SmartLipo vs. Lipodissolve - Battle of the Bulge Busters
Traditional liposuction earned rave reviews and a bandwagon-load of adherents in its 20th-century heyday, and millions of people still rely on being able to have fat suctioned away when dieting and exercise fail to produce desired results. Never mind that "dieting" and "exercise" have become relative terms and generally involve abbreviated effort — liposuction offers a solution for fat removal that requires only money and a tolerance for postoperative pain, swelling, and scarring. It remains a treasured procedure for most cosmetic surgeons, but the glamour has worn off, and interest in it is beginning to lag.
Today, with a new technological marvel achieving fame virtually every 15 minutes, it's no wonder that two innovative lipo techniques have emerged to help people lose unwanted fat. SmartLipo™ and Lipodissolve™ are the latest methods to appear on the cosmetic treatment scene, and proponents say the procedures offer quick fat removal without the downtime and other unpleasant side effects associated with traditional liposuction. Because both fat-elimination methods are shiny new and purportedly provide outstanding results with fewer hassles than their predecessor, they are rapidly gaining prominence in our figure-conscious society.
While both SmartLipo™ and Lipodissolve™ promise similar outcomes, they are distinctly different procedures. Let's see how they stack up in an over-and-under comparison:
- A laser is inserted through a small, non-scarring incision under the skin to target fat deposits. The laser melts fat, which is then secreted from the incision or removed with a narrow-diameter cannula. Any remaining fat is absorbed by the body and excreted naturally.
- SmartLipo™ is FDA approved.
- The procedure permanently removes fat cells, and it tightens skin and induces collagen growth.
- A noted SmartLipo™ proponent is Bruce E. Katz, M.D., a clinical professor at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and director of the Surgery and Laser Center at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.
- The average cost is $5,000 per area treated. One treatment is typically sufficient to produce desired results.
- A chemical cocktail that varies by doctor but that typically contains two naturally occurring chemicals, phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate, is injected into the targeted area(s). The chemicals liquefy fat cells by breaking the molecular bonds between them. How or if all the liquefied fat is eliminated by the body is unclear, and there has been some concern that free-floating fat may contribute to heart disease.
- Lipodissolve™ is not FDA approved, nor have any results from controlled double-blind studies of the procedure been published. Statistics cited in promotional literature, though, indicate that lack of any real oversight or official approval has done little to impede its growing popularity.
- The procedure permanently removes fat cells, and promotional literature states that it tightens skin as well. Some patients have reported that it also causes hair to fall out, hives to erupt, and other side effects.
- A quick web search reveals that a number of physicians and clinics offer Lipodissolve™. Finding a featured, credentialed advocate for the procedure isn't quite so easy, however.
- Recent cost estimates for Lipodissolve™ treatments range from $150 to $800, depending on the treatment area.
Lipodissolve™ is cheap, but SmartLipo™ has far greater acceptance in the medical community. The ultimate choice, of course, is yours. In the end, either will probably satisfy you to some extent. Before you make a final plunge into one of these new fat-busting procedures, however, you will want to make sure that you have considered all of your treatment options and given diet and exercise the fair chance they deserve.
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