What is Smartlipo?
Today it is one of the most successful liposuction procedures available to people who want a sculpted physique using cutting edge technology. Smartlipo takes liposuction to the next level by providing surgeons with laser-assisted tools and advanced techniques that melt away fat before suctioning it out of the body. Other liposuction techniques suction chunks of fat out of the body, using friction or force to dislodge it for removal. This technology uses a sophisticated laser to keep physical trauma to a minimum. By liquefying the fat using laser technology, the process of removing it from the body becomes a much gentler process and others tissues like blood vessels and nerves are spared the trauma involved in other more traditional liposuction procedures.
Smartlipo shares certain similarities with other liposuction procedures. For example, Smartlipo surgeons still use a cannula and an aspirator to remove unwanted fat from target areas of the body. Tumescent anesthesia is injected into fatty tissues to cause them to swell and moisten the environment where lasers will be doing their work. But because lasers are used to melt the fat first before suctioning it out of the body, smaller cannulas (hollow tubes through which fat is “vacuumed” from the body) can be used. That means that smaller incisions are required, minimizing the invasiveness of the procedure, thus lessening recovery time for patients.
Smartlipo is aptly named with a large body of solid scientific research standing behind it. Though doctors may make grandiose claims about the effectiveness of this laser technology over more traditional methods, Cynosure, the manufacturer of Smartlipo laser-assisted lipolysis systems, stays focused on the science that has established its value among cosmetic surgeons. Quite simply, Smartlipo offers better and more efficient liposuction methods that produce more precise results, with less downtime.
Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. There is a growing trend toward less invasive cosmetic surgery options because people like to keep up the pace of their busy lives. As such, the popularity of Smartlipo continues to grow steadily. According to American Health and Beauty, Smartlipo is the most popular requested cosmetic procedure in 2008 and 2009. Patients enjoy all of the benefits of traditional liposuction, with enhanced precision, fewer risks and side effects, and less recovery time.
For many patients who are wondering, “What is Smartlipo?” the answer may be somewhat confusing because of the new generations that have recently become available. Essentially, despite their differences, all of the various Smartlipo technologies use lasers in conjunction with a cannula and aspirator to suction melted fat out of the body. Second and third generation (MPX and Triplex) technologies incorporate additional laser wavelengths into their repertoire in order to achieve additional desirable effects like enhancing the elasticity of collagen in the skin over the target areas of the body.Smartlipo (1st generation-single wavelength)
First generation Smartlipo laser assisted liposuction involves a single wavelength of energy that is directed at fatty tissues to liquefy them for removal. It is still a viable liposuction method to get precise results with less recovery time. A small cannula and an aspirator is used to remove the melted fat from the body through tiny incisions in the skin. Lasers cause blood vessels to coagulate and make removal of fat around nerve tissues less traumatic. Patients can expect less pain, swelling, and bruising in the body as a result. The laser also acts as a guide for the cosmetic surgeon during the procedure.Smartlipo MPX (2nd generation-dual wavelength)
The second generation technology, makes use of two different wavelengths of lasers to achieve even better results. The secondary laser wavelength allows surgeons to accomplish additional cosmetic goals like toning and tightening collagen in the skin overlying target areas of the body. Skin toning and tightening is not possible with first generation lasers. As with other Smartlipo technologies, Smartlipo MPX shortens recovery time by sparing trauma to blood vessels and nerves in the area(s) of the body to be treated.Smartlipo Triplex (3rd generation-triple wavelength)
This last generation Lipo offers patients and surgeons the added benefit of being able to sculpt areas of the body with high definition for better results. A third wavelength of laser energy is added to the Smartlipo Triplex mix to provide expanded clinical capabilities such as greater fat absorption, skin tightening and toning, and high definition sculpting.
How does Smartlipo work?
Before fat can be removed from the body, tissues are first injected with tumescent anesthesia that not only numbs the area to be treated, but also causes the fat cells to swell creating a wet environment where the laser will be able to do its work. Smartlipo is performed using a laser that is transmitted via fiber optics through tiny incisions into targeted fatty tissues under the skin. Smartlipo MPX and Smartlipo Triplex laser wavelengths both cause sufficient heating of the skin overlying the target areas to cause collagen to shrink and tighten during the procedure. At the same time, the laser is moved back and forth under the skin while generating heat that liquefies fat in preparation for the final step in the procedure. Finally, a very tiny cannula of approximately 1-2 mm in diameter is inserted through the incisions in the skin to suction out the fat that was melted by the laser.
Although some cosmetic surgeons recommend using general anesthesia for treating large areas of the body or many different areas of the body, local anesthesia is what most patients opt for during Smartlipo treatments. Local anesthesia is exceptionally safe. Research has demonstrated that the calculated risk of complications or death resulting from liposuction involving local anesthesia is approximately 1%.
However, all surgeries carry risks and Smartlipo is no exception. Risks and side effects that are possible include:
- Blood clots
- Excess fluid or blood accumulation under the skin (hematoma)
- Burns of the skin and underlying tissues
- Perforation (rare)
- Superficial nerve damage
It’s important to choose the right surgeon to increase the odds that you’ll be satisfied with the final results. Browse through our surgeon directory to find a Smartlipo doctor in your area.