Smart or Cool? Uncovering the Differences in Laser Assisted Lipo

Here we will discuss the differences and similarities between the two major players in laser assisted lipo: Smartlipo and CoolLipo.

Leftovers are great if you’re talking food, but when it comes to body fat… you won’t find many takers. Excess fat and skin tends to show up in the least desirable places as a result of a variety of life changes, whether it’s from significant weight loss, pregnancy or the natural sag that comes with age, many women and men struggle with “leftovers” where the fat just won’t seem to go away.

When it comes to fat reduction and removal, laser assisted liposuction is a choice that more and more people are turning to, to remove those stubborn pockets of leftovers. Here we will discuss the differences and similarities between the two major players, Smartlipo and CoolLipo. Smartlipo is a minimally invasive surgical body sculpting procedure that uses laser technology and suction.

It is a smart choice for those who are looking not only to reduce body fat in a particular area, but who also wish to tighten the skin. The heat from the laser actually triggers the body’s natural healing response to produce new collagen and elastin, which firms and tightens the skin. There is virtually no down-time to recover from this procedure and the results are amazing.

During the Smartlipo procedure, tiny incisions (puncture wounds really) are made in the skin, through which a very thin tube, called a cannula, with a laser fiber running through it is inserted under the skin. The laser cannula is gently moved around the area while the laser is pulsing, which heats and liquefies the fat like butter.

After the fat is completely liquefied, a suction cannula is inserted to remove the fatty liquid from the area. Once all of the fat is removed from the area sutures may be used to close the incision sites.

Some surgeons prefer to leave them open to allow for drainage. They may also place a Jackson-Pratt drain line in the area. This little device collects fluid under suction, it helps to keep the patient clean and also promotes healing and recovery. The drain is typically removed the next day or when the drainage slows. Drains are most commonly used in the abdominal area. Post procedure you can expect to be very sore for several days. Sore like you have done one heck of a workout. Most patients can still perform their normal tasks.

Because Smartlipo is typically performed under local anesthesia (meaning you are awake) and it uses very small instrument it’s a great choice for anyone who can’t afford much down-time in their busy lives. It can also be used on any area of the body even delicate areas like the chin, arms, thighs and buttocks.

There are also other procedures on the market that taut “liposuction” results without the incisions. Anything that boasts surgical results without the surgery should be looked at with some skepticism. Always look at clinical data and patient feedback when looking at any procedure.

CoolSculping is one such procedure. It uses an external cooling device that deaden the fat cells underneath the skin by freezing them. This freezing crystallizes the fat cells and they die and they are naturally eliminated by your body. The claim is that while freezing the fat cells your skin cells remain unaffected. There are no incisions, no suction, no needles and no scars, since all of the work is done externally.

After a treatment with CoolSculting over the course of several weeks the dead, frozen fat cells shrink and are metabolized and eliminated by the body. A series of treatments is necessary for full results and it will take several months before full results are seen. Post procedure you will have redness and swelling in the area the CoolSculpting applicator was placed, some patients did report bruising.

The skin is very cold and there have been reports of nerve pain, cramping and tingling in the skin. Others reported feeling nauseous, coupled with GI irritation (frequent trips to the bathroom).

It does seem reasonable that this process could irritate your bowels and make you feel a little green around the gills since your body is processing and getting rid of the fat on it’s own, it’s kind of similar to processing toxic waste, after all it is fat. The reviews are mixed; many reporting not seeing any change.

My Conclusion:

The surgical option, Smartlipo, based on clinical data and patient reviews, it offers dramatic, visible results with minimal downtime. The non-surgical option CoolSculpt while there are no incisions does have post procedure discomfort, it requires multiple treatments and you still have to wait to see results, and there have been some reports those results were never seen.

I know we all have busy lives and we’re all looking for that next miracle procedure that will shrink our bodies without diet, exercise or without taking time out of our lives…but the truth is surgical liposuction procedures have been around for a long time and for good reason…they work.

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