Both men and women can struggle with pockets of body fat that make them self-conscious about their appearance. They may long for a more contoured physique, but diet and exercise have not produced the desired results. The good news is that there is a cosmetic fat removal procedure that can help. Most people are familiar with traditional liposuction but may not know about a newer procedure called SmartLipo. Both procedures can get rid of stubborn fat deposits, but there are many advantages to opting for SmartLipo.
SmartLipo doesn’t require large incisions. Tiny incisions measuring approximately 1/8 inch are placed in the treatment area. This is just large enough for a micro-cannula with laser fiber to be inserted under the skin. Unlike traditional liposuction, the fat is not scraped from the skin. The heat energy from the laser melts the fat cells so that they can be easily and quickly suctioned away. An added bonus is the heat from the laser tightens the skin and stimulates collagen production. The skin will look younger, smoother, and firmer.
SmartLipo can be used in many areas with fat pockets that haven’t responded to traditional diet and exercise. Commonly treated areas include the stomach, buttocks, upper arms, thighs, neck, bra fat, and fat behind the knees. Fat cells that are removed will not return, so results can last for years. However, SmartLipo is not a weight loss treatment, and patients should avoid weight fluctuations.
SmartLipo procedures are performed under local anesthesia, unlike most traditional liposuction. This decreases the risk of complications for the patient. SmartLipo is not as painful, so there is less need for strong pain medication afterwards. Procedures that are performed under local anesthesia are easily done in outpatient surgical facilities.
Downtime and recovery
The recovery from SmartLipo is not as intense as traditional liposuction. There is less downtime with considerably less swelling and bruising. A compression garment is generally worn for one month, but the patient can return to work within a few days. Light exercise can be resumed in 3-5 days post-op. Swelling will gradually resolve in about two weeks. Patients may feel sore in the treatment areas for a few days, but they should be able to continue with most regular activities.