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Smartlipo FAQ

Who is a good candidate for Smartlipo?

If you are unhappy with the shape of your body and are in good health then you are likely a good candidate for SmartLipo. Age and genetics alter the shapes of our bodies, causing the accumulation that is resistant to diet or exercise.

SmartLipo is best suited for that healthy individual who eats right, exercises, and generally lives a healthy lifestyle, but can not seem to lose weight from a trouble area…such as hips, saddle bags, back of the arms…etc…

How much downtime will I have after Smartlipo?

Immediately after your procedure you will walk out and be able to perform mild activities. Unlike the need for prolonged recovery and possible overnight stay when liposuction is performed with heavy anesthesia, downtime is minimized. SmartLipo significantly reduces tissue trauma and post procedural pain while completely eliminating post-anesthesia recovery. Most patients are able to return to normal desk type work in 1 to 2 days and some patients are able to return to work the same day, depending on the area treated.

Will I be awake or under general anesthesia for Smartlipo?

With SmartLipo, the liposuction is done in a more advanced, less traumatic manner that requires only local numbing, not heavy anesthesia. This translates into faster recovery and less downtime. By having patients remain awake during the procedure, the physician not only avoids the risks of heavy anesthesia , but the serious complications that can occur from patients being unresponsive during the procedure.

Why doesn’t the Smartlipo procedure need heavy anesthesia?

If you are unhappy with the shape of your body and are in good health then you are likely a good candidate for SmartLipo. Age and genetics alter the shapes of our bodies, causing the accumulation that is resistant to diet or exercise.

SmartLipo is best suited for that healthy individual who eats right, exercises, and generally lives a healthy lifestyle, but can not seem to lose weight from a trouble area…such as hips, saddle bags, back of the arms…etc…

Why is tumescent anesthesia typically less painful than a liposuction procedure done under general anesthesia?

Pain associated with liposuction procedures can occur at three different stages: during the infiltration of the tumescent solution, during the procedure, and postoperatively. With SmartLipo the infiltration is normally done using small instruments, which cause little tissue damage and little pain. After the tumescent local anesthesia has been thoroughly infiltrated into the fat, the subsequent procedure should be virtually painless.

General anesthesia consists of the use of intravenous sedatives and narcotics. These medicines are commonly associated with a high incidence of nausea, vomiting and postoperative chills.

General anesthesia allows the surgeon to treat the tissue in an aggressive and damaging fashion, they use larger instrumentation which leads to a painful and prolonged recovery. Since the patient is “out”, the surgeon tends to use a rougher technique, which would not be possible if the patient was awake. With SmartLipo, some physicians even go so far as to have the patient “Stand” mid way thru the procedure to insure the is getting a uniform result.

The SmartLipo procedure also uses smaller instrumentation, and the technique is slower and gentler, this again leads to far less pain recovery and a better cosmetic results.

Will Smartlipo help with cellulite or sagging skin?

SmartLipo can help with the appearance of cellulite by disrupting the fat cells in the area. The laser also will break the bands of septa causing that “dimpling appearance”. The SmartLipo will also help promote skin tightening through tissue coagulation in the affected area.

Does Smartlipo produce permanent results?

YES…In general, all liposuction methods produce permanent results. The fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back. Of course after liposuction, the clock keeps ticking…no procedure can stop the aging process. Advancing age will produce the usual changes in the shape of the body, but the benefits of the SmartLipo procedure will always be apparent.

Will I get fat in weird places after Smartlipo?

NO…It is a common false myth that the fat removed by liposuction grows back in other places after the procedure. The number of fat cells your body has was determined by the time you went through puberty. Once you become an adult, your body does not make more fat cells. Some patients do feel as though other areas of their body get bigger after a procedure…the problem is perspective, not physiological change. For example, a woman who has had her upper arms treated may feel that her back has grown fatter after the procedure. The true issue is not that her back is growing fatter, but rather that her arms have gotten smaller by comparison.

What happens if I gain weight after Smartlipo?

If you gain weight after SmartLipo, you will gain it proportionally, including in the areas that were treated. It is possible to gain weight again in the treated area, but not to the same extent as prior to the procedure.

How much bruising or swelling will I have after a Smartlipo?

