destroy the fat cells. The destroyed fat cells and fluid that is injected into the tissues before using the laser (tumescent fluid) is then removed with a suction cannula. In regular liposuction tumescent fluid is injected into the tissues and then the fat cell are directly suctioned out with a metal suction cannula or hollow metal probe. Good results can be achieved with either technique.

One benefit of Smart Lipo or laser liposuction is that the laser probe is only 1mm in diameter so it is more precise, and when used properly, the laser probe can be passed just under the skin surface to heat the deep dermal layer of the skin. This will result in heating of the deep dermis which will stimulate the fibroblast cells in the skin to build collagen. This results in additional skin tightening which is not seen with regular liposuction. Unfortunately this skin tightening benefit is oversold by some surgeons and patients imagine that it's like shrink wrapping. It is not a miracle machine and it will produce remarkable tightening in severely lax or excess skin.

Unfortunately early on Smart Lipo was adopted by a large number of unqualified non board certified plastic surgeons with the idea that the device would suddenly make them expert at doing liposuction. Nothing could be more wrong. Owning a particular device does not make any surgeon an expert at a particular procedure and it is not a quarantee of good results. In fact there were many terrible outcomes in the hands of untrained and inexperienced practitioners. There is simply no substitute for good education, training, and experience. There also have been several generations of Smart Lipo devices and only the lattest generation Smart Lipo device called the Triplex has all of the control and safety features which make it a very effective and useful device. You should look for a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who has plenty of demonstrated experience with the Smart Lipo device.

Smartlipo vs Smart Liposuction.

Smartlipo is a laser used to melt fat and tighten skin.  It has kind of evolved into Smart Liposuction that uses tumescent anesthesia, aggressive body contouring, microcannulas, open drainage and compression.  An experienced liposuction surgeon can determine which type of liposuction is best for you.

Lawrence Broder, MD
Cedar Park Family Physician
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Smart Lipo

Thank you for your question. Smart Lipo is a much more effective procedure because unlike regular lipo, Smart Lipo does more than simply target the fat. Smart Lipo actually tightens the skin and shrinks the tissue that can offer permanent cellulite reduction. I suggest that you consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon for more details and an in-person examination.Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Smart Lipo vs. Regular Lipo

SmartLipo is a form of liposuction which uses laser energy to target and melt away fat, which is then gently suctioned away by use of a small cannula. Patients who chose SmartLipo over regular liposuction will typically have less bruising, swelling, and a smoother recovery. Additionally, SmartLipo provides the added benefit of tightening skin in the treatment area.

Eric Seiger, DO
Fenton Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What is the Difference Between Smartlipo and Regular Lipo? And Which is More Effective?

In the hands of the right surgeon, both are equally effective. In the hands of the wrong surgeon both can be equally bad. Having said that, I rarely perform regular lipo any more because I find that Vaser ultrasonic liposuction and Smartlipo are excellent tools to give smooth results. Remember that regular lipo uses suction attached to a cannula which goes back and forth under the skin. Each pass of the cannula removes some fat. If the surgeon goes at it from different angles and is careful to stop when exactly the right amount of fat is removed, no problem. Some areas can be unforgiving in that taking out a little too much can cause depressions or irregularities.With Vaser and Smartlipo, the entire area of fat to be removed is treated with either ultrasound in the case of Vaser, or laser energy in the case of Smartlipo. The effect of ultrasound is to cause the fat cells to be detached and free floating.  The Smartlipo laser, melts the fat cell walls, releasing the fat. Using incisions that allow the energy to be applied from different angles, you can get a very homogenous treatmentof the fat.  Then using low vacuum, small blunt cannulas, the fat cells or free fat is removed to an endpoint of smoothness and even removal throughout.  So these are helpful tools. I use Smartlipo in the  office setting for limited areas that can be done under local tumescent anesthesia, and Vaser ultrasonic liposuction in the operating  room for larger volumes and rapid, efficient fat removal, particularly when done in conjunction with a tummy tuck.Bottom line, the surgeon using the intrument or devices is more important than the devices in getting the desired results. But with Vaser, since it causes little trauma to the blood supply, it is an ideal adjunct to fat removal in tummy tucks where you want to be careful in preserving the blood supply  to the  abdominal flap.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Difference between smart lipo and traditional

Regular liposuction  is the original liposuctionthat was invented in the 1980s. This involves placing fluid with local in the  level underneath the skin and then placing a wand with holes in it attached to suction to pull out the fat by literally tearing it away from the tissues . This has been an effective technique for many years and still works well in younger people with relatively small areas. However advancements have occurred over the last 30 years. The latest of these advancements is smart lipo This involves placing a wand with a laser underneath the skin and literally melting the fat. In a separate step the wand is placed directly underneath the skin to heat the skin. When skin is heated from underneath to the correct temperature it will shrink. The final step in laser liposuction  is the traditional liposuction fat removal. However since the fat has  been melted the removal and extraction is much easier. There is less swelling and bruising . And of course there is more skin shrinkage.  Laser light perception is more applicable for difficult skin areas like arms inner thighs and neck. It is also very helpful for people over 40 or patients that have a poor elasticity. 

Andrew Kaczynski, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Smart lipo versus regular lipo Suction

Smart lipo utilizes a laser fiber beneath the skin to do 3 things:

1.  Emulsify fat, so the fat is being removed as a liquid versus a solid. This allows smaller cannulas (suction tubes) to be used which should provide a smoother result. 

2. The laser cauterizes (seals) blood vessels so there is less blood loss which should therefore result in less fatigue after the procedure and less likely to form a blood collection (hematoma) at the surgical site.  

3.  The laser stimulates collagen formation which results in skin tightening over the few months post procedure.

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting -- Laser, Water, Power

I find that ultrasound does the best for contouring ,etching and skin tightening.  Please see an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 151 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.