Vaser Lipo vs. Smart Lipo

Is Vaser Liposuction the same as Smart Lipo? I am 46 year old, and I want my stomach (upper and lower), flanks, and lower back done.

Doctor Answers 11

Vaser vs SmartLipo

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Basically, there is a WORLD of different and some similar effects. Vaser is the weak sister of ultrasonic liposuction, or sound wave high infrequency liposuction based on the watts used. Vaser is low level watts. The high frequency sound wave EXPLODes the fat cell, like an internal bomb. There is bleeding and swelling and edema. There is also pain. The healing is the same as with traditional liposuction (SAL). The incisions are larger because a protector or sleeve or trocar is used to protect the entrance site from the "hot" wand. This "hot" wand is hollow so liposuction occurs at the same time as the sound wave is delivered. Like a two for one action.

Laser lipolysis is a YAG laser delivering heat energy in pulses at variable watt settings. There is less bleeding, less swelling, less edema. So faster healing and very little pain (the nerve and blood vessels are sealed by the laser beam). Incisions are very small, one suture is used. Return to activity is faster and appearance of results faster also. I recommend aspiration liposuction of the melted fats.

I hope this gives you an answer

Combination of Vaser & SmartLipo

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In my practice, I use a combination of Vaser and SmartLipo. I feel that the SmartLipo laser is very good at causing skin tightening below the surface of the skin, and softening the small globular fat in the upper layers of fat. The Vaser is good for breaking up the large globular and fibro-fatty tissue which is usually in the deeper layers and in the flanks.

The two used in combination has given me more consistent results overall. I also believe the garment worn after the procedure, and the suction-massage treatments (ten of them, one per week for ten weeks) are also helpful to the overall result.

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Vaser Lipo Versus Smart Lipo

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Vaser uses time tested Gentle ultrasonic sound waves to selectively break fat cell membrane and liquify the fat. It does not damage Red blood cells, nerves or Fibrous support tissue. I like to tell my patients to visualize fat cells as yellow grapes on a vine. The vine is the fibrous support tissue that contains the small artery and vein. When the vaser "breaks" the fat cell membrane and liquifies the fat, the fibrous tissue opens up, therefore there is minimal trauma to it. This allows much faster healing with less postoperative pain. In fact, 98% of our patient are able to return to work in 3 days.

Smart Lipo also breaks fat cells and melts fat using very hot laser light energy. It is not selective and it does burn nerves and fibrous tissue. I have used it on more that a dozen patients and I have not been as happy as I have with the vaser.

I agree that the skill of the surgeon is the most important factor in getting great results.


Michael Tomcik, MD
San Ramon Dermatologist
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Liposuction: VASER (Liposelection) VS. SmartLipo

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The BASIC form of MODERN liposuction practiced by most competent American Plastic surgeons involve puffing / swelling of the intended fat with a swelling solution (IE TUMESCENT Solution) to increase the target area gaining more accuracy, decrease the amount of blood removed along with the fat and decrease post-surgery pain.

After tumescing the fat, Liposuction may be done
- Immediately - either manually or power assisted (PAL)
- Pre-treat the fat (using internal ultrasound waves melting the fat ONLY ( VASER or UAL) OR cook the fat with a laser (LAL - SmartLipo, ProLipo etc). Once this stage is completed, the fat fluid is vacuum removed with traditional liposuction.

VASER Liposuction SELECTIVELY breaks up fat cells without impacting blood vessels, nerves or other tissues which is why it is called LIPOSELECTION. Laser Assisted Liposuction (IE SmartLipo) involves heating/cooking ALL the tissues under the skin intending to get heat-based skin shrinkage of the skin. A goal which is yet to be proven scientifically in any peer reviewed publications.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Vaser Lipo vs. Smart Lipo

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VASER LipoSelection® and SmartLipo are not the same thing, although they do share some similarities. Both of these liposuction techniques permanently remove fat cells. VASER uses ultrasound energy (sound waves) to break up the fat cells before their removal, while SmartLipo uses lasers for the same thing. At my practice, I exclusively use VASER liposuction. The sound waves target only fat cells, reducing the potential for damage to the surrounding nerves and tissues. This means less bruising and swelling for my patients and a faster recovery, and in my opinion I can get more precise results than with other liposuction methods.

VASER LipoSelection and SmartLipo are not the same

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There are similarities and differences between VASER and SmartLipo:

  • Both liquefy the fat prior to removal, producing less bruising:
    • VASER LipoSelection uses ultrasound (intense sound waves) to liquefy the fat before removal, prior to removal by suction.
      • Many believe the ultrasound is much more selective for liquefying fat
    • SmartLipo uses a LASER (intense light energy)to liquefy the fat prior to removal by suction.
      • The LASER used in SmartLIpo is not particularly selective to fat, as compared with other types of tissue
  • Both generate heat to cause skin tightening
    • Neither one has been proven better at this than the other

The most important element in achieving good results is still the craftsman, not the tool.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Vaser is ultrasound, while SmartLipo is laser, but the most important part isn't either

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While Vaser uses ultrasound and SmartLipo uses laser, neither of these are the most important part of the procedure. The most important part of the procedure is who is using them and the preparation to the procedure.

Tumescent liposuction, when used in conjunction with either of these, will yield a superior result and give a much quicker recovery. While I use SmartLipo, it isn't the thing that contributes the most in my opinion to the overall result. Years of experience in the surgeon you select and taking the time to do the tumescent method (meaning not under general anesthesia) will get you the best results. Good luck!

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

Liposuction options

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Deciding about liposuction used to be fairly simple but with all the hype about new technologies it takes some effort to sort it out. To answer your question specifically, VASER is ultrasound-assist, which is helpful for softening up areas where the fat is more dense such as the back, hips, and upper abdomen. Smart lipo and others with similar clever names use a laser, in part for the same purpose but also with the intent of tightening loose skin. The thing is that there is very little evidence that either of these actually makes a difference in the outcome for most patients.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Smart Lipo is not so smart!

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Thanks for your question! It’s great that you’ve done your research and you are aware of the different possibilities for liposuction. Vaser liposuction uses ultrasonic frequencies to target primarily fat cells which liquefies it. This allows for greater selection of fat cells versus other cells in the body that we don’t want to damage (such as red/white blood cells, nerves, etc…) Smart lipo, on the other hand, basically uses heat and subsequent internal scarification to cause more dramatic skin tightening. This carries the risk of damaging tissues we don’t want to target.

Ultimately, though, both procedures are valid forms of liposuction, and it comes down to the hands holding the cannula. A doctor very experienced in smart lipo technique can produce fantastic results, even though my preferred method is vaser lipo – I always like to prioritize patient safety and eliminate risk wherever possible. Similarly, someone inexperienced in Vaser lipo could produce inferior results if they don’t perform the technique properly. 

Vaser liposuction vs Smart liposuction

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Both Vaser lipo and Smart lipo add a power source to traditional liposuction.  In the case of Vaser lipo it is ultrasound energy and in the case of Smart lipo it is laser energy.  Both Vaser and Smart lipo can assist a surgeon in removing fat in areas where the connective tissue is more dense and can be especially useful in areas such as a man's chest, the back and the flanks. They can also both aid in improving skin tone to a moderate degree.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 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.