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Liposuction vs Smartlipo® – What’s The Difference?

Almost half of the American population tries to lose weight in a given year, according to research by the National Center for Health Statistics. However, many people fail to achieve their weight loss goals, in large part due to genetic influences that resist traditional diet and exercise weight-loss strategies. This likely explains liposuction’s status as one of the most widely performed plastic surgeries of the past four decades.

Given its popularity and widespread application, you’re undoubtedly familiar with liposuction, but did you know that there is a technologically advanced variant of liposuction called Smartlipo®? With extensive experience using both to remove problematic fatty tissue, Dr. Paul Gardner and Dr. Leo Baccaro are well versed in the differences between the two procedures.     

Traditional Liposuction Safely in Use Since 1974

First used by Italian and French surgeons in 1974, liposuction, as implied by the name, uses suction to remove localized fat cells from beneath the skin. The process involves inserting a small device known as a cannula through targeted incisions and into the fat layers. The surgeon uses this to manipulate and dislodge the fat deposits, while an aspiration device attached to the cannula gently sucks dislodged fat cells out from beneath the skin.  

Smartlipo® Aided by Laser Breakdown of the Fat Cells

Smartlipo® uses the same vacuum action as liposuction, but the process is aided by a cannula-encased laser that uses low-energy waves to help break down and liquify the fat cells. This puts less stress on the soft tissues than manual fat cell dislodgement, and makes it easier to draw out the fat cells.

The laser energy also provides an added benefit by helping tighten the skin, with the laser’s heat boosting coagulation and stimulating collagen production. This is especially beneficial for patients whose skin has lost much of its elasticity. 

Other Differences Between Smartlipo® and Liposuction

In general, liposuction is considered more invasive than Smartlipo®. Not only is the laser action more gentle and effective than physical fat cell dislodgement, but Smartlipo® usually requires smaller incisions. Being less invasive, Smartlipo® also typically causes less discomfort and requires shorter downtime. Additionally, general anesthesia is often needed with liposuction involving extensive removal, while Smartlipo® typically only requires the use of local anesthesia. However, traditional liposuction is often recommended for those seeking to remove larger volumes of fat.  

Both Can Be Used to Target the Same Stubborn Fatty Areas

Liposuction and Smartlipo® are both used to target the same stubborn fatty areas, including:

  • Abdomen
  • Love handles
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Upper Arms
  • Double Chin

Both can also be used in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures to achieve a patient’s desired results.

Whether traditional liposuction or Smartlipo®, the practiced hands and artistic body sculpting hands of your surgeon will play the most significant role in the ultimate success of the procedure. 

Learn More Through a Consultation at Gardner Plastic Surgery

If you would like to learn more about liposuction and Smartlipo®, Dr. Paul Gardner or Dr. Leo Baccaro would be happy to speak to you in a one-on-one consultation. Both are adept with either procedure and can help you determine which option might be right for you. Contact Gardner Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.

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At Naples Plastic Surgery, our cosmetic services are designed to contour and enhance your body to help you achieve the body image that you desire. Known for offering among the best facial plastic surgery in Naples, our board-certified surgeons are known as much for their artistry as they are for their surgical skills. We understand that your image is the key to feeling great, so we will provide you with the most reliable advice and services to help make you look and feel your best.

The surgical team at Naples Plastic Surgery has the training and experience necessary to help you pursue your own individual cosmetic goals down to the very last detail, all in a warm, comfortable, and private environment.

Dr. Paul Gardner, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Southwest Florida. As one of the leading plastic surgeons in Naples, FL, Dr. Gardner has more than 25 years of experience performing facial procedures including composite facelift, mini facelift, brow lift and skin cancer removal procedures. He also possesses expertise in breast augmentations, tummy tucks, and labiaplasty.

Dr. Leopoldo M. Baccaro, MD received extensive training at the prestigious Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he worked with some of the most well-renowned practitioners in the art of cosmetic surgery. With honors and awards throughout medical school and his residency, Dr. Baccaro earned a stellar reputation for high quality surgical care with both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.

Dr. Mark Walsh, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Southwest Florida. Dr. Walsh participated in the prestigious plastic surgery training program at Duke University. He has also served as an invited reviewer and has provided expert commentaries for multiple surgical journals, including the highly regarded Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

Dr. Andrew M. Bonett, MD specializes in both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, with specific interests in reconstruction after breast and skin cancers, including Mohs reconstruction. His experience also includes reconstruction following traumatic injuries, body contouring, and general cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.

The plastic surgery process at Naples Plastic Surgery begins with a one-on-one, confidential consultation in which your surgeon conducts an examination to determine which procedures are likely to produce the most robust aesthetic improvements. This includes a comprehensive discussion with you to identify the benefits, risks and costs associated with each procedure. It may be possible to combine a number of surgical procedures into a single surgery if you desire and if your medical condition permits it.

As with any medical procedure, there is no guarantee that a desired outcome will be achieved. There are a number of health risks associated with even minor medical procedures. If you have any health issues or concerns, please feel free to discuss them any time with your surgeon at our Naples’ plastic surgery center.
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Plastic Surgeons | Paul M. Gardner, MD, FACS | Leopoldo M. Baccaro, MD | Mark Walsh, MD, F.A.C.S. | Andrew Bonett, MD

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