When the words smart liposuction are used, it generally refers to laser-assisted lipo. This site will address “real” smart liposuction from ALL the types of procedures out there. Is it Laser-Assisted? Tumescent, CoolSculpting, Water-Assisted, or Ultrasound-Assisted liposuction? You decide.
Smartlipo refers to a medical device created to perform laser-assisted liposuction. A thin tube, called a cannula, is inserted, which contains a laser fiber into designated fatty areas. The incision is small. The laser sends thermal energy into fat cells, melting it and making it easy to remove with gentle suction. At the same time, tissue around the area tightens, collagen and elastin are stimulated, enhancing the smoothing effect as the healing process advances. Bruising tends to be less than earlier forms of lipo.
The downsides of Smartlipo is possible laser burns and the destruction of fat. If fat transfer is desired for other areas of the body, fat must be preserved before the laser is used. You can see how important the selection of your surgeon and your choice of lipo procedures can be.
The word tumescent means firm or swollen. How that applies n the tumescent liposuction is that a large amount of a diluted solution of local anesthesias, usually lidocaine and epinephrine, is injected below the surface of the skin into the fat. This causes the areas to be treated to become swollen and firm, hence tumessed. The drug epinephrine (adrenalin) creates localized vasoconstriction, which all but eliminates bleeding.
This methodology provides complete numbing and eliminates the need for general anesthesia unless the patient has a surgical procedure as well. Many physicians use a twilight cocktail of drugs to allow the patient to feel relaxed while the procedure is happening. This liposuction can be done by a cosmetic or plastic surgeon providing there are no other procedures that require a surgeon’s expertise.
CoolSculpting is a procedure known as cryolipolysis, discovered when scientists were studying frostbite. It works on well-fatted areas by placing a roll of fat between two panels that freeze fat cells. In a study in 2009, researchers reported that the average reduction in fat was as much as 25%. Freezing kills the fat cells. They are excreted out of the body over several weeks. The full results take about three months to see.
One of the things that people like about CoolSculpting is it’s non-surgical and involves no needles or puncturing of the skin. The superficial layer of fat should never be removed, only deep fat, with this method as it leads to dimpling, divots, and unevenness. However, the process is not refined enough to avoid this type of fat being killed. The downside of this procedure the surface fat is frozen too. Patient’s with loose skin or poor elasticity are even more prone to lumpy results with unsightly, uneven skin. For some reason, men have a higher rate of poor results. This type of fat removal is a common source of revisions using other methods including liposuction and surgery.
CoolSculpting is recommended for younger patients with good elasticity and pockets of stubborn fat vs. overweight people.
Water-assisted liposuction is a method of body contouring using a controlled water spray. The procedure separates fat cells from surrounding tissue, even in larger-volume areas. It can be done under local anesthesia if no other procedures are being done.
The advantages are less bruising, meaning less recovery time, and better contouring results than traditional liposuction. Since there is no surgery involved, this procedure can be done by a cosmetic surgeon and does not require the additional skills of a plastic surgeon.
The disadvantages are lack of high definition results, no etching or sculpting, and the number of doctors that use water-assisted is limited.
Ultra-Sound Assisted (VASER)
More and more plastic surgeons are looking to ultra-sound assisted, VASER High Definition liposuction as the gold standard. This method provides here-to-fore results that were not possible with other methods. This is smart liposuction!
VASER Lipo works with ultrasound waves that liquefy fat cells from the targeted body areas. The fat is then carefully removed with suction. This unique method selectively targets only the fat cells so that the surrounding areas, such as blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues, are undisturbed. Fats cells remain viable and can be used for the transfer to the face, breasts, buttocks, or other desired areas.
VASER is a minimally invasive procedure causing less bruising and offering less recovery time. Even delicate areas like the chin, hard to lipo spots like knees, arms, and calves can be done. Dramatic contouring and etching is the hallmark of this method as doctors can remove higher volumes of fat right down to the muscle layer. In the hands of a sculptor, VASER Lipo is an art form.
The advantages of VASER High Definition liposuction are numerous and results can be jaw-dropping in the hands of the right surgeon. No other method of liposuction today has the potential for body sculpting. However, this method is typically done under general anesthesia as it takes longer than other types of liposuction.
The disadvantages are results are dependent on the training, skill, and artistry of the surgeon. The company that makes the VASER machine requires all doctors to go through training with a surgeon certified by their company to buy their device. However, the disadvantage is well worth overcoming by locating an experience VASER doctor. You might even look for one of the five doctors that train other doctors. One is located in the UK, one in Columbia, and three in the US.
REAL Smart Liposuction
The best liposuction is the one that’s right for you. Smart liposuction is choosing the right procedure and doctor, not shopping solely on price. Cosmetic and plastic surgery is a real “you get what you pay for” industry. Doctors that do discount pricing are often inexperienced, rushing from one patient to the next, cashing in on the trend, or using gimmicks. Established practices with many happy patients, upgraded safety protocols, and highly-competent teams are worth what you pay. After all…the most expensive liposuction is the one that needs to be revised by a better doctor.