The larger cannulas associated with traditional techniques can sometimes cause ecchymosis (discolouration of the skin), visceral perforations (puncture wounds in the organs), and skin laxity, resulting in long recovery times.
That’s where laser-assisted liposuction comes in.
What is Laser-Assisted Liposuction / SmartLipo?
Among the most noted advantages of this technique over traditional methods is its ability to target specific areas, a precision afforded by a smaller cannula (the metal instrument that houses the laser itself). Unlike traditional liposuction, which uses 3-5 mm cannulas, this new technology employs a significantly smaller 1-mm diameter cannula. The incisions for SmartLipo techniques are consequently minimal in size and number, depending on how many areas are treated. The laser is also equipped with a red helium:neon (He:Ne) beam that allows the surgeon to see the location of the laser tip even under the skin, again increasing surgical precision.
The SmartLipo technique delivers laser pulses to the treatment site that loosen and soften the fat, making the liquefied tissue easier to extract. Similar to other liposuction techniques, laser-assisted liposuction often begins with the application of a tumescent solution (consisting of anaesthesia, saline, and epinephrine), followed by the breakdown of fat, a process referred to as “laser lipolysis.” The surgeon will typically move onto standard liposuction in order to vacuum up or “aspirate” the liquefied fat, although suction is not employed in all surgical cases.
Furthermore, surgeons will often apply lasers engineered to coagulate small blood vessels, which helps prevent bruising. Lasers may also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, tissues that firm and tighten skin. The SmartLipo technique, therefore, produces less trauma on the surrounding area, which generally leads to reduced swelling, less bruising, and an overall reduced recovery time when compared to traditional liposuction methods.