What is the Difference between SmartLipo and Traditional Liposuction?

Achieving a beautiful figure can be hard work. It’s common to find a few areas of fat that simply won’t go away in spite of your fitness efforts. In these situations, liposuction can be an excellent way to put the finishing touches on your workout routine, delivering the beautiful, sculpted figure you desire.

Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed every year, and the techniques for this treatment continue to improve. Due to the wide array of options available, it’s important to understand the differences between these techniques. At Main Line Plastic Surgery, Dr. Jean has chosen to focus on two liposuction methods:

  • Traditional (tumescent) liposuction
  • SmartLipo

The right solution for you will depend on your unique needs and goals. Dr. Jean will explain these options in detail and recommend the most effective treatment plan for you during your initial consultation.

How Do these Procedures Differ?

One of the main differences between liposuction and SmartLipo involves the way the procedure is performed. Traditional liposuction is completed under general anesthesia. A special tumescent fluid containing a mixture of saline, adrenaline, lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the treatment area to facilitate the breakup of fat cells. A thin, hollow tube called a cannula will then remove the unwanted fat cells via suction.

SmartLipo is performed under local anesthesia, so you will be awake during the procedure. Laser energy is used to melt and liquefy the fat, making it easier to remove with the cannula. This process is gentler than the traditional tumescent technique, and it typically results in less bruising. In addition, SmartLipo can be performed using a smaller incision. This will help minimize scarring.

Skin Tightening Benefits

Another significant difference between these techniques involves the ability to deliver skin tightening benefits. Traditional liposuction isn’t able to provide skin tightening. As a result, it’s possible to experience loose, sagging skin in the treatment area, especially if you have poor skin elasticity.

The laser energy used with SmartLipo not only facilitates the removal of fat, but it also provides skin tightening benefits. During your procedure, the heat applied to the deep layers of your skin stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. This can help provide a smoother appearance in the treatment region.

How Does the Recovery Differ?

Traditional liposuction is associated with a longer recovery process. There is more post-operative bruising and swelling. You’ll also need to wear a compression garment for approximately six to eight weeks after your procedure. Dr. Jean typically recommends taking one to two weeks off of work, and you will need to refrain from strenuous exercise for at least six weeks.

After SmartLipo, bruising and swelling will subside much faster. In addition, you’ll only need to wear the compression garment for about three weeks. You should be able to return to work within two to three days, and you can begin low-impact exercise after about three to five days. While you’ll be able to resume strenuous exercise faster after SmartLipo, it’s important to avoid these activities until Dr. Jean determines it is safe for your body to handle them.

Which Technique is Right for Me?

Dr. Jean prefers SmartLipo for most of his patients due to the skin tightening benefits, gentler procedure and shorter recovery. However, there are some situations when he may recommend traditional liposuction. This most commonly occurs when you’re undergoing multiple procedures at once, such as with a mommy makeover. In addition, if you prefer to not be awake during your procedure, traditional liposuction may be a better option for you.

Contact our Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Please contact Main Line Plastic Surgery using the form on this page or call 484-222-0010 today to schedule your liposuction consultation. We serve patients in Bryn Mawr, Villanova and throughout the Main Line of Philadelphia.

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