I’m a 45 yr old female in great physical health with a BMI of 23 trying to decide between SAFELipo (PAL) and SmartLipo. Cost difference is $28k vs $15k, recovery difference is 6-8 weeks vs 1-2 weeks & anesthesia difference is general vs local. I’d prefer not to go under general, but want the best result. Can anyone tell me why the huge differences? Are there reasons to choose one over the other?
There is NO INHERENT DIFFERENCE in recovery between a purely mechanical technique that only utilizes a variety of canulas (SAFElipo) and one that uses a laser that generates heat and then mechanical suction via canulas (Smartlipo). Recovery time for either technique is dependent on the amount of tissue resected, the number of areas being treated, and/or the presence of scar tissue from prior liposuction. What is most important to a great result is not the machines being used, but the training, skill, and experience of the surgeon. Is the more expensive surgeon more experienced? Look for time in practice, date of board certification, amount of relevant photos, and reputation.
First of all, the recovery from Lipo depends upon the volume removed and the location it is removed from, not the technique utilized. The cost is dependent upon the surgeon. I practice in Michigan, for instance. None of the plastic surgeons in my area charge more for one technique over another.
I perform 250 - 350 liposuction procedures per year. I get great results using PAL with SAFE at the end. The other forms of Lipo that utilize energy (Laser - Smart, Ultrasound - Vaser or Cryo - Cool Sculpt) can burn the skin and do not effectively change the tightness of the overlying skin.
Of cause you have to choose PAL over SmartLlipo , because SmartLipo is less effecient than PAL.
I agree with the other surgeons. Its the surgeon not the machine that delivers results. If the same areas are treated and the same amount is removed, then the recovery is the same regardless of technique. I would even add that in most cases, anyone who claims that one technique is much better than another without showing well done studies to support the claims is not being honest. In certain cases, there may be an advantage to a specific technique. Don't be fooled into thinking that "SAFElipo" is safer or better than any other lipo (no evidence to support that) or that "SmartLipo" is any "smarter" (it isn't). All techniques can be done awake or with sedation or full anesthesia. Want to learn more, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05IULCdxNyc
There are no differences in outcome by liposuction technique. A controlled study of Smart Lipo on one thigh vs standard lioposuction showed no difference in outcomes, and the SmartLipo had a slightly longer recovery and slightly more complications.
The differences are primarily in ease for the surgeon, and some surgeons that are not as strong prefer different machines. In addition, the primary benefit seems to be for marketing the surgeon. The prices you quote are very, very high compared to the midwest. Here liposuction under general anesthesia is $5-8 depending on how many areas, but the maximum safely removed as an outpatient is 5 Liters. I doubt you have that much with a BMI of 23. Cost under local in the midwest would start at $3000 . A small area a noninvasive treatment could be an option starting at $800. You must be in a very expensive area consulting with a very expensive surgeon as I have not heard of costs that high except for 8 hour total body etching.
Thank you for sharing your question. As either technique can provide a nice result I would select the surgeon you liked best and who can show results similar to those you seek. Hope this helps.