Liposculpture, Smart Lipo and liposuction: Myths, Truths, & Differences

The past decade has experienced a growth in the awareness about plastic surgery and consequently, more and more people are open opting to go under the knife in order to perfect their physical features. The new wave of awareness and openness can be attributed to numerous factors. Rising incomes and social media influence appear to top this list. In response, there have been numerous advancements in the field of plastic surgery. New procedures are regularly developed while the old ones are being improved and perfected.

It is no surprise, therefore, that different terms keep springing up to describe these procedures. As an observer from a distance or a prospective patient, it is easy to get confused with all these terms. Which one do I go for? Do they all mean the same thing? Is one better than the other? These are some of the questions that regularly pop into the mind of patients. This article provides an answer to the questions you may have about liposculpture, Smart Lipo and liposuction.

A brief background

Liposculpture, Smartlipo and liposuction all involve removing and altering fat deposits in the body. Data released by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in its 2016 annual report ranked liposuction as the second most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. The procedure accounts for 14% of all the recorded cosmetic surgery procedures performed worldwide. Liposculpture and Smart Lipo are all under the umbrella of liposuction in the ISPAS report but this doesn’t mean they all represent the same procedure. While they all seek to achieve the same aim, the methods and techniques differ. This is why it is important to have separate names for the procedures.

liposuction surgery

Explaining the terms


Liposuction is the traditional cosmetic surgery procedure that aims to get rid of fat deposits in the body. It is commonly referred to as lipo. Like all other cosmetic surgery procedures, the practice of liposuction has greatly evolved since its introduction many decades ago. Today, surgeons make use of different techniques, with each having its own advantages and limitations. One of such techniques is Smart Lipo or laser assisted liposuction. Others include tumescent liposuction, ultrasound assisted and suction-assisted liposuction. Liposculpture does not fall into the same category as Smart Lipo. It is not exactly a technique under liposuction but a variant of the procedure that takes the new shape of the patient into cognizance.


Perhaps the greatest criticism of liposuction is that the procedure places so much focus on removing fat from the body of the clients but pays little attention to what the new shape could look like some months after the procedure. Thus, many people that undergo traditional liposuction end up coming out with looks that may be considered unnatural. This is what liposculpture seeks to address.

As the name implies, liposculpture focuses on the shape of the body, sculpturing the contours and edges to give a perfect shape. This is done usually through the removal of excess fat in some areas and reshaping of the fat deposits in other areas. It is a more advanced form of liposuction and it appears to be the new favorite of models and bodybuilders.

Liposculpture can be used to sculpture fat deposits around muscles in order to give the individual an athletic look. Men who are looking to develop abs also opt for this surgery. For women, it is used to make edges and curves more prominent and it can also be used to impart an athletic look for women who want it. Any of the techniques used in traditional liposuction can be used in liposculpture. But remember, it’s not just about removing fat deposits. The liquefied fat can also be transferred to other areas in order to reshape the areas.

Smart Lipo

Smart Lipo is also a relatively new procedure of getting rid of excess fat through cosmetic surgery. The technique employs a laser fiber that delivers heat into the body through a small cannula. The heat delivered melts fat deposits away from even the stubborn areas. Furthermore, the heat serves an added purpose of tightening loose skin. Thus, fat is removed from the body while still maintaining the skin structure.

Smart Lipo procedure

The procedure for Smart Lipo is only minimally invasive. The patient is usually anesthetized using local anesthesia before the cosmetic surgeon inserts a fine probe into the target area. The probe contains a laser fiber that supplies the energy that is responsible for destroying the fat cells. The destroyed fat cells are liquefied and drained away. The laser fiber possesses low energy and the procedure has no detrimental effect on the surrounding tissues. Smart lipo usually takes about one hour or much less for each target area. When carried out by a professional cosmetic surgeon, the procedure is quite safe, painless and causes little to no tissue scarring.
Video shows the important steps of the procedure.

Smart Lipo costs

The cost of Smart Lipo depends on many factors. The region and pedigree of the clinic, nature and surface area of the body part, and the level of expertise of the plastic surgeon are among some of the factors that could influence the price. A Smart Lipo procedure may cost as much as $5000 on the average. The size of the area being treated seems to be the major determinant of Smart Lipo costs. Carrying out the procedure in the abdominal regions appears to be the most expensive while procedures under the chin are least expensive.

Smart Lipo benefits

  • It is very safe. Although there is no surgical procedure that could be 100% safe, the risks inherent in Smart Lipo procedures are quite minimal when compared with many other cosmetic surgeries.
  • Results are visible immediately after the surgery although it may require some months for the procedure to have optimal effect.
  • Recovery time is quite short. Patients can go about their daily activities soon after the surgery.
  • It has the additional benefit of tightening the skin around the area.

The major limitation of the procedure asides Smart Lipo costs is that it can only be used for small, localized fat deposits. Patients with large, widespread deposits may need a traditional liposuction.

There you have it. We hope you have found this guide on liposculpture, liposuction and Smart Lipo useful. Remember, you should only opt for any cosmetic surgery procedure because you want it and not because anybody says you should. The power of choice lies solely with you and you should use it wisely. It is also very important to ensure you are going under the knife of a board certified surgeon. There are numerous charlatans out there and although their services are unsurprisingly much cheaper, they could end up leaving you in a worse state.