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Is SmartLipo Dumb?

SmartLipo has become one of the best known recent catchwords in plastic surgery. On the radio and on television, in magazines and on billboards it is advertised unabashedly. “It can even be done in the office under local anesthesia.” Sounds great. But what do you really know about it?

Here is what you should know:

SmartLipo was initially marketed to nonsurgeons… dermatologists, family practice doctors, etc… Why? Because since it was simply small volume liposuction using thin cannulas, it could be done under local anesthesia in an office. Those physicians who it was being marketed to were not allowed to do this type of procedure in a hospital operating room because they were not credentialed to do so (see my previous Blog). Adding a small laser to these cannulas, made this type of lipo “smart”. Especially smart for advertising. This laser is what supposedly distinguishes it from standard liposuction. And this is what some of the plastic surgery centers, the ones you hear on the radio 24/7, have embraced in their ads. Although it sounds good in an advertisement, there are no peer reviewed studies showing that SmartLipo has any advantages over traditional liposuction. And certainly, it is not nearly as powerful as ultrasonic liposuction.

Here is the question you should ask yourself. Who are the people doing SmartLipo? Are they the best of the best? The fact is, they are by and large, the non-surgeons, non-board certified plastic surgeons, and the centers that rely on advertising and not patient word of mouth. If SmartLipo were so good, most top notch board certified plastic surgeons would incorporate it into their practice. And they do not. Caveat Emptor.

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