Sometimes called the “lunchtime liposuction” or "laser lipo", SmartLipo is a minimally-invasive laser procedure that helps remove unwanted fat with less down time and fewer side effects than traditional liposuction surgery. Smart Lipo is delivering better results with little or no downtime. “When people walk out of here, you can’t tell they’ve had lipo,” says Bruce Katz, MD, a professor of dermatology at New York’s Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, who was involved in the first U.S. laser liposuction trials.
With more and more people gaining weight, a minimally-invasive procedure like SmartLipo offers them an option they did not have before. Following the treatment, patients are also seeing a tightening of the skin and overall rejuvenation.
Alternative to Traditional Liposuction
Many people are not candidates for traditional liposuction, either due to the area of the body to be treated or because they cannot tolerate the amount of downtime a fully-invasive surgery like liposuction comes with. Areas of high vascularity (risk of bleeding) such as the neck cannot be treated with traditional liposuction.
“I never considered liposuction because the skin has the potential to look worse afterwards. After SmartLipo my dream of having a firm belly and flat hips has come true.” said patient Alice from San Diego.
SmartLipo is a perfect alternative for areas like the “turkey gobble”, the back of the arms or legs, and upper abdomen. In many cases with Smart Lipo, no stitches are required to close the incision.
Physician & Patient Experience with SmartLipo
Physicians and patients alike have had positive comments on the SmartLipo procedure."Our patients are very pleased with this new technology,” says Dr. Barry DiBernado of New Jersey Plastic Surgery. “Due to the minimal amount of downtime, patients that have undergone the procedure have returned and asked for other areas to be treated."
Liz, a patient of Dr. Katz in New York said “I just wasn’t happy with how I looked after I had my children; I gained 47 pounds and while I lost the weight, I couldn’t get rid of my belly because you lose so much elasticity in the skin. SmartLipo gave me back a flat stomach and the skin became dramatically tighter. I am very, very happy.”
What Areas Does It Treat?
The Triplex system, as with all SmartLipo systems allows treatment of tough-to-treat areas such as under the chin which traditional liposuction never could safely treat. Liposuction is limited in what it can get at as a result of its highly invasive nature. But SmartLipo is much less invasive and as a result can reach those ‘hard-to-treat’ parts of the body. “SmartLipo is more versatile than traditional liposuction because we’re able to thread a tiny laser under the skin, targeting localized fat deposits. This level of precision allows us to target areas of high vascularity, such as the neck and inner arms that were previously untreatable with liposuction. Also, the laser stimulates collagen production so the skin isn’t left looking like a deflated balloon.” said Dr. Katz.
Due to its flexibility, patients often ask specifically for Smartlipo rather than undergo liposuction. “Patients come into my practice asking for Smartlipo,” said Dr. DiBernado.
Smartlipo even has an international following. According to Dr. Ayham Ayoubi of London’s Hurlingham Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, “patients are going to clinics offering SmartLipo because it will give good results and is less invasive.”
Smoothing Out the Skin
SmartLipo Triplex's laser provides greater and more effective lipolysis (fat reduction), and the added benefit of greater skin tightening. Skin comes out looking smoother and more youthful as a result. “SmartLipo offers improved results. Our studies are also very impressive in terms of cellulite improvement,” comments Dr. Alberto Goldman, a Brazilian plastic surgeon.
How Smart Lipo Works
The Smart Lipo laser, which is a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser, is threaded through a small cannula and applied subcutaneously (beneath the skin) to the target area. Fat is then melted away and can either be absorbed by the body or removed via a suction device.
The great advantage to this laser treatment beneath the skin is that while it is melting the fat away, it also produces heat which promotes tissue coagulation and collagen retraction. Skin is tighter and smoother as a result. This is a great advance over traditional liposuction, which can leave the skin looser following treatment.
The laser uses precise measurements to target and liquefy fat deposits, which are then suctioned away via a small incision. Because the laser also closes off blood vessels, SmartLipo Triplex produces less swelling and bruising than traditional liposuction.
The procedure received the approval of the Food and Drug Administration in 2006.
The Smart Lipo Treatment Objective
SmartLipo can reduce unwanted fat deposits in all body areas treated by traditional liposuction. But because its laser zooms in on fat with great precision, SmartLipo can also be used where traditional liposuction is not: on the face (but not around the eyes), neck, back and knees. The laser also causes the coagulation of any blood vessels in the treatment area which produces much less loss of blood, reduced swelling and bruising following treatment.
This treatment can also help further tone and tighten areas previously treated with traditional liposuction.
SmartLipo Triplex is an outpatient procedure—in other words, it can be safely performed in a specially equipped physician’s office rather than in a hospital. You will be given a local anesthesia and thus awake throughout the entire treatment. After calibrating and marking the precise area to be treated, your physician will insert a very thin tube into your skin. The tube contains a laser fiber that delivers heat energy to the fat cells, causing the fat to dissolve.
The recovery period isn’t long. Most people need only a day or two at home to recuperate. Your bandages will be removed within 2 weeks. Results are permanent—unless you gain weight and add new fat cells.