The New Technique: Smart Lipo What it is: Laser-assisted liposuction
Another technology that has been advertised heavily is laser liposuction, also called "Smart Lipo". The theory of the benefit of laser liposuction is that the laser can potentially cause the skin to shrink after the fat is removed. In addition, the laser is said to liquefy the fat. I recently went to a course on laser liposuction, and the teaching was that the laser heated up the skin to cause it to shrink. The plastic surgeon giving the course used a temperature probe to very carefully monitor the skin temperature. If the temperature because too hot, it could cause burning and scarring of the skin. If the temperature was not hot enough, it appeared to have little to no benefit on the skin. In any case, the amount of shrinkage of the skin appeared to be minimal. In addition, the risk of complications with a laser is most likely higher than it is with using traditional liposuction because if you're using a laser you have the additional potential risk. Again the manufacturer claims that the bruising and scarring are decreased. This technique has recently appeared frequently on television and in magazines due to a very heavy marketing campaign. Unfortunately, as of yet, there are no accepted double-blind studies demonstrating that Smart Lipo has any significant advantage over traditional liposuction.