Smartlipo® vs. SculpSure®: What you need to know

SculpSure and Smartlipo transform your body shape by eliminating the frustrating areas of fat that stick around, in spite of following a healthy diet and exercise regimen. You’re a good candidate for both procedures if you’re close to your healthy body weight, yet still have pockets of fat that you need to lose, like love handles, saddlebags, or a double chin.

While both procedures contour your body using advanced lasers, and both permanently remove fat, there are important differences between the two. Here’s a rundown of the info you need to determine whether SculpSure or Smartlipo is the best option for achieving the body shape you always wanted. When you’ve made your choice, contact us at the Anti-Aging Institute in Lexington, Kentucky.

Are the procedures invasive?

SculpSure is a noninvasive procedure, so no incisions are needed. The SculpSure system uses flat applicators that rest directly on top of your skin. The applicators emit lasers at a wavelength that’s absorbed by fat cells, yet passes safely through your skin without causing harm.

Smartlipo is a minimally-invasive procedure that requires small incisions. The laser-emitting instrument consists of a tube, or cannula, that’s inserted through your skin so it can go directly into the fat tissue being treated. However, the laser tube is very narrow, so the incisions are small.

How do they eliminate fat?

Fat cells die when they’re heated to a specific temperature. SculpSure and Smartlipo both use precise temperature control to heat fat tissues just enough to break down the cells. However, the two procedures are different.

During a SculpSure session, the applicators are positioned on your skin above the area of fat to be eliminated. The applicators stay in place, as they send lasers into fat tissue below the skin.

Following SculpSure treatment, the dead fat cells become waste that the body naturally removes through the lymphatic system. This process is safe and effective, but it takes up to 12 weeks for all the waste products to be removed.

The Smartlipo system consists of a fiber optic laser inside a narrow tube that’s inserted into the area of fat. The cannula is moved in small, fan-like motions through the fat, allowing the laser to heat a broad area of fat tissue, then a small tube suctions the melted fat out of the body. The suction process is gentle and rapid because the fat cells are liquefied.

Is anesthesia required?

SculpSure comes equipped with an innovative cooling system that automatically keeps your skin comfortable during the procedure. Some physicians also apply a numbing cream; otherwise, you don’t need anesthesia. During the procedure, you’ll feel cycles of warmth followed by cooling as the laser turns on and off to maintain the proper temperature.

Smartlipo procedures are performed using local anesthesia. You may feel slight pressure or a tugging sensation from the cannula, but the anesthesia keeps you completely comfortable.

What areas of your body are treated?

SculpSure is FDA-cleared to treat troublesome fat from five areas of the body: the abdomen, flanks (love handles), inner thighs, outer thighs, and the back.

The narrow Smartlipo tube can remove fat from small areas such as the neck and chin. Other areas of the body commonly treated with Smartlipo include the waist, abdomen, love handles, thighs, hips, buttocks, and upper arms. It’s also used to remove male breasts that have developed due to gynecomastia.

How much fat is removed in a session?

The SculpSure treatment area is determined by the number of applicators used – up to four can be used at one time. The session lasts 25 minutes, and during that time 24% of the treated fat can be eliminated.* You may be happy with the results following one session, but most patients need multiple treatments for optimal results.

Smartlipo removes all of the fat that’s heated by the laser. Treatment takes one to two hours, but the time varies depending on the size of the treatment area. Many patients get the results they want with one Smartlipo session.*

Will you have recovery time?

SculpSure doesn’t require any downtime. Your skin may redden like a mild sunburn, but that resolves quickly, and you can get back to your normal daily activities after the session is finished.

With Smartlipo, it’s normal to have some bruising, and possibly slight discomfort, following treatment. The bruising should go away, and you can return to normal activity within a day or two.

How long before you see results?

If you have a SculpSure treatment, you begin to see the results in about six weeks, but it can take up to 12 weeks to get the optimal results.

Changes from Smartlipo may be visible immediately, but it takes about one week to see the full result. You continue to see improvements over the next few months as skin and tissues in the treated area remodel and adjust to your new body contour.

What added benefits does Smartlipo have?

The Smartlipo system uses three different wavelengths of laser light. One wavelength destroys fat, while another one treats blood vessels to reduce bleeding and bruising.

The third wavelength produces an extra benefit: it stimulates collagen production and tightens skin. Loose skin following fat loss is minimized, as skin gradually tightens and new collagen is produced in the weeks following Smartlipo treatment.

*Individual results may vary for SculpSure and Smartlipo.

Anti-Aging Institute

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