This minimally invasive liposuction procedure uses laser energy to break up and dissolve fatty tissue. It can be very effective for getting rid of small, troublesome “bulges” of fat on many areas of the body, including the abdomen, (“love handles”), flanks (“saddlebags”), buttocks, thighs, upper arms, neck, and jowls (“double chins”).
How Does It Work?
The energy from SmartLipo’s laser beam breaks up and dissolves the unwanted fat under the skin. The liquefied fat is then gently squeezed or suctioned out. Some of the liquid also drains away naturally through the body’s lymphatic system over a period of days. With the removal of this fat, the treated area’s contour becomes smaller and tighter.
The SmartLipo procedure may also stimulate the production of new collagen, one of the body’s natural materials that help make skin look tight and toned.
What Is the Procedure Like?
You’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb your skin. Your physician will then make a tiny incision in your skin and insert a thin laser-tipped tube (cannula) through the incision to dissolve the unwanted fat tissue. The procedure is repeated until the entire targeted area has been treated.
You should feel very little discomfort—some stinging, perhaps, and the sensation of something tugging at your skin. The procedure will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours or more, depending on what area of your body is being treated.
What Can I Expect Afterwards?
You’ll experience some swelling and bruising, which typically lasts 2 to 3 days. You may need to take an over-the-counter pain medication to minimize any discomfort. You may also need to wear a compression garment for up to 2 weeks to minimize swelling and encourage healing. Most people can return to their normal activities after 24 to 48 hours.
What Are the Risks?
SmartLipo is much less invasive than traditional liposuction, but it’s still a surgical procedure. So its risks, although uncommon, are similar to standard liposuction: bleeding, infections, hematomas (the formation of blood pools under the skin), and scarring.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Much will depend on how much fat you hope to target and how your body reacts to the treatment. Most people receive optimal results with 1 to 3 treatment sessions.
Who’s A Good Candidate?
To undergo this treatment, you should be healthy and not obese (no more than 30 pounds over your ideal weight). You should also have first tried diet and exercise to remove the unwanted pockets of fat. SmartLipo (and any other liposuction treatment) is not for individuals with diabetes, heart conditions, blood disorders, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic ailments.
How Long Do the Results Last?
The results are permanent, but new fat pockets could form if you fail to maintain a weight similar to what you had when you underwent the procedure.