Athletic female surfer with tone stomach

There are often areas of stubborn fat on the body that are hard to eliminate.  Despite people’s best efforts to trim down these areas, they seem resistant to diet and exercise.  Many patients have turned to liposuction, a popular plastic surgery procedure, to address these problem areas.

Some of the more popular areas of the body where liposuction can remove unwanted fat include the buttocks, inner and outer thighs, hips, abdomen, upper arms, and back (think “bra rolls”).  Many men find liposuction helpful in treating “love handles”.  Getting rid of fat pockets in these regions helps patients achieve a more defined body shape and a sleeker profile.

SmartLipo, or laser assisted liposuction, is a newer fat removal procedure available to patients.  It has some benefits and advantages over traditional liposuction.  The plastic surgeon can recommend the best procedure, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

Traditional Liposuction

Traditional liposuction is often used to remove larger amounts of fat.  The patient may need to undergo general anesthesia, depending on their individual treatment plan.  The surgeon makes small incisions and inserts a thin tube called a cannula under the skin.  This is connected to a vacuum that suctions fat and fluids from the area.  The cannula can be manipulated to help break up the fat.  Traditional liposuction does not tighten the skin.  During the recovery period the patient will need to wear compression garments to reduce swelling.  Patients should expect to see results within weeks following their procedure.


SmartLipo is a gentler procedure that is less painful than traditional liposuction.  The surgical incisions are tiny and leave less visible scarring.  A small laser fiber is inserted into the treatment areas.  It emits laser heat energy that liquefies the fat cells.  The liquefied fat is removed by a small cannula.  The heat energy triggers skin tightening and collagen production, which helps the skin look smoother and younger.

Most patients will need some type of anesthesia, ranging from light sedation to general anesthesia.  This will depend on the extent of their procedure.  The patient should expect some bruising and swelling with SmartLipo, so compression garments will need to be worn during the recovery period.

Who is a good candidate for liposuction or SmartLipo?

Shirtless Latino man good candidate for SmartLipo

The patient should be a healthy individual whose weight is stable and as close to their realistic baseline weight as possible.  Liposuction and SmartLipo are not weight loss alternatives.  Liposuction doesn’t remove cellulite dimpling or stretch marks.

Next Steps

Dr. Cristina Keusch, board certified plastic surgeon, has performed many liposuction and SmartLipo procedures at Boca Raton Plastic Surgery Center.  She is happy to answer questions about which procedure is right for the patient’s individual needs.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Keusch.