Smart Lipo Vs Ultrasound Lipo?

Which between Smart Lipo and Ultrasound Lipo produces better results? Do both firm and tighten once the fat is taken out? Are both done with local anesthesia? What is the recovery time like for each procedure?

Doctor Answers 6

Smartlipo versus Ultrasound versus Traditional lipo

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There is great confusion among the public and surgeons, for that matter, about the differences in the liposuction techniques. All three techniques involve removing fat through a liposuction device. Smartlipo and Smartlipo MPX uses a pretreatment with a laser to perform lipolysis (breaking up of the fat). This is then followed by traditional liposuction to remove the fat. The name is really as misnomer since the Smartlipo is just the lipolysis portion and not really the liposuction portion. Ultrasound liposuction uses a pretreatment with ultrasound technology to break up the fat. This is then followed by traditional liposuction to remove the fat. Again, it is a misnomer, since the ultrasound is not doing liposuction, it is doing lipolysis. Traditional liposuction skips the pre-treatment steps in Smartlipo and Ultrasound, and just starts taking out fat through mechanical force. This is either by the brute force of the surgeon or with Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) which vibrates the liposuction cannula to break up the fat while it is sucking it out. The attraction of Smartlipo is that is can be performed with smaller incisions than traditional liposuction since the fat is broken up by the laser. It is generally also performed under local anesthesia and has a quicker recovery with less bruising. So, as soon as the procedure is over, you are basically ready to go. The advantage of ultrasound lipo is a great ability to break up tissue. This is good for areas like the gynecomastia in the breast with thick and fibrous tissue. The advantage to traditional and PAL liposuction is that great volumes of fat can be taken out since you are asleep and cannot feel anything. This is also usually performed in a hospital where you have monitoring which is necessary when large volumes of fat are removed.

All of the techniques are also dependent on the skills of the surgeon. Not all barbers are the same, not all chefs are the same, not all tailors are the same. Likewise, not all surgeons are the same.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your procedure.

Smart lipo vs Ultrasound vs External Ultrasound assisted tumescent lipo

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Ultrasonic liposuction uses high frequency sound waves at the tip of the suction canula to melt fat by heating it. Smart Liposuction uses laser light energy placed through a fiberoptic wand located beneath the skin to melt the fat and the melted fat is then suctioned out in both procedures.  A third variety which I favor is “External Ultrasound assisted tumescent liposuction (EUATL for short).  EUATL uses high frequency focused sound waves applied to the surface of the skin to “vibrate” or “free up” the underlying fat cells- without melting them- so that they can more  easily be removed by a suction tube(canula).  EUATL also shrink wraps or tightens the skin in the areas treated.

Steven Yarinsky, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Smart Lipo is better but Slim Lipo is best

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I have been performing liposuction since 1983 and have performed more than 3000 traditional liposuction procedures. Techniques have improved greatly especially with the "superwet" and "tumescent" anesthetic techniques and the use of smaller diameter cannulas.The main problem with traditional liposuction is that it is quite traumatic, results in significant swelling and bruising and in many cases leave the skin hanging. It is true that results are technique dependent, but even a good technician does better with better tools.

Ultrasonic assisted liposuction was developed to improve results and make the procedure easier for the patient and the surgeon by disrupting the fatty tissue with ultrasonic energy. The only problem was that the ultrasonic probe became very hot and could damage the tissue. I used this technique for a few years and abandoned it because it was not very effective.

Laser assisted liposuction came along about three years ago and the first major advance was the SmartLipo system that uses a 1064/1320 nanometer wavelength platform. SmartLipo has been effective in assisting the disruption of fat cells and tightens the skin as well. One issue that I had with the technology was that the laser is non-specific, the wand is stainless steel and not flexible and the amount of energy required to do the technique requires a great deal of heat and can result in tissue burns. Smart Lipo is better than Ultrasonic lipo.

Slim Lipo was developed by Palomar Medical in 2008 after six years of research. It is based upon a 924/975 nm. platform that is absorbed specifically by the fat cell. The wand is flexible and the amount of energy required to "melt" fat is much less that the SmartLipo machine.Slim Lipo also does a better job in skin tightening because it shortens collagen fibers in a vertical direction.My results with this new technology have been outstanding. My patients have had little bruising, much less swelling and practically no post-op pain.There is no question in my mind that this is an advance over previous methods. Slim Lipo wins hands down.

Joel B. Singer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

You might also like...

Depends on the surgeon, not the device

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The result you get from these procedures depends on the surgeon's skill and your body's characteristics - in other words,  whether or not you are an appropriate candidate in the first place for these procedures, much less than the device used.

Different types of liposuction.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


In Manhattan, we don't use Smartlipo at all (no scientific evidence) and ultrasound assisted liposuction very seldom. These are mostly marketing concepts.

You can get great results with tumescent liposuction, but it is like sculpture. How it is done is crucial. Ask to see lots of before and after pictures!

Recovery is quick with well performed liposuction, and most women are back at work in 3 or 4 days.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

SmartLipo, ultrasonic lipo, etc

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The laser assisted devices for liposculpture (SmartLipo, ProLipo, Cool Lipo, etc), ultrasonic liposuction, tumescent, etc, are just tools. In the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon with body contouring experience you should be able to get the same results in most cases. It is up to the surgeon to decide what will achieve your goals and expectations and to pick the tool that works best for him/her. Laser assisted liposculpture and ultrasonic do have some skin tightening benefits. The ultrasonic may be more uncomfortable, but is better for larger volume liposuction.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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.