Smart Lipo vs Traditional liposuction

Smart Lipo (also referred to as laser liposuction) uses laser energy to liquefy fat before it’s removed from the body with a small tube called a cannula. In some cases, the doctor may not remove the fat, but allow it to be absorbed by the body and eliminated naturally. Like liposuction, it’s not intended to significantly reduce weight, but address fat that’s been resistant to diet and exercise. Some claim the treatment also tightens skin and leads to a faster recovery than other forms of lipo.

Pros and Cons of Smart Lipo vs. Traditional Liposuction

  • Local anesthetic is used instead of general anesthesia. Traditional liposuction uses general anesthesia so there is more risk.
  • Minimal blood loss is a major advantage to getting SmartLipo instead of traditional lipo. The precision laser technology leaves blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue largely undisturbed.
  • About three days of downtime: minimal swelling, bruising and pain so you can get back to life.
  • Incisions are tiny and eliminate the need for stitches resulting in faster healing time and a virtually scar-free procedure.
  • A much smaller cannula (suction tube) is used to remove the liquefied fat so the entire area is left better preserved with our liposuction methods than with standard liposuction.
  • Fat is easier to remove with the laser because it is liquefied. Traditional liposuction removes the fat in solid particles.
  • Tighter skin with Smart Lipo because the heat from the laser coagulates the collagen in the skin. Traditional liposuction leaves empty pockets under the skin and can leave sagging.
  • Only one treatment needed vs. traditional liposuction which can require several procedures.
  • More affordable because only one treatment is needed and expensive general anesthesia is not used.

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is done to remove unwanted fat deposits from under the skin.  Using liposuction, a plastic surgeon can contour and sculpt the body.  They do this by removing excess fat deposits which are resistant to exercise or diet.  The fat removed is permanently gone.  It is removed with a type of suction. 

Liposuction Surgery is the most commonly requested cosmetic procedure.  There is a variety of techniques available for performing liposuction, but the two primary are traditional liposuction and Smartlipo. As technology has advanced, there have been great improvements to liposuction surgery. 

 Traditional Liposuction


When you have traditional liposuction, you are typically under general anesthesia.  This is administered through an IV and puts the patient into a state of sleep. Since this is general anesthesia, an anesthesiologist is required which adds to the cost. This also means that traditional Boise Liposuction must be performed in a hospital or a surgery center.

 During traditional liposuction, large incisions are made in the treatment areas. With traditional liposuction, these incisions  must be large enough for the cannulas to fit through.  The Boise Plastic Surgeon uses the cannulas in a jabbing motion to break loose the fat from between the  muscles and the skin.  

 The cannula then suctions the scraped fat out from under the skin.  The patient is provided fluids through an IV to help replace fluids lost through the suction.  Since the plastic surgeon is using a jabbing and scraping motion to break up the fat, it may create uneven dimpling or rippling on the top of the hte skin. 

Recovery following traditional liposuction Surgery is lengthy.  The patient may have to stay in the hospital for several days and then remain on bed rest for several more when they return home.  There may be significant pain and discomfort which may last for several weeks following surgery.  The patient may also need to wear a compression garment for several weeks.


 Smartlipo is an alternative to traditional liposuction and many plastic surgeons believe it offers better results with less recovery time. Additionally, unlike with regular liposuction, Smartlipo also includes skin tightening which leaves the skin with a much nicer result. 

Smartlipo uses a type of laser and there are three laser wavelengths used during the surgery.  The first wavelength is at 1440nm and is what is used to first melt the fat.  The second wavelength is 1320nm and works to remove the water and fluid from the skin which begins tightening the skin.  This wavelength also triggers the body to produce collagen and form new skin. The third wavelength cauterizes the blood vessels and promotes faster healing.

 Boise Smartlipo Surgery is performed under a local anesthesia as opposed to the general anesthesia required for traditional liposuction and may be performed as an outpatient procedure. It also involves much tinier incisions than traditional liposuction and uses a micro-cannula which is much less invasive. The incisions are closed with sutures and the patient wears a compression garment for three weeks following surgery.  Meridian Smartlipo patients may return home the day of surgery and their recovery period is much shorter than with traditional liposuction. 

 While traditional liposuction requires significant downtime and may not produce the best results, Smartlipo patients can return to work with a few days and the results are very good.