On Wednesday, November 15, 2006, Dr. Ferguson performed the first SmartLipo™ case in the US with the new SmartLipo™ device (two prototypes had been in the US for around a year to aid with FDA evaluation and approval). Visitors from Canada, Italy, and Brazil were on hand for this event. The most experienced laserlipolysis surgeon in the world, Dr. Alberto Goldman, was present and provided valuable input on the utilization of this exciting modality. Since then Dr. Ferguson has performed thousands of cases and trained scores of physicians. Patients from across the country and around the world have come to Dr. Ferguson to have this procedure performed.
We were chosen as one of 10 research and training sites for this new modality. SmartLipo™ offers the chance to carry out minimally invasive liposculpture treatments (the cannulas have a diameter of only 1 mm), in a decidedly less traumatic manner compared to traditional techniques.
LASERLIPOLISIS™ is an advanced technique for removing localized adiposity in the areas that are normally resistant to dieting and physical exercise; a laser-assisted liposculpture treatment with a totally revolutionary concept.
The SmartLipo™ laser provokes the breaking up of the membranes of the adipose cells, transforming them into an oily substance that is absorbed and eliminated in a natural manner. The results give rise to a harmonious body shape in a short time, without the secondary effects of more aggressive procedures.
The Advantages of SmartLipo™ :
- Reduced recovery times
- Minimal risk of side effects
- Less invasive and traumatic technique compared to traditional methods
- Safety for the patient and the operator
- Minimum interference in the patient’s life
How does the SmartLipo™ procedure work?
A small fiber, less than a millimeter in diameter, is placed within a 1 mm tube, or cannula. A small needle is used to introduce the cannula through the skin into the layers of fat. The tip of the cannula where the fiber protrudes emits laser light.
This laser light ruptures the fat cells. The tip of the fiber also emits a small amount of heat. When this heat is rubbed against the under surface of the skin, the dermis, it causes tightening of the skin. This is very similar to other topical treatments such as Thermage™ or Titan™, except, since it is directly under the surface of the skin, where collagen is formed it is much more effective and efficient. The two cannulas on the left are typical abdominal liposuction cannulas. All SmartLipo™ procedures are performed with the ones on the right.
Does the procedure hurt?
At The Ferguson Clinic we perform this procedure primarily under sedation in our state-of-the-art surgice suites; however, for quick, very localized areas (for example, the neck and jowls) no sedation is at the patient’s choice. We want to insure a relaxing, enjoyable, pain-free experience for our patients. The areas to be treated are filled with a local anesthetic custom-formulated to not only numb the area but decrease bruising, swelling, and encourage rapid healing. .
When can I expect to see results?
While you are on the table approximately 75-85% of the fat cells that are going to die will actually liquefy immediately. We will remove this with a small cannula, so patients will see results equivalent to regular liposuction immediately. Over the next 6-8 weeks the remaining treated fat will liquefy and be removed by your lymphatics. In some areas the tightening of the skin is immediate. The longterm tightening begins approximately four to six weeks after the procedure, but older patients may not see skin tightening other than that seen for traditional liposuction for 3-6 months. Thes kin will continue to tighten for at least a year. This patient had prior traditional liposuction. She is 4 weeks out from SmartLipo™ to improve the irregularities from her previous procedure.
What body regions can be treated with SmartLipo
We have treated all areas of the body successfully that have been treated with traditional liposuction in the past. This includes the abdomen, flanks, thighs, knees, neck, and chest. Because of the precision of the device, areas not normally treated with liposuction have also been successfully treated with SmartLipo™, including around the bra straps, upper arms, elbows, calves, jowels, and cheeks. We have also successfully performed many procedures on patients who have had prior liposuction but were dissatisfied with the results. It is not uncommon to find demarcation between treated and untreated areas with liposuction, tunneling of the liposuction cannulas, and loose skin left over from liposuction. These have all been effectively treated in our office with SmartLipo™.
How many treatments will I need?
Admittedly, during the first 1-2 weeks that we were becoming familiar with the technique we were somewhat conservative. Most of those patients required a repeat procedure. Of the thousands of patients we have treated after the first 20, only 3 needed retreatment. The individual sessions last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the volume and number of areas to be treated.
Do I have to do anything post-treatment?
One of our primary goals at The Ferguson Clinic is to provide maximum results with minimal interference in your daily routine. We place no limitations on your activity after SmartLipo™ except for soaking in hot, dirty water. All patients are given compression garments to use for the first 24 hours. These are used primarily to hold absorbent gauze over the small holes used to introduce the cannulas. For the first one to two days, there is drainage released from ruptured fat cells. After this, it is at the patient’s discretion as to the utilization of the garment, however, we encourage patients to continue with their own garment like a “Spanx.” We encourage exercise 24 to 48 hours after the procedure to encourage uptake of the fluid in the treated areas.
Does SmartLipo™ replace liposuction?
We will occasionally use mild liposuction to harvest fat for implantation in to lips and other areas of the face. For larger volume areas we have perfected a technique combining SmartLipo™ and PALS (power assisted liposuction). PALS uses a cannula around the size of the SmartLipo™ cannulas that gently oscillates and removes fat. Because the fat has already been treated with the laser it easily comes out without the trauma, pain, and downtime of traditional liposuction.
Does SmartLipo™ provide lasting results?
Any patient without substantial cardiac or endocrine problems is a candidate for SmartLipo™. We do not use SmartLipo™ or traditional liposuction for high-volume fat removal in the morbidly obese. We encourage patients to start on a diet and exercise program prior to undergoing the procedure. This not only improves the safety but enhances the effectiveness of the treatment.
Does SmartLipo™ treat cellulite?
Cellulite formation is very complex. We have seen substantial improvement in cellulite with SmartLipo™. However, these results cannot be guaranteed
Can other procedures be performed with SmartLipo™?
Absolutely. We are globally sought out to perform SmartLipo™ of the face and neck with our facelifts. This substantially decreases the amount of trauma to the skin, thereby decreasing bruising, swelling, and healing time. It also helps us sculpt areas in ways never imagined possible. This provides a much more natural look. In selected patients we have been able to perform a LipoLift™, a minimally invasive alternative to a facelift, and even minilifts. Traditional liposuction is severely limited when combined with a tummy tuck. This is not the case with SmartLipo™ . We are easily able to contour the entire waist and upper abdomen concomitantly with a tummy tuck.
For more information about having SmartLipo in Honolulu Hawaii contact Dr Ferguson today.