About Smartlipo Laser Liposuction
Smartlipo is a minimally invasive laser-assisted liposuction procedure that melts and liquefies unwanted fat cells under the skin.
Smartlipo is an ideal solution for removing fat from areas of the body where patients have not been able to reduce with diet and exercise. These common areas of the body include the abdomen, flanks, thighs (inner and outer), bra fat, arms, chin, and male chests. Smartlipo provides results with significantly less downtime as compared to traditional liposuction.
First approved by the FDA in 2006, Smartlipo was the first laser to be used for laser-assisted liposuction. WIFH began our Atlanta Smartlipo liposuction program in 2008 after observing enough data and results to determine its efficacy as one of the best laser liposuction procedures available.
To date, WIFH has successfully performed over 15,000 Smartlipo procedures.
How Does Smartlipo Work?
Through tiny openings in the skin, a laser fiber encased in a cannula is inserted underneath the skin. While the thermal heat delivered by the laser melts and liquefies the unwanted fat cells, it simultaneously heats the surrounding tissue which leads to the added benefit of tightening of the skin.
Once melted, aspiration or suction is used to remove the damaged fat cells from the area receiving treatment. Because the fat cells are liquefied before bing suctioned, Dr. Cox and Dr. Moody are able to use tiny instruments to perform the Smartlipo procedure, preventing excessive trauma to the surrounding tissue.
At WIFH, Dr. Cox and Dr. Moody utilize the Smartlipo Triplex version of Smartlipo — the strongest and latest version of the device. It allows the use of three wavelengths of laser, which can be used independently or in combination. This is very important to keep in mind, as lower powered machines cannot deliver enough deep tissue heating to provide the desired skin tightening.
Smartlipo Risks & Side Effects
As with any surgical procedure, one of the primary risk factors is the type of anesthesia that is necessary to keep the patient comfortable during the surgery.
Smartlipo is a relatively low risk body contouring procedure performed while the patient is awake, requiring only a local anesthetic to thoroughly numb the treatment area. In comparison, more invasive surgical procedures such as traditional liposuction utilize general anesthesia or IV sedation to render the patient unconscious during the procedure.
For patients who experience anxiety about being awake during the procedure, Dr. Cox or Dr. Moody can prescribe oral sedatives to be taken prior to beginning treatment. We also offer Pronox, a short-term inhaled anesthesia that clears the body within 10 minutes after discontinuing use, to help alleviate any anxiousness.
Preparing For Smartlipo
For 6-8 weeks leading up to the procedure patients should eat healthy, stay hydrated and prepare for new lifestyle changes. Patients who are smokers should 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 Smartlipo procedure patients should limit sun exposure and discontinue taking fish oils, daily supplements, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, mega doses of Vitamin E, Aleve, or herbal medications. Patients should always check with their surgeon about any medications they are taking.
To ensure optimal results, patients will need to wear a compression garment under their clothes for approximately one month post procedure. Plan your wardrobe accordingly. Patients who opt for sedation will need to have a ride home following the procedure.
What To Expect During Smartlipo
Upon arriving at the appointment, we will have the patient change into a robe, perform measurements of the treatment areas, mark them and photograph those areas to monitor progress. If the patient chooses to have a mild oral sedative, we will administer it here from your prescribed medications.
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.
Recovery Time After Smartlipo
The time required to recover from a Smartlipo procedure varies from patient to patient. Showering is fine, but we ask patients not take baths or immerse the incisions in water until the small incisions heal, usually in 3-5 days.
Non-strenuous activities can be resumed in 24-48 hours in most cases and exercising in 1-3 weeks depending on the person. High impact exercise, like running, may not feel comfortable for a couple of weeks. The compression garment should be always worn as instructed, including during exercise and at night while sleeping.
It is normal to get firm, sometimes lumpy areas of swelling in the treated area 4-6 weeks after the treatment. These will dissipate over time and are part of the normal healing process. Improvement is often noted shortly after this goes away but optimal results (due to skin tightening effect) generally take 4-6 months to appear.
Smartlipo Patient Consultations
WIFH believes it is critical for anyone considering a surgical procedure to personally meet with the doctor who will be performing the procedure.
We also ask that you complete a comprehensive medical history before your consultation for this reason. We understand that a patient coordinator cannot determine the suitability of someone for a surgical procedure.
For this reason, our patients have a personal consultation with Dr. Cox or Dr. Moody to evaluate their medical history, examine the areas in question, and determine whether our procedure is right for you.
Our doctors will let you know if we think that another procedure may benefit you more or if your health conditions make treatment unsafe for you. We refer patients for more comprehensive treatment if we feel it’s in your best interest.
Smartlipo Before & After Photos
Disclaimer: Results vary from patient to patient and are not guaranteed.
Smartlipo Laser Liposuction FAQs
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 or skin type, studies have shown that laser liposuction procedures do not cause changes in skin pigmentationstrong> or increase the possibility of complications, including thermal burn injuries to the skin. This includes Smartlipo procedures. 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 15,000 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.
The majority of patients just need one SmartLipo therapy session to see the desired results. Your doctor will assess your problem areas and work with you to decide how many SmartLipo sessions would be necessary for your specific situation during your first visit or consultation.
With Smartlipo, fat cells are destroyed permanently, however, new fat cells may develop. This means it is vital to steer clear of future weight changes, including those brought on by pregnancy. The benefits of Smartlipo can last for many, many years if you follow a good diet and exercise regimen.