SmartLipo vs liposuction: what's the difference?

Posted by Monarch Plastic Surgery

May 12, 2015 9:00:00 AM

smartlipo vs liposuctionIf you’ve been working hard at trying to lose and tighten excess fat to improve the appearance of your silhouette, it can be disappointing when exercise and good nutrition fail to help you slim down. In these instances, liposuction treatment may be the next best step you can take to finally rid your body of excess fat and achieve a slimmer contour. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can now choose between having traditional liposuction or SmartLipo treatment. But how do you know which procedure is ideal for you?

What are liposuction and SmartLipo?

Liposuction is a cosmetic body-contouring procedure ideal for removing unwanted excess fat from specific regions of your body, such as your hips, abdomen, thighs, and neck. Ideal candidates for liposuction are those who want to remove excess fat but are unable to do so naturally through diet and exercise.

SmartLipo, on the other hand, is laser assisted liposuction. It’s a cosmetic procedure much like traditional liposuction in that it can help remove unwanted fat while enhancing the skin tightening effects of traditional liposuction. The laser will also rupture some of the fat cells allowing for easier removal, and seal come of the smaller vessels to decrease the risk of bruising. While traditional liposuction is effective at removing larger amounts of fat, Smartlipo is more effective at treating smaller areas of localized fat. As a result, SmartLipo often results in less downtime compared to traditional liposuction.

Main differences between SmartLipo and liposuction

  • SmartLipo uses local anesthesia, meaning you’re awake for the duration of the procedure, whereas liposuction involves general anesthesia that puts you to sleep.
  • SmartLipo generally involves smaller incisions, whereas liposuction normally involves larger incisions. If you’re interested in having liposuction, but want to minimize scarring as much as possible, mention your concerns to your cosmetic surgeon at the time of your initial consultation.
  • SmartLipo uses laser technology to firm and tighten your skin and usually results in less swelling and less risk of bruising.
  • SmartLipo results in only one or two days of downtime, whereas liposuction may result in multiple days of downtime.
  • SmartLipo results in minimal bruising, whereas bruising and swelling may be more intense after liposuction.
  • SmartLipo requires you to wear a compression garment for up to three weeks, whereas liposuction requires you to wear a compression garment for at least six weeks following treatment.

Procedure: SmartLipo vs liposuction

SmartLipo is generally performed under local anesthesia, which means your surgeon will numb the treatment area while you remain awake during the procedure. After the treated area is fully numb, your cosmetic surgeon makes a series of tiny incisions into your skin. The SmartLipo cannula tool is inserted just underneath your skin, and emits laser energy that melts excess fat while tightening your skin at the same time. Your surgeon then suctions out the excess fatty fluid, and closes your incisions with sutures. Immediately following SmartLipo, your surgeon will help you into a compression garment that will aid in the healthy recovery and healing of your incisions.

Traditional liposuction uses general anesthesia via IV so you can be asleep for the duration of surgery. After anesthesia is administered, your plastic surgeon makes a series of incisions across the areas being treated. In many cases, incisions for liposuction are larger than those made for SmartLipo to accommodate a larger cannula tool. Using the cannula, your surgeon  removes excess fat that lies between your skin and muscle. Excess fat is removed from your body using a suction tool, and the incisions are closed with sutures. Just as with SmartLipo, your surgeon will help you into a compression garment to wear throughout healing and recovery.

Downtime: SmartLipo vs liposuction

SmartLipo patients are often able to return to their normal, everyday activities within a day or two following treatment. Soreness can last for up to several days, but often does not interfere with daily activities. Many patients report being able to resume exercising about 7 to 10 days after surgery, and experience very little bruising and swelling following treatment.

Are you interested in having one or more cosmetic treatments to improve your confidence and physical appearance? Request a consultation with Monarch Plastic Surgery, or call us today at (913) 663-3838 for our Leawood and Lansing offices, or at (816) 436-3262 for our North Kansas City location to learn more about your options for cosmetic surgery.

Topics: Body Contouring, liposuction, smartlipo

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