Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Smart Lipo – Smarter for Stubborn Fatty Areas Than Liposuction

Fat. It’s part of the human condition. It accumulates under our skin, especially as we get older, right where we don’t want it. Diet and exercise can really help, and they’re good for our general health, too, so they’re the first line of attack against overweight. But sometimes even the high-power gym types, the folks who work out all the time, simply can’t get rid of those lumpy, fatty areas. That’s why a lot of people are interested in a new treatment they’re hearing about called “Smart Lipo.”

What is Smart Lipo? It’s laser liposuction, and it’s a radical advance in “body sculpting” for fatty areas.

I had a client call me the other day about this new treatment – “Is it right for me?” she asked. She is a very fit, active middle-aged mother of three children in college and beyond. “It’s driving me crazy,” she said – “my weenie roll.” What? Saddlebags, love handles, OK, but – what was this?

Turns out that’s what she calls a roll of fat across her lower abdomen, about the size and shape of a ballpark frankfurter. You see, though that part of her is in very good tone, she has a C-section scar like a smile right there, and her pregnancies have loosened her skin just enough that fat accumulates above the scar. She hates the way it makes the front of her pants, not to mention her swimsuit, bulge out.

She doesn’t want a tummy tuck. That would really be overkill, and who wants general anesthesia if you don’t need it? Liposuction… I don’t know if you’ve seen this procedure on TV, but again, there’s general anesthesia, and then all that shoving of the suction equipment – it can even be dangerous in the wrong hands! And it leaves the surface of the loosened skin with grooves and ripples – far from smooth.

So she came in for an exam and consultation, and I explained Smart Lipo to her. It’s a minimally invasive procedure, done in the office under local anesthesia. Here’s the great advance: it uses laser energy that targets the fat cells – and literally melts them away! They are then withdrawn with super-fine tubes. The laser energy also seals off fine blood vessels, drastically reducing blood leakage and bruising in the tissues – and there’s no stitches or scarring. This procedure also stimulates collagen production and causes a tightening of the skin over the area, another benefit over regular liposuction. After the procedure, you wear a compression garment for a week or two. And that’s it!

Smart Lipo is a very gentle, comfortable, low-pain procedure, highly efficient, without all the bulky tubes and vacuum apparatus of the older liposuction procedure. The treatment itself is brief, and down time is also much less, usually a day or two as opposed to a week. Many patients see the results they want after a single treatment.

“Is it safe?” my client wanted to know. Very safe. Smart Lipo has been in widespread use for several years in Europe and South America, and the FDA approved it here in the US over a year ago.

That’s what I told my client about Smart Lipo, and here’s what I want everyone else to know: It is the answer for so many of the fat problems that drive us crazy: besides love handles and saddlebags, the tummy fat, arms and thigh fat, jowls and neck and under the chin fat, back fat, and male chest fat (yes, I am talking about man boobs). So this is a perfect treatment for my client and her abdominal fat, and for anyone looking to remove limited amounts of fat in targeted areas, up to about eight pounds. Anyone desiring to remove more fat than this will want to discuss one of the other procedures with a cosmetic dermatologist or other professional specialist.

But aren’t we lucky to live at a time when technology is giving us such a great, individualized, smart alternative for getting rid of pesky fat?

Author: James Fairfield

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