What is Smart Lipo and How is it Different to Traditional Liposuction?

You may already be familiar with the term liposuction and have a reasonable idea of what the procedure involves.  A popular form of cosmetic surgery, not just in the UK but worldwide, it is a type of fat reduction performed on both men and women where fat cells are removed from the body by a qualified dermatologist.  However, since its approval by the US FDA in 2006, and its introduction to the UK shortly afterwards, Smart Lipo has proven to be a significant advancement to the traditional procedure.  Here we will look at the differences between Smart Lipo and traditional liposuction.

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How is the Fat Removed?

Where traditional liposuction is seen as more of an invasive procedure where a cannula is required to physically suck fat from under the skin, usually leaving significant bruising, Smart Lipo uses only a laser.  By inserting a laser inside the cannula, the heat from the light destroys the fat cells, causing them to melt or soften so that the fat can be drained away by the body’s blood vessels in the same way the body is able to remove other excess liquids.  However, for fast results, you can combine Smart Lipo with gentle liposuction in a procedure first offered by the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic.

General or Local Anaesthetic?

In traditional liposuction, you will usually need a general anaesthetic, however, as Smart Lipo is less invasive, it can usually be performed under a local anaesthetic.  With traditional liposuction physically removing the fat from the body, the size of the cannula is a lot larger than that required for a Smart Lipo procedure.  A small cannula size of about 1-2mm used in Smart Lipo, compared to 6mm for liposuction, which allows the surgeon to remove fat that is closer to the skin’s surface, meaning damage to the skin’s appearance is minimal.

The Results of the Procedures

Typically, traditional liposuction is used for patients who are overweight and who have large amounts of fat that they wish to remove.  Smart Lipo is designed for smaller areas of fat that the patient has been unsuccessful in trying to eliminate themselves through the usual diet and exercise.  As a result, the more targeted approach of Smart Lipo provides the added benefit of skin tightening.  As you can imagine, with liposuction removing large amounts of fat at a time, skin sagging can be an issue.

Recovery Time

With the more invasive liposuction, it is also inevitable that the recovery time is significantly longer.  After having undergone Smart Lipo, a patient can expect to recover in only a few days and will be required to wear compression garments for just a week.  Liposuction patients can expect to have to wear them for up to six weeks.

As with all surgery, there are risks involved with both procedures.  However, the risks involved with Smart Lipo are minimal.  You will experience some swelling and bruising that will last a few days and there is the extremely rare chance of infection.  Traditional liposuction may cause damage to blood vessels and even a long-term change in skin sensation.  It is always best to consult with a professional cosmetic clinic before considering which procedure would be best for you.