What is Smart Lipo?
Smartlipo, is a medical device used for laser lipolysis (fat melting) or laser-assisted liposuction. It is a minimally invasive procedure. Through tiny openings in the skin a cannula, housing a laser fiber, is inserted and used to melt and liquefy the unwanted fat. Once melted, aspiration or suction is applied to remove the damaged fat cells from the area.
The thermal heat delivered by the laser is also absorbed by the surrounding skin tissue causing skin tightening. Smartlipo provides results with significantly less downtime as compared to traditional liposuction. Smartlipo can be used to remove fat from areas of the body where patients have not been able to reduce with diet and exercise.
6-8 weeks before the procedure, prospective patients should eat healthy and prepare for new lifestyle changes, discuss any medications they are taking with their provider, stay hydrated, and try to stop smoking at least 6 weeks out from the procedure.
In some cases preoperative blood-work may be requested. The patient can either return to the WIFH office to have those labs drawn, or they can visit a laboratory closest to them. There is no additional cost for these labs.
One week before the procedure, discontinue taking fish oils, daily supplements, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, mega doses of Vitamin E, Aleve, or herbal medications. Always check with their surgeon about any medications that they are taking.
How Does Smart Lipo Work?
Preparing for Smart Lipo
Leading up to the procedure it is recommended that patients discontinue the use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen for 2-3 days prior. These medications can suppress the inflammatory response needed to disrupt the adipose (fat) cells.
Patients will also need to limit sun exposure for 7 days prior to the procedure, as patients with an active sunburn will not be able to receive treatment.
Upon arriving at the appointment, preparation is minimal at WIFH. Prior to undergoing treatment, photographs will be taken as a baseline to monitor the patient’s progress post-treatment.
Patients are awake and aware during the procedure, but are comfortable and do not experience any pain. A lidocaine solution is used to completely numb the treatment area. Once the area is fully numb, very tiny incisions are placed in the skin, these incisions. Patients remain comfortable throughout the procedure and will only feel pressure and movement. Many WIFH patients talk on their phones or listen to music while getting Smartlipo.
Depending on the area or areas of the body being treated the actual procedure could last 30 minutes to 2 hours or more. Example: a chin will take approximately 30 minutes and an abdomen will take 1.5-2 hours.
What to Expect During Smart Lipo Procedure
Smart Lipo Recovery Time
Recovery time will vary from patient-to-patient. Activities such as exercise can resume as soon as the patient feels up to it, but patients should always listen to their bodies. High impact exercise, like running, may not feel comfortable for a couple of weeks.
Patients will begin to see results as soon as the swelling goes away (which is around that 1 month mark), however final results are expected around 6 months post procedure.
WIFH believes it is critical for anyone considering a surgical procedure to personally meet with the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. For this reason, our patients have a personal consultation with Dr. Cox to discuss their goals.
Dr. Cox will assess the area(s) and will make recommendations for treatment. He will also take a comprehensive medical history so that we are aware of any health issues the patient may have. If Smartlipo is not right for the patient, he will tell them! WIFH’s goal for every patient is for them to be happy with their results, so we want to be sure this procedure aligns with their expectations.
Smart Lipo Consultations
Frequently Asked Questions
Smart lipo laser liposuction is a less-invasive solution for patients looking to get rid of stubborn fat that isn’t responding to diet and exercise. It’s ideal for most areas of the body: Abdomen, flanks, bra fat, thighs, chin, arms and male chests. Ideal patients are in good health and not typically more than 25 pounds over their ideal body weight. As with everything, there are always exceptions.
Regardless of ethnicity, Smart lipo does not impact skin color or increase the possibility of complications. WIFH patients represent 52 different countries from around the world, all with unique skin types and we have treated them all safely with exceptional results.
Our medical staff has performed over 10,000 procedures, and we have no doubt that laser assisted liposuction is better than traditional liposuction for most people. Patients experience less bruising because Smartlipo is a gentler technique causing less tissue trauma to the skin resulting in bruising. Patients also experience just a few days of downtime rather than weeks or months.
Even if you take the prescribed pain pill or sleeping pill, you will be awake, but relaxed. Many of our patients choose not to take any medication before the procedure and they do great. You will not feel pain. The most you will feel will be slight pressure. Tumescent liposuction has proven to be the safest method of liposuction, because the risks associated with general anesthesia are eliminated. We use lidocaine to thoroughly numb the area and add epinephrine to greatly reduce bleeding in the area. This will allow you to have less bruising, swelling, and a shorter recovery time. You will not feel us make the incisions as we use lidocaine to numb the area. Many people express their anxiety about being awake but as a rule of thumb, everyone says the procedure was “much easier” than they expected. We have had several patients offer to speak to people considering this procedure so this is available to you if you’d like.
Your Smart lipo procedure will be performed in our office, in our own operating room. We use a full sterile technique and have a large flat screen monitor in our operating room, displaying your before photo while we sculpt your problem areas.
One of the primary risk factors for complications during a surgical procedure of any kind is the type of anesthesia that is administered. The same holds true in body contouring procedures. More invasive surgical procedures such as traditional liposuction utilize general anesthesia or IV sedation to render the patient unconscious. Dr. Cox does not use general or IV sedation for Smart lipo procedures.
For Smart lipo, Dr. Cox uses local anesthesia to thoroughly numb/anesthetize the treatment area. In addition to local anesthesia being the safest form of anesthesia, its effects also last several hours post-procedure, decreasing the need for narcotic pain medications after surgery. For patients who experience anxiety about being awake during the procedure, Dr. Cox can prescribe oral sedative to be taken prior to beginning treatment.