A Guide to SmartLipo
What is SmartLipo?
SmartLipo was launched in the UK in June 2006 and is a revolutionary evolution of the standard cosmetic surgery procedure, liposuction.
Often marketed as Laser Lipolysis or Laseripolisi (often misspelled Lipolisis) , the procedure works by using a laser to target fatty areas. The laser helps to break down the membranes of the fat cells, turning them into an oily liquid. This liquid is then either removed by suction, or through the body’s natural processes.
It is said that SmartLipo is far less traumatic on the body than the more traditional liposuction procedure with the operation involving almost no loss of blood. The heating action of the laser used in the cosmetic surgery is also thought to help tighten the skin by stimulating collagen production. SmartLipo is also said to cause less swelling and bruising than standard liposuction, ensuring a quicker recovery time for the patient.
How Does SmartLipo Work?
SmartLipo uses a 1064nm Nd: YAG pulsed laser. An anaesthetic is first given the patient – often, just a local anaesthetic is needed thanks to the small cannula that is used and the fact that the laser causes small blood vessels to coagulate on contact meaning almost no loss of blood during the operation.
A small incision is made in the skin around the area that the patient wished to have the fat removed from. A small cannula (tube) which contains a laser fibre is inserted into this incision. The cannula is then moved backwards and forwards to deliver the laser pulse to the fat cells. The laser causes the fat cells to rupture, and the fat can then either be drained via low level suction or with a syringe, or can be left for the body to dispose of naturally.
The results of SmartLipo will become apparent after a couple of weeks. If the surgeon has chosen to allow the body to dispose of the excess fat naturally, it may be several months before you see the full results of this cosmetic procedure. As long a sensible diet is maintained in the future, the results of the operation are permanent.
What Areas Can SmartLipo Treat?
Because the cannula used in the procedure is so small, many focused areas of the body can be targeted. As well as the ‘normal’ areas that liposuction can treat such as the stomach, thighs and hips, SmartLipo is also popular for treating:
– double chins
– under the arms (‘bingo wings’)
– outer thighs (‘saddlebags’)
– waist (‘love handles’)
– bra strap area
What Are SmartLipo’s Side Effects?
Any operation has it’s risks, however because SmartLipo does not require general anaesthetic and because blood loss is kept to a minimum, it is generally seen as less risky than liposuction.
Some of the potential side effects of having SmartLipo include:
– Minor swelling, bruising and tenderness for a couple of weeks after surgery
– Infection and haematoma (where blood collects under the skin)
– Lop-sided results