Does Traditional Lipo Work Better on Areas with More Fat Compared to Smart Lipo?

i have more fat on the lower abdomen (about 1.5 inches thick) and my upper abdomen has very little fat which cannot be grabbed with hand. Is traditional lipo a better option if i want to get rid of all the lower abdominal fat (down to almost zero) and can it be performed on my upper abdomen where the fat blanket if really thin? I saw 2 different surgeons so far and got a different opinion from both of them. Will smart lipo remove fat as aggressively as traditional lipo?

Doctor Answers 10

Does Traditional Lipo Work Better on Areas with More Fat Compared to Smart Lipo?

   It is always the surgeon and not the method.  If you want an aggressive liposuction, you will have to find a plastic surgeon willing to perform that for you (assuming you are a good candidate and do not have skin laxity).  You need to be specific during the consultations by asking how much will be liposuctioned.  Plastic surgeons who perform a lot of liposuction will be able to estimate this amount.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs HUNDREDS of liposuction procedures each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Liposuction results depend on the surgeon more than the device

There are many opinions and options regarding the best technique for liposuction, and it's important to consider the source.  Physicians who have invested time and money in a trademarked device are going to be far more likely to tell you that's the best way to go.  Many studies have been done to determine if the different devices offer advantages over traditional liposuction, but the only definite factor that will truly make a difference is the person doing the procedure.  Make sure you are seeing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has the experience to help you decide what your best options are, and always beware of promises that seem too good to be true or doctors who seem too eager to get you into the operating room.  A competent and caring doctor will tell you about the limitations of each technique and offer alternatives and options and, most of all, put your safety and well-being first.  Hope this helps, and best of luck to you.

Russell Babbitt, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Smart lipo vs. traditional lipo

There are many different types of liposuction available -- smart lipo, vaser lipo, power-assisted lipo, the list is endless.  The most important consideration when deciding on what is right for you is the person who is operating the machine.  In other words, the results of your liposuction are dependent on the surgeon, not the machine.  A good surgeon will choose the type of liposuction that helps him or her achieve the best results.  Most of these "brand name" liposuction techniques are marketing -- it isn't the machine that is performing your surgery.  I would suggest that you make sure that you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon, discuss your goals and expectations, and then choose the surgeon that you are most comfortable with.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Type of Liposuction

When people talk about the different "types" of liposuction such as- SmartLipo, SlimLipo, Vaser, PAL, or BodyJet- they are referring to techniques that assist in breaking-up or separating the fat cells prior to removal.

The surgeon will begin by placing tumescent solution (salt water with medications to decrease pain and bleeding) into the areas for fat removal and then use hollow instruments (cannulas) to evacuate the fat. In between those two steps the surgeon may choose to use one of the above technologies to help them remove the fat more evenly and smoothly. Vaser uses ultrasound energy, Smart and SlimLipo use laser energy.

No one technology is better than the others, it is a matter of which works best for your surgeon in your particular case. An experienced board-certified Plastic Surgeon should be able to obtain very good results regardless of the technology used. Don't get too hung up on the marketing and choose your surgeon, not the device.

Good luck.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

SmartLipo or Traditional Lipo?

Depend on your surgeon to achieve your final results, not the type of liposuction.  An experienced liposuction surgeon will get you the same great results regardless of which type is performed.  I do all types of liposuction including SmartLipo and can remove equal amounts of fat either way.  Best wishes!

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

If you can pinch it, I can take it.

Traditional Lipo is old school. The best way too go is laser assisted power assisted Lipo with an experienced plastic surgeon. Laser helps melt the fat and heat the overlying skin. Powered assisted Lipo is an excellent way to remove all your unwanted fat. We use the most advanced instruments which allow Lipo to be performed under an awake comfortable setting. You can actually watch your fat come out as it happens. Come by for a complimentary consult. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Smart lipo vs. regular liposuction

You have to understand that the aggressiveness is dependent on your surgeon not the machine he or she uses. A more aggressive surgeon will remove more fat with "traditional" lipo than a less aggressive surgeon with smartlipo laser liposuction.

Be careful what you ask for because you may get it if you shop around enough and end up with something you do not like that is not fixable. I have seen a number of patients who did not like the convex shape of their abdomen below the belly button and had the aggressive liposuction they were asking for. The problem was that loose muscle contributed to the bulge. The aggressive liposuction could not do anything for that condition and only left them with irreparable indents.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Traditional vs Smartlipo for Abdominal Liposuction

The generic term for Smartlipo is laser-assisted liposuction. Once you know that you can see that it incorporates everything that traditional liposuction does and adds the element of a laser probe to help with the fat breakdwon. When skillfully done, both liposuction methods can produce good results regardless of the thickness of the abdominal fat layer. The problem with Smartlipo in many cases is that it is often used in an office setting under local anesthesia with the belief that it can produce comparative results to liposuction performed in an operating room under general anesthesia...and this can be a mistaken assumption.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Lipo techniques and expectations

Liposuction is surgery, and it is the surgeon not the technology that is most important for good results. Melting fat with a lser does not produce different results, but does add risk of scarring and burns. It is also important to leave at least a thin layer of fat under the skin to minimize the risk of irregularities.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Smart vs traditional liposuction

Thank you for your question about liposuction techniques.

  • Liposuction can one-step - traditional lipo, microaire lipo
  • Or two steps - laser lipo (e.g. smart lipo), ultrasonic lipo (e.g. vaser).
  • The best and fastest is microaire liposuction, also called PAL or power assisted liposuction;  a vibrating cannula breaks up and removes fat in one fast step, 
  • laser and vaser liposuction machines are advertised more, take longer and results are no better in my experience. Hope this helps.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 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.