Using Smartlipo causes less tissue trauma and less inflammation, bruising and swelling are also minimized. SmartLipo uses only small punctures and does not use stitches, so patients experience less bruising and swelling than with the traditional liposuction techniques.

Some patients will have almost no swelling or bruising while others will be swollen or bruised for about a week. With SmartLipo, the tumescent technique allows for “open drainage” adits (tiny round holes), and by not using stitches, the rate of drainage of anesthetic solution is also accelerated. The laser characteristics of the SmartLipo also play a significant role in this open technique, all of which helps reduces the amount of pain, bruising and swelling for the patient.

How long will it take for the Smartlipo incisions to heal?

Adits usually close up within a week, and become completely healed with no scabs within 2 to 4 weeks. During the healing process, the adits resemble round red pimples. The incision sites become less and less visible over 3 to 12 months, often times fading until they are invisible.

How long will it be until I see Smartlipo results?

Final results vary from patients and depend on patient age, areas treated, the amount of fat removed, and individual healing speeds. Some patients see immediate results that improve steadily while others have weeks of swelling that keep them at about the same size as they were pre-procedure, even though large amounts of fat have been removed. Young patients tend to heal much quicker and have less discomfort, but final results often take longer because young patients tend to retain fluid longer than older patients. There is no way to accurately predict your healing speed or how quickly you will see results. Most patients will see 80% of their ultimate result within one to three months after their procedure.

How many areas can be treated with Smartlipo at one time?

The number of areas that can be treated at one time depends on your height and weight. Although individuals do vary, there are some general rules:

  • If you are slender or thin, up to 8 areas can be treated in one procedure
  • If you are of average height and weight, up to 6 areas can be treated in one procedure.
  • If you are heavy, obese or very tall, up to 3 areas can be treated in one procedure.

This is the physician’s decision…safety is ALWAYS the priority.

Smartlipo vs. Traditional Liposuction


Laser-assisted liposuction, which is commonly known as Smartlipo, is a minimally invasive procedure for the removal of localized fat deposits on the face and body, and other delicate areas that require a more gentle approach. Traditional liposuction is better suited for the removal of large areas of fat and typically requires additional surgery to get rid of excess skin. Because Smartlipo breaks down fat cells and tightens tissues by tissue coagulation, there is generally no excess skin. In addition, Smartlipo coagulates blood vessels resulting in less bleeding and bruising than traditional liposuction, which improves the overall healing time relative to traditional liposuction. A key difference between Smartlipo and traditional liposuction is the size of the incisions needed for the procedures: tiny incisions for Smartlipo that do not require sutures and larger incisions for traditional liposuction that require sutures. Unlike traditional liposuction, which utilizes general anesthesia, Smartlipo utilizes local anesthesia.

Pros and Cons of Smartlipo

In addition to considering the size of the area to be treated when deciding between traditional liposuction versus Smartlipo, you should also consider that the invasive nature of traditional liposuction. Traditional liposuction is not ideal for delicate body parts, it leaves large scars, and the recovery time is longer. Smartlipo is a better option than traditional liposuction if you are within about 25 pounds of your target weight, you are physically fit, and you have a small area of fat that you can’t get rid of. The risks associated with Smartlipo are an infection at the incision site and/or hematoma, minor scarring, being burned by the laser, and cosmetic issues including asymmetrical results.

Recovery from Smartlipo

Immediately following the Smartlipo procedure you may experience some numbness that can last for as long as 36 hours. You should expect blood-tinged anesthetic fluid to drain from the incision sites. Once the area

is wrapped in compression bandages, the drainage will likely increase and the swelling should go down after about 1 week. You may feel light-headed and dizzy when you remove the compression bandages. If this occurs you sit down immediately and take it slowly to allow your blood flow to normalize. Because the effect of the local anesthetic can last for as long as 36 hours, you may not experience pain immediately following the procedure. However, once the anesthetic wears off Tylenol should be sufficient to combat the pain. You doctor will likely suggest that you take it easy for at least 2 days following your surgery before resuming your normal activities. Typically, you can begin an exercise regimen 1 week after the procedure, but you should remember to take is slowly at first. Although it is acceptable to take a shower, swimming and hot tubs should be avoided until the incision sites scab over completely.

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