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Dear Dr. Seckel, I am considering liposuction and have read about the new smartlipo and lipodissolve. Are these new procedures safe and effective? Why is liposuction better with a laser? Thank you, Margaret, Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Margaret,


Smartlipo and lipodissolve are new techniques for dissolving and removing fat. The technique was pioneered by Dr Goldman in Brazil and has become very popular in the US during the past year.


What is new about smartlipo and lipodissolve is that a tiny cannula with a small laser (about the size of a pencil tip) is inserted into the fat layer beneath the skin. The laser heats and dissolves the fat into a liquid. The liquid fat is then suctioned out using a small suction tube or cannula. In Brazil, doctors do not remove the liquefied fat but allow the body to resorb the fat-a technique that is much less traumatic but takes longer to see the final result.


The benefits of smartlipo and lipodissolve that are claimed by Cynosure, the company that makes the laser are:


Less trauma

Less bleeding

Improved skin tightening after the fat is removed

Quicker recovery


Smartlipo and lipodissolve are new techniques and we are waiting long term studies of safety and effectiveness in this country, although the experience in Brazil is very promising in the reports I have read.


In my opinion the most promising aspect of this new technology is the skin tightening effect of the laser. One of the major limitations of traditional liposuction has been the failure of the skin to tighten after liposuction. Loose skin left after liposuction has often required surgical skin tightening.


Theoretically the heat produced by the laser during the laser “lipodissolve” procedure will also tighten the skin. If this skin tightening component of smartlipo and lipodissolve pans out this will be a revolutionary advance in liposuction. Stay tuned.


For further information on plastic surgery, lasers, and non surgical skin rejuvenation read Save Your Face or contact me.


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Dr. Seckel


Concord, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts