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If you have been losing weight by means of diet and exercise, you are probably happy about your progress. When weight loss reaches the last ten or fifteen pounds it can sometimes stall, and those last pounds can turn out to be more difficult to shed than all the previous pounds.
At that point, many people start considering a liposuction procedure. Since liposuction was first used, there have been many improvements in technique and technology and SmartLipo™ has many advantages over the earlier procedures.
SmartLipo™ was FDA-approved in November, 2006. Like all forms of liposuction, it addresses specific body areas and reshapes them to improve your overall proportions. It is used for relatively small areas.
How SmartLipo Works
SmartLipo is a minimally invasive procedure – faster and easier with a shorter recovery time. You need only a local anesthetic, so you are fully awake and can talk with Dr. Broadway as he works. There is no pain although some people feel a small “pinching” sensation.
SmartLipo uses a calibrated laser to liquefy fatty tissue, rupturing the membrane around each fat cell so the tissue is easier to remove. Like all medical lasers, this one seals little blood vessels in the area as it works on the fat cells. This greatly reduces bleeding, bruising, and swelling.
The laser is inside a thin cannula (tube) between one and two millimeters wide. Being so narrow, the cannula requires only tiny incisions, so small that they need no stitching at the end of your procedure.
Dr. Broadway inserts the cannula into the skin’s middle layer, the dermis. This is very shallow insertion because SmartLipo targets the fat just beneath the skin surface. There is always a certain amount of fat beneath the skin, for insulating the body, but the excess can be removed safely and easily by SmartLipo. As Dr. Broadway works, he can see the laser light under the skin, since it flashes red.
The liquefied fat is removed by suction. Studies have shown that little or no fat is reabsorbed by the body. Typically, only one treatment is needed for each area, usually lasting about 2 hours.
Dr. Broadway recommends that you take the following day off after your SmartLipo to rest and allow your body to relax while it heals. You will have bandages over the treated area and there may be a little drainage. You may be wearing a compression garment for a few days, although a drain is not usually necessary. For two weeks you should avoid all exercise.
One of the many advantages of SmartLipo is that it tightens the skin while removing fat. Working in the dermis, the laser shrinks the collagen in that layer. That causes your skin to produce tighter cells as it continues its normal process of discarding and replacing old cells. This eliminates the skin droop that often remained after older liposuction procedures.
Your SmartLipo results are visible immediately and over several months you will notice further improvement, as the tighter new skin cells are formed. Most people return to work or normal activities after one or two days.
SmartLipo Treatment Areas
Because it uses such a small cannula and works in the skin’s middle layer, SmartLipo can be successfully used for the face and neck. Other areas are:
- Medial Thighs
- Lateral hips
- Upper arms
- Back, especially the bra strap areas
- Breasts (gynecomastia for males)
- Mons pubis
For more on SmartLipo please go to SmartLipo Questions.
Another effective fat removal procedure that we offer is VASER Hi Definition Liposculpture. This is a deeper liposuction with a different purpose than SmartLipo. It is a sculpting procedure for the muscles. SmartLipo has an easier and shorter recovery period than VASER Hi Def.
Read about Choosing a SmartLipo™ Cosmetic Surgeon.
For more information about our body contouring procedures, please see Body Sculpting.
To learn more about SmartLipo and whether it might be your best option, please contact our cosmetic surgery office in the Denver, Colorado area. We will be happy to give you a free consultation with one of our Patient Advocates.
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