Smart lipo

Smart Lipo

Although Liposuction conceptually seems like a simple process by which unwanted pockets of fat are removed from the body through suction extraction, ultimately it depends on the artistic sense and the innate sculpting ability of the surgeon to be able to contour the individual patient’s body back to its ideal shape and form.

Two main advances in the technology of liposuction surgery have allowed the procedure for most patients to be able to be done in an outpatient setting with minimal associated risks and almost no downtime.

First is the advance in delivery of local anesthesia using the Tumescent technique, which has significantly reduced blood loss as well as provided excellent local pain control during and many hours after the completion of surgery. As a result, pain control is very well tolerated after surgery, enabling most patients to return to work in a day or two. Minimal bleeding during surgery has allowed the surgeon to be much more exacting in the sculpting process of the liposuction surgery.

It is very important to realize that the end result can vary quite a bit based on the patient’s age, skin thickness and elasticity, and the density, volume, and location of fat. The second advance has been to address these varying issues through development of new liposuction instrumentation, which includes power-assisted liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, and laser-assisted liposuction. There is no one best technique. What is most important is which instrument your surgeon is most comfortable with and that a consistent result is achieved.

I believe that the biggest breakthrough in the field of lasers in the past few years has been laser-assisted liposuction. What’s more, the company that has overtaken the field of laser-assisted liposuction through their continuous research and development, and by clinically proving their prowess in this field, is Cynosure, with their Smartlipo Triplix platform. As the name implies, Smartlipo Triplix has three lasers built in to address three specific needs of the liposuction surgeon in order to obtain the best result possible.


A 1064nm laser is the common denominator of most laser-assisted liposuction systems, and helps to heat and melt the fat as well as minimize any bleeding, working synergistically with the Tumescent anesthesia technique, which is already providing a relative bloodless field. As result, minimal to almost no bruising is noted after the procedure, which is a huge benefit for patients who are looking for the quickest recovery time possible. The 1440nm laser allows even more efficient heating and melting of the fat, ensuring that patients with more challenging or difficult density, volume, and location of fat obtain almost as consistent results as those with less difficult cases. Finally, the “principle” of liposuction relying on the inherent elasticity of the skin to take up the slack once the fat pocket has been suctioned has been greatly “challenged” with the 1320nm laser, which has been used for over a decade with success in skin surface laser application in order to target water content in collagen to promote collagen remodeling and formation, thereby allowing skin tightening. As a result of an efficient and safe fiber-optic system which delivers the 1320nm laser energy just below the skin, we are seeing excellent tightening effects on patients who otherwise would have been poor candidates for liposuction using the traditional technique only. This includes, among others, most but not all patients with stretch marks from previous pregnancies, who in the past would have resorted to abdominoplasty, with its associated large incisional scar line under general anesthesia, or patients in their 50’s or 60’s who due to their loss of skin elasticity would have been previously poor candidates for liposuction surgery.

Ultimately, the patient should always undergo a careful and comprehensive consultation to make sure they meet the criteria for laser-assisted liposuction under local anesthesia using the Tumescent technique, and what’s more, the degree of improvement which can be expected. Finally, it is very important for patients to understand that liposuction is ideal for active patients who exercise and eat right but just can’t seem to get rid of unwanted areas of “disproportionate” fat, either due to genetic, hormonal, or simple aging processes, and not intended for weight loss on obese patients who really would benefit more by enrolling in a proper weight loss program first. However, for many patients who have been meaning to lose five to ten pounds to reach their “close to ideal weight,” but simply couldn’t due to a “hundred” different reasons, a sudden “positive” change in their body contour through laser-assisted liposuction surgery can serve as a great impetus or starting point for them to “finally” and “successfully” lose that “five to ten” pounds which previously seemed like an “impossible” task.

The final thought I will leave you with is the option of performing lipo-transfer to the face at the same time liposuction is being performed for body contouring. The majority of patients starting in their 30’s choose this option to have a little volume restoration done at the same setting, and absolutely love it.