Smart lipo: Not a risk-free surgical procedure

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    Laser lipolysis, Smart lipo

    Laser lipolysis is not as effective over large areas of the body, but it often provides faster recovery time and less scarring. (Shutterstock photo)

    Laser lipolysis, also known as smart lipo, is a method of removing unwanted fatty tissue without the use of suction such as in traditional liposuction procedures. Smart lipo, according to the National Library of Medicine, liquefies fatty tissue while promoting tissue tightening, coagulating small blood vessels, and remodeling parts of the body being operated on.

    The process is said to be less likely to leave scars when compared to other cosmetic surgical procedures, and it is not considered a weight loss method. The procedure has been approved by the FDA since 2006.

    Smart lipo can be combined with Botox or other minimally invasive procedures to ensure patients receive the results they are looking for.

    “Many patients hesitate to have even minimal cosmetic procedures because they are concerned about the dangers of general anesthesia, scarring, or cost,” Dr. Robin Fleck, medical director of Body Oasis Laser Aesthetics said in a statement regarding the use of combination procedures. “But laser- lipo is conducted under local anesthesia with the patient fully conscious.”

    How is laser lipolysis, smart lipo, performed?

    People looking to undergo smart lipo will have fatty deposits liquefied through the use of a special laser. The procedure uses heat from the laser to destroy fat cells, and the resulting liquid is then drained from the body through a series of small incisions. Individuals who have smart lipo done will usually be under local anesthesia unless other complicating factors apply.

    Because the process is still considered a surgical procedure, laser lipolysis carries with it the same risks.

    Smart lipo

    Unlike liposuction, which sucks fatty tissue out of the body (shown above), smart lipo liquifies the tissue using laser heat. (Shutterstock photo)

    Risks of smart lipo

    While general surgical complications such as incision site infections may occur, smart lipo also has some disadvantages specific to the procedure. Those complications and risks may include:

    • Thermal injury (burns)
    • Less efficacy over large areas of the body
    • Increased procedural time
    • Cost of equipment may make the service difficult to find
    • Nerve damage
    • Increased serum lipids

    What areas of the body can be helped with laser lipolysis?

    Smart lipo is not as effective over large areas of the body, though it can be used almost anywhere. The common places individuals chose to have operated on include:

    • Upper arms
    • Back hips
    • Inner thighs
    • Knees
    • Calves
    • Ankles
    • Face
    • Outer thighs


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