Q: Dr. Eppley, I have researched Coolsculpting and Smartlipo and feel that Smartlipo is better for me. I go to the gym three to five times a week and for years have been trying to get my abs looking better.  I’ve tried many diets and working out but nothing works.

A: Thank you for the inquiry and your interest in Smartlipo. There are some standard misconceptions about Smartlipo. First there is no comparison between a non-surgical procedure like Coolsculpting and a surgical one like Smartlipo. They are radically different in both execution, recovery and results. The short version of the story is that a surgical fat removal procedure is always many fold more effective than a non-surgical one.

Smartlipo, while cleverly named and marketed, is not a non-surgical procedure. It is just as invasive as any form of liposuction, involves the same degree of trauma, and has the identical recovery. It is not a ‘minimally invasive’ procedure and does not create a shortened recovery time or superior results. Like all forms of energy-based liposuction it simply uses a different energy form to help break up the fat but this does not result in less trauma, bruising/swelling or recovery. It is also a procedure that does not usually go well if trying to do it under local anesthesia. It is far from a comfortable experience for the patient and the results subsequently suffer. The best liposuction results come from being done under general anesthesia unless the fat area being treated is vey small.

 Having owned and used Smartlipo for over five years I can testify that, while theoretically appealing, it does not create improved clinical results in my hands. And at operative times that are twice that of other forms of liposuction, with associated increased costs, I have subsequently abandoned its use. My preferred form of liposuction today is power-assisted liposuction (PAL) done under general anesthesia.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana