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Mytien Goldberg, MD, FACS

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Faster Recovery & Other Benefits of Smart Lipo ™

Posted May 04, 2013 in Smart Lipo

Liposuction as we know it today, was invented in 1974. The 1980’s saw the addition of tumescent liquid — a mixture of saline and a local anesthetic — to the procedure and that, until quite recently, was the only significant change in liposuction technique in 30 years. Then 2007 saw the FDA approval of Smart Lipo ™, also known as laser assisted liposuction. Smart Lipo ™ is, quite frankly, a revolutionary new way to to remove unwanted fat deposits. It isn’t that it is superior in every way to traditional or tumescent liposuction but rather that Smart Lipo ™ provides an alternative set of pros and cons which can be of great benefit in certain situations.

Traditional methods of liposuction are very effective for larger pockets of fat, in particular in the abdominal and buttock areas where scarring is less visible. Traditional methods of liposuction are not as useful in highly visible areas such as the face, jawline, and neck, though, or in extremely sensitive areas of the body. Situations that require dealing with smaller pockets of fat, or with parts of the body that are awkward to deal with through traditional means are where laser assisted liposuction really shines. It is also quite useful in situations where a faster recovery time is important.

As we get older, it’s not uncommon to develop a bit of an extra chin. Traditional liposuction carries with it a not insignificant risk of leaving behind visible scarring, and that risk is amplified when the procedure is to be done at a site such as the chin or jawline, where a visible scar can be very visible indeed.

There are several reasons why Smart Lipo™ patients tend to recover considerably faster than those who undergo a traditional liposuction procedure. Smart Lipo™, because of the much smaller cannula used to carry the laser, is a less invasive procedure than traditional liposuction, and especially than tumescent liposuction which involves the forced injection of quite a bit of liquid into the patient’s body. The less invasive the procedure, the faster the body can recover from it. The heat from the laser also cauterizes surrounding tissue as it melts the fat. This cauterizing action helps to reduce blood loss by an enormous amount, and can possibly help lower the risk of infection.

Smart Lipo ™ provides a faster recovery time, a lower amount of scarring, and a likewise lesser chance of bruising and discoloration. Many patients find this to be important for reasons other than simply wanting to avoid discomfort, or feel better sooner.

People who seek out body contouring generally do so because they feel self-conscious about their appearance. Many of these patients feel likewise self-conscious, sometimes downright embarrassed, to be seeking the services of a cosmetic surgeon in the first place and they would rather keep that fact to themselves. This is much easier to do without visible bruising, and without having to take a week or more off work.

Dr. Goldberg can now make that possible.

Doctor Goldberg is a board certified plastic surgeon located in Southern California. Dr. Goldberg obtained her M.D. degree at Stanford University School of Medicine and is the recipient of the prestigious Fresh Start Research Fellowship from the American Plastic Surgery Education Foundation in 2004. She has presented her research at national meetings and several publications in peer reviewed journals.


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