Guest Contributor Wendy Lewis, aka The Knife Coach®, Founder of www.beautyinthebag.com, sheds new light on SMARTLIPO™.
Non-surgical fat blasting and body contouring are shaping up to be the new alternatives to body lifts and tummy tucks as people are eager to avoid the costs, risks and downtime of major surgery. Although less invasive procedures tend to yield less impressive results, for gals and guys in search of a better body without scars and general anesthesia, the benefits may outweigh the limitations. There is a flood of flab-away devices that are FDA approved to pulverize fat cells with radio frequency, ultrasound, and laser energy, and many more under development. If you are in decent shape to start with (with firm, taut skin), a svelte torso is possible in one session. Even if you’re not in supermodel form, you will see some contour improvement. The biggest variable is the exact degree of saggy skin that can be firmed up.
When SmartLipo™ first exploded onto the scene all over Europe (it commenced in Italy), people touted that the procedure was “as close as humans can come to that fat-melting fantasy.” The technology, known as ‘laser lipolysis’, offers the benefit of combining liposuction with laser skin tightening. It’s a two step procedure; first a fine diode laser fiber inside a thin instrument called a ‘cannula’ liquefies fat deposits through a small incision in the skin, and then the oily liquid is suctioned out. Voila –pesky back rolls, saddle bags, Miss Piggy knees, muffin tops and batwing arms can be history! One of the most effective areas is the proverbial double chin which tends to shrink up nicely.
SmartLipo™, short for SmartLipo™ Laser Lipolysis Laser Body Sculpting, was FDA approved in 2006 and is marketed by Cynosure® in the US.
The key advantages of SmartLipo™ over traditional liposuction are that it can be done in your doctor’s office, and the fees are often kinder and gentler because you can bypass going into a hospital. Recovery also is pretty quick – a weekend will usually do it. The downside is that it is not ideal for large volumes of fat, and tends to work best for relatively small fat deposits. It is not exactly painless unless you are having a little twilight anesthesia or a valium along the way. Most patients are wide awake and talking during the whole procedure. Some swelling, soreness and redness after are pretty normal but pass quickly. It is possible to have lumps and bumps that last for a few months, which is often the result of poor technique on the part of the doctor doing the procedure. Skin will continue to shrink over the first three months or so.
SmartLipo™ is also being used along with traditional liposuction to get the benefits of the laser for skin tightening while larger amounts of fat are removed. The newest addition is the higher power Smartlipo™ MPX platform that combines two different wavelengths of energy to disrupt fatty tissue and tighten skin.
As with any lipo sculpting procedure, the fat that gets removed is gone forever, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot gain weight in those areas again as fat cells expand. Costs range from a minimum of around $3,000 for one small area and up to $10,000 or more for larger procedures and multiple areas such as hips, tummy and thighs in one session.
To find a doctor near you, visit http://www.cynosure.com/patients/practitioner-locator.php
BEAUTYSTAT SPECIAL from New York City Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Shafer: Complimentary consultation for SmartLipo™ plus $200.00 off on the first area, and $300.00 courtesy on the second area. Offer expires in 90 days.
– Wendy Lewis