Are Smart Lipo Results the Same with Traditional Lipo?

I'm 23 yrs old 5'2" and weigh about 115 lbs. I exercise regularly and eat pretty healthy, but I hate my thighs and hips/lower back.

I have a short torso making it very hard to keep my mid section thin. I'm hoping Smart Lipo a better choice than traditional Liposuction because of the quicker healing process and the idea of general anesthesia really scares me.

Doctor Answers 7

SmartLipo vs Traditional

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Having performed all forms of liposuction/liposculpture (traditional lipo, tumescent, ultrasonic, laser assisted - including SmartLipo, Slim Lipo, Pro Lipo, etc), I can tell you that there is a roll for any of these. Larger volume liposuction is best treated with a combination of traditional lipo/tumescent and or ultrasonic. Laser assisted liposuction/liposculpture is meant for smaller areas of resistant "bulges" of the love handles, abdomen, hips, back, thighs, knees, ankles, etc. One limitation of SmartLipo (and any form of laser assisted lipo) is the amount of anesthetic that can be used at any one time so that the number of areas that can be treated at one time are limited (for instance the saddle bags and inner thighs can be done at one time, a full abdomen at one, arms and neck and one other area can be done, etc). Although this does involve returning for another treatment session, the procedure is performed under tumescent anesthesia with mild sedation. It is more "gentle" because of the technique and the laser qualities. Therefore there is less trauma - less bleeding, less swelling, less bruising and a quicker recovery with less discomfort and the need to wear compressive garments for a shorter period of time. Skin tightening is also noted, especially in the neck region. Those who do not perform laser assisted liposuction/liposculpture negate all of this but again, in my experience there is a definite role for laser assisted liposuction and it is up to the surgeon to determine which method is best based on the patient's goals and expectations, anatomy, and the physicians' appraisal of what can actually be accomplished. Be an informed patient! Go to a board certified plastic surgeon who performs all aspects of body contouring - surgical, liposuction (all forms), and non-surgical. He/she will pick the best method for you. The laser companies will sell a laser to any physician, regardless of their training, expertise, qualifications and board certification. So do your homework and don't be afraid to ask questions and get a second opinion if still uncertain.

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Local anesthesia smartlipo

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The results are similar however if your primary concern is general anesthesia, please note that only a minimal amount of fat can be removed if you're under local.

Liposuction Technique Success Rates?

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Thank you for the question.

Most well trained experienced board-certified plastic surgeons will agree that it is not the tool that makes a difference but the “fool behind the tool”. On the other hand, surgeons looking for a “gimmick” will make claims that there “miracle technology” has better success rates.

Choose your surgeon, not a specific technology, carefully.

Best wishes.

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SmartLipo is better than 'traditional', but it's the tumescent part that counts.

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Many folks out there perform SmartLipo, but the true key to getting the good results and having a quick recovery time is the Tumescent part of it. Tumescent is the reason that you might have a very quick recovery time, minimal pain and little or no bruising.

Don't be confused with folks who say they are doing tumescent, but put you under general anesthesia. Your instincts here are quite correct and you will be happy if you are going to do the one NOT under general as it increases your risks and typically results in less optimal results as you don't look the same (and the fat is in different areas) when you are under general.

SmartLipo, by the way, is being done by many folks who aren't qualified or recently started to do this procedure. If you do go to a surgeon, make sure they are either a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial/ENT as these specialties are more likely to do this right.

If you want true tumescent liposuction, usually it is the dermatologists that do that as it originated in the dermatology field. Good luck!

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Smart lipo versus other liposuction techniques

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Smart lipo is just one modality to perform liposuction. I do not think it is any better than any other technique. As I tell all my patients, it is not the type of wand that you wave but the magician waving it that creates the magic!

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Smart lipo is not necessarily smart.

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With this many areas, there are no reassurances and very little documented peer reviewed data that you will experience less pain or any quicker healing or recovery with Smart Lipo. This is a marketing device that sounds great but does not necessarily deliver any better of a result for the areas mentioned. Beware of promises.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews


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In my experience, SmartLipo is best used for smaller, more defined areas. There is no "magic bullet" when it comes to body contouring despite what the companies may say. SmartLipo for large areas just takes too much time and usually requires some sort of IV sedation or general anesthesia. My advice to you is to find a surgeon you feel comfortable with and go with whatever form of liposuction he/she recommends. Also ask to see before and after pictures. Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 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.