Many people struggle with small pockets of unwanted fat on places including the chin, hips, and upper arms. And sometimes, despite their best efforts through diet and exercise, this stubborn fat just won’t budge. Some of these people are hesitant to pursue liposuction, believing the procedure to be too extensive for a relatively small amount of fat. As an alternative, I encourage my patients in Palo Alto, San Jose, and Los Gatos to consider Smartlipo, a less-invasive form of liposuction that requires less downtime.
Smartlipo differs from standard tumescent liposuction in several ways. Smartlipo requires only local anesthesia, which lowers overall risk and is great news for people who don’t like the way they feel when they wake up from general anesthesia. Local anesthesia also takes less time to prepare for and requires less time spent in the office.
During a Smartlipo procedure, tumescent fluid containing an anesthetic is applied to the targeted area. I make a small incision and insert a cannula, or small tube, which contains a laser fiber. I use this laser to rupture fat cells, which makes them easier to remove. This type of laser-assisted liposuction causes less bleeding, swelling, and bruising than traditional liposuction. It may also encourage collagen production in the surrounding skin, creating a smoother, tighter final result.
Following a Smartlipo procedure, I recommend that most patients stay off their feet for 1 or 2 days. Most Smartlipo patients head back to work or other daily activities in less than a week. Traditional liposuction requires a longer recovery time. It can take several weeks before these patients are able to completely resume their normal activities.
Though Smartlipo is a great, effective body contouring solution for many, only an experienced plastic surgeon can help you determine whether it’s right for you.