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Liposuction Alternative: SmartLipo™ vs. CoolLipo™

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Part 1: A Popular Liposuction Alternative

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

The first lipo alternative that we are going to discuss is SmartLipo.

What is it? AND how does it benefit aging skin? AND the second liposuction alternative we will touch on is CoolLipo. We will discuss the differences and similarities between the two.

Our readers are intensely savvy and want to know the facts about the procedures in which they are interested.

At Letty's Liposuction Directory we give you the information that makes deciding on your health much easier. We are the facilitators. Hopefully, you can use what we give you and make great decisions about your beauty and well-being.

So without further ado... let's get started.

What is SmartLipo?

This particular liposuction alternative is a laser-based, fat-melting and skin-tightening technique that improves upon traditional liposuction in its delivery.

SmartLipo – otherwise known as laser-assisted lipolysis – has been around since the early 1990's. Since then, many advances have occurred in its development and presentation to cause its popularity to steadily increase.

How does SmartLipo work?

Laser assisted liposuction is generally performed under general anesthetic. During surgery a small cannula (suctioning device) is inserted through tiny incisions to reach and gently remove deep pockets of fat tissue.

Once the fat is suctioned out, a laser is fed through the suction-device – where it's moved back and forth in the area delivering the laser's energy. The laser energy "melts" and smoothes the remaining fat in the area creating a more even contour.

What are the benefits of SmartLipo?

The laser not only diminishes fat cells in the treatment area – it tightens collagen fibers as well. This in effect lifts and tightens sagging skin, giving it a more refreshed and youthful appearance.

Other benefits of this liposuction alternative include:

  1. Skin tightening.
  2. Less bruising and bleeding after surgery.
  3. Quicker recovery time.
  4. Patients with sagging skin can be treated.

What are the side-effects of Smart Lipo?

SmartLipo is still surgery. In other words, all of the cautions that apply to surgery – still are applicable to this procedure as well.

Having said that, here's a brief list of some possible side-effects:

    Liposuction Alternative - SmartLipo Complications

  1. Burns. The laser is a super-heated, high-energy device that is used to target fat and tighten collagen with thermal mechanism. IN less experienced hands – damaging burns can and sometimes do occur.
  2. Toxic to the liver and kidneys. There may be some risk to the liver and kidneys due to the free fatty acids that are created when fat cells are destroyed by laser.
  3. Puncture wounds. The laser fiber is stiff and can break posing a potential risk of penetrating the skin during surgery.
  4. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation(PIH). These are dark marks that can occur as healing takes place. Instead of the treated skin healing to match the color and tone of surrounding skin – it heals visibly darker.

So as you can see – this is not a silver bullet, or some magical "fat" cure-all. There are real risks that have to be taken into consideration.

FDA Approval:

This particular liposuction alternative – SmartLipo – was cleared by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) in November of 2006.

Since then it has been used with varying amounts of success to treat skin laxity and pockets of resistant fat in otherwise healthy and fit individuals.

What is CoolLipo?

CoolLipo is a new generation lipolysis technique that uses carefully targeted lasers to achieve cosmetic results.

How do CoolLipo and SmartLipo compare?

CoolLipo (by CoolTouch, Inc.) and SmartLipo (by Cynosure, Inc.) – are both laser devices used for the dual purposes of tightening sagging skin and diminishing pockets of resistant fat.

How they accomplish those objectives are slightly different however.

The SmartLipo system uses a 1,064-nanometer Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser. The treatment area is first liposuctioned, and in a second step the laser is used to tighten and smooth the area. To introduce the laser to the treatment area the surgeon threads it through the wand-device and hand piece.

The CoolLipo system combines a 1,320-nanometer Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser with simultaneous suction. This particular wavelength of energy selectively heats the water in skin surrounding collagen fibers. That heat shortens the collagen having the overall effect of tightening the skin.

The patient outcomes and safety in either case are very similar.

Why are these new technologies becoming so popular?

A couple factors have conspired to make laser lipolysis popular.

The fact that lasers help to make the surgeries less bloody, with shorter recovery times and generally less pain - makes this liposuction alternative more convenient to our busy and modern lifestyles.

Another factor contributing to the popularity of laser liposuction is the fact that it can be used to treat the face, and neck successfully in more individuals. Traditional liposuction doesn't address skin laxity. The last thing you'd want is to have looser skin after fat is taken out in a visible place like your face!

Lasers tighten the skin once the fat is removed which has the overall effect of making you look both thinner and more youthful...

...an attractive combination!

What is the take-home here?

Again, it cannot be overstated that this liposuction alternative (laser lipolysis) – is surgery.

And because it is surgery - there are risks that are associated with having the surgery. One of the most important things that you can do to protect your beauty and well-being is to make sure that your surgeon is experienced.

Letty's Hint: Take time to interview your surgeon and ensure that she/he has had lots of experience with the technique that they are suggesting for you.

You HAVE to Watch This:

FOX News ran this highly informative piece about SmartLipo™:

Liposuction Alternative References:

  • Worcester, Sharon. "Laser lipolysis beats liposuction in two studies." Skin & Allergy News 39.5 (2008): 31. General OneFile. Web 30 Nov. 2009.

  • Weiss, Robert A. "Laser lipolysis: the future of liposuction." Skin & Allergy News 39.5 (2008): 17. General OneFile. Web 30 Nov. 2009.

  • Brunk, Doug. "Patients are seeking less-invasive fat removal." Skin & Allergy News 39.12 (2008): 19. Health & Wellness Resources Center. Web 4 Mar. 2010.

  • Jesitus, John. "Tight light: the laser as fat-melting tool has some practitioners rethinking conventional lipo." Cosmetic surgery Times 10.4 (2007): 24+. Health & Wellness Resource Center. Web 3 Feb. 2010.

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