Comparison: Slim Lipo - Zerona - Liposuction - Smart Lipo - Lipo-Ex

Hi, i am so confused with all the technology available. I am 20 years old , i weight 115 pounds, my height is 5'0. i am very active and have a healthy lifestyle. i would like to get rid of the remaining fat around my waste line and inner thighs. what treatment do you recommend?

Doctor Answers 9

It is not surprising that you are confused about all your body slimming options.

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Comparison of Liposuction/body Slimming options:

There is no other area in Plastic Surgery that has so many options and so many new options with lofty claims of superiority. It is not really possible for the lay person to be able to decide which system or technology is best for them. Physicians and the companies who make these devices count on their ability to market these treatments and services without having scientific comparisons so show which device or treatment is superior.

As a Plastic Surgeon specializing in this area, I have evaluated the body contouring options and selected and chosen approaches that deliver the best results in my hands. Part the criteria for selection has been the scientific support for the claims made by different manufacturers. By far the most important factor with most elective cosmetic procedures is the skills and credentials of the surgeon, not the technology. Zerona and Velashape can make some improvements in selected patients and have the benefits of not being surgery. If more significant improvements are needed then I select from tumescent liposuction, VASER and SmartLipo approaches. The most effective and predictable for me has been SmartLipo and this device has the most literature support of all the laser liposuction devices. Have more than one consultation from a qualified Plastic Surgeon and use their expertise to decide what option is best for you.

Dr. Mosher

Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

5'0" 115 lbs - liposuction??

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As Dr. Johnson said, put another way, it is best to forget all the hype about the technology as there is nothing proven to be better than traditional tumescent lipo with small cannulas. 

My real concern here is that you realize that liposuction has risks and that if you have it at all overdone, you can destroy your nice 20 year old body with dents and grooves.  Do you REALLY need it or have you minimized it's risks in your mind and think it is just a little procedure?  It is real surgery with real risks. 

Confused about liposuction technology

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Surgeons themselves are confused by liposuction claims and comparisons, and most of the 'new' technology will come to pass and fade away. The truth is there are only anecdotal evidence and testimonials, no scientific comparisons of the 'best' liposuction technique. We feel that liposuction or sculpture results are based on artistic or aesthetic sense, and experience with any device used to give safe and predictable results. Keep in mind that traditional tumescent liposuction is likely to remain a gold standard for some time to come.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting vs. Zerona etc.

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Certainly some people have enough fat in a localized area that liposuction is the most effective way to reduce the bulge.  Some patients don't have the down time to heal after the procedure, while some aren't healthy enough or take medication that would interfere with liposuction, while others would just prefer not to undergo the "knife" and these patients might be excellent candidates for Zeltiq's CoolSculpting or other non-surgical procedures.  Zerona may liquify the fat and cause a temporary reduction but without killing the adipocytes (fat cells) there may be a return to baseline.  CoolSculpting only reduces volume of fat around 20% at the four month period, but by freezing the cells, actually kills the fat cells so there are less available to store fat in the future.  Some can have multiple treatments every two months to improve their results. The LipoSonix is another technique that may reduce fat.  Regardless of the tecnhique, you must continue to lessen calories and maintain an exercise regimen to protect your investment whether you have liposuction or a non invasive technique. See a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who performs both liposuction and has these non-invasive devices to get a balanced evaluation for your condition after an examination is performed.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

There are no studies which demonstrate scientifically that any method of liposuction is superior to tumescent liposuction.

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There are no studies which demonstrate scientifically that any method of liposuction is superior to classic tumescent liposuction using small cannulas. And yet all of these approaches increase the potential for side effects. My advice to is to avoid these "gimmicks" and see the doctor near you who has the most experience in  liposuction.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Body Contouring Technology: Marketing and not results

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The body contouring non-invasive market is constantly changing with products that use radio frequency, ultrasound and lasers. All products are heavily marketed and usually performed in non-plastic surgery based centers. They all set lofty goals, but non deliver the results that simple diet and exercise as well as standard liposuction can deliver. I would be weary of the "quick fix" and it sounds like you are in great shape. Zerona, which uses low level laser may have some effect, but even still this is mild. Continue to work out and maybe consider altering your regimen to target your problem areas. Nothing works without a smart diet as well. Smart lipo utilizes a laser probe which goes under the skin but does not effect the tissue adequately because of the thermal effect and risk of burns. The effect is usually seen with the standard liposuction which is performed after, however this standard liposuction is usually not being performed by a plastic surgeon. Beware of all of these newer technologies, as the inexperienced physician is usually the one buying into them to get a marketing advantage on the the competition. You will end up out thousands of dollars with limited results and even deformities.

I hope this helps.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Confusion over Body Slimming Techniques

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I think that Traditional Tumescent Liposuction is still the best way to remove unwanted fatty deposits.  The non-surgical methods for reducing fat (Zerona, Thermage, Zeltig, Ultrasound devices, etc) may decrease your size by a couple of centimeters or inches, but they don't work for everyone, and they can't compare to liposuction. If you only have a little to loose, one of these devices may be worth looking into.

 For the laser assisted liposuction techniques, such as Smart Lipo, Cool Lipo, Slim Lipo etc, you are still having liposuction done - and there hasn't been any proven benefit over standard tumescent liposuction, but the cost is more, and there is a risk of burning the skin with the laser. So, I agree that what is most important is the skill and experience of the physician.

Liposuction is a shared technique across the fields of surgical dermatology and plastic surgery. Tumescent liposuction was invented by a dermatologist, Dr Jeffrey Klein, and has become the gold standard in body shaping techniques. The big difference is whether you want to be under general anesthesia or not. When going for a consultation, make sure to discuss the options, and ask about the experience of the doctor and staff, the number of cases the doctor has done, and whether you can speak to previous patients. Also ask for before and after photos. I also think that liposuction should be done in a certified surgery center, rather than a standard clinic room.  I would recommend consulting with at least 2 or 3 surgeons.

Good Luck,

Dr Jennifer Reichel 

Liposuction and Results after Liposuction

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Comparison: Slim Lipo - Zerona - Liposuction - Smart Lipo - Lipo-Ex
Hi, i am so confused with all the technology available. I am 20 years old , i weight 115 pounds, my height is 5'0. i am very active and have a healthy lifestyle. i would like to get rid of the remaining fat around my waste line and inner thighs. what treatment do you recommend?

I think we are all confused with all the different names of machines out there.  It will only get worse.  As a potential patient I would not concern yourself about what machine is being used on you.  Just make sure you see a board certified plastic surgeon and take it from there.  The machine is not what is doing the surgery, the surgeon is, so who you pick as the surgeon is more important than the machine they will be using.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

The operator is more important than the technology

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The marketplace is full of claims, usually taking advantage of the public's fear of surgery, overpromising and underdelivering on results.  LipoDissolve was a notorious example.  Zerona makes no sense at all.  SmartLipo uses a very small cannula, limiting the amount of fat removal.  The laser offers no real benefit in liposuction.  It's a gimmick.

What's most important is the skill and experience of the operator.  I use ultrasonic liposuction, but the technology is not nearly as important as my judgment and experience in knowing how aggressive to be - how far to push the envelope so you are satisfied but do not encounter problems with over-resection, which are difficult to fix.

I advocate a rule of 10 - you should see 10 sets of before-and-after photos of patients treated by your surgeon, that show a result that you would consider satisfactory.  Photos should be standardized.  If your surgeon gives you some reasons he or she cannot show pictures, that is a red flag.  And do not accept photos that were provided by the manufacturer of the particular system.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 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.