Liposuction has been popular for many years, and new technological advancements are improving on the procedure in many ways. Laser liposuction is a procedure that uses small incisions, has little downtime, and may be performed with local anesthesia. The procedure isn’t for everyone, however, and patients should thoroughly understand laser liposuction and SmartLipo before deciding to move forward with this minimally invasive option.
At K Plastic Surgery, Dr. Kayastha offers SmartLipo, a type of laser liposuction which has several benefits. After a thorough consultation, Dr. Kayastha will inform you of what you can reasonably expect from your SmartLipo procedure. The first step of the procedure is to numb the area using local anesthesia. This means that you will be awake and alert during the procedure and should feel minimal pain. The laser fiber used to complete laser liposuction can then be inserted below the skin in the treatment area through a very small incision. The laser is only 1 mm in diameter, so the incisions used in SmartLipo are small.
After inserting the laser, it is used to liquefy fat cells in the treatment area. The laser energy also works to tighten skin. The machine can operate at multiple wavelengths, meaning the procedure is customizable to suit a variety of patients’ needs. When the procedure is complete, the incision requires only one stitch as it is so small.
Laser liposuction is different from traditional liposuction in several ways. First, it is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require general anesthesia. Liposuction can sometimes be performed under local anesthesia, but for a more extensive procedure, general anesthesia is preferred.
Additionally, laser liposuction can require much less downtime compared to more extensive liposuction.
Finally, laser liposuction procedures like SmartLipo have the benefit of tightening skin in addition to removing unwanted fat. Traditional liposuction only removes stubborn areas of fat, meaning patients with poor skin elasticity may be left with excess loose skin after the procedure and are not typically good candidates.
SmartLipo is a brand name for a specific type of laser liposuction technology. Different brands and types of laser liposuction may have some variation and slight differences between them, but they typically work in much the same way. All laser liposuction technologies work by using laser energy to melt body fat and have the benefit of tightening the skin. SmartLipo is the type of laser liposuction which Dr. Kayastha uses and prefers.
A good candidate for laser liposuction, such as SmartLipo, has some areas of stubborn, unwanted fat but is at or near a healthy weight. They should also be at a stable weight, and not see fluctuations for several months before choosing the procedure. Generally, patients should have less than 35% body fat before choosing SmartLipo.
In addition, while SmartLipo tightens the skin, patients with excessive skin laxity may not be suited to the treatment. Dr. Kayastha may recommend a surgical procedure to remove excess skin instead.
Laser liposuction candidates tend to have less unwanted fat than traditional liposuction patients. For more extensive changes in the body contour, liposuction is generally preferred. Laser liposuction and SmartLipo patients also tend to be active and prefer the procedure because they can more quickly return to their exercise routines.
Finally, there are some medical concerns that may disqualify you from candidacy for laser liposuction and SmartLipo. Patients who suffer from cardiovascular issues, hypertension, or diabetes may not be suited to the treatment.
Dr. Kayastha will work to understand your concerns and goals and review your medical history to determine whether you are a candidate for a laser liposuction procedure. If laser liposuction is not right for you, he may recommend another body contouring procedure to achieve your goals.
Some risks of laser liposuction and SmartLipo, while relatively rare, include hematoma, infection, and burning the skin. These can generally be avoided by choosing a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon to perform your procedure and following their aftercare instruction diligently through your recovery period.
A downside to laser liposuction for some patients is that the fat cells are destroyed through the procedure, meaning that they can’t be used for fat transfer to another part of the body. If you wish to have fat transferred, you will require traditional liposuction.
The length of a laser liposuction procedure will vary according to the treatment area and the specific technology used. The SmartLipo procedure can be completed relatively quickly. For most patients, the procedure lasts just two hours or less. Larger treatment areas will require longer procedures, while smaller areas (such as the double chin area) will be completed faster.
The short recovery period is one of the most notable benefits of laser liposuction and SmartLipo compared to other procedures. After SmartLipo, the average recovery period lasts just 1-2 days, and patients are able to return to work or other normal routine activities. Many patients can have the procedure on a Friday and be ready to return to work the following Monday! Some common side effects of laser liposuction are swelling and some soreness, but these rapidly dissipate.
While some residual swelling persists for several weeks, you will have a general sense of your final laser liposuction results after just a week. Swelling fully dissipates, revealing your final results, at about 6 months after the procedure.
If you are interested in laser liposuction and want to know whether you’re a good candidate for the SmartLipo procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kayastha at K Plastic Surgery. He will answer all your questions and develop a treatment plan to meet your goals. Call our Latham, New York office at (518) 674-9060 to request an appointment, or fill out our online form.