New laser procedure zaps the fat - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

New laser procedure zaps the fat

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Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2007 6:50 am | Updated: 5:42 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Last month Katie Spitza, 44, went to the Intimate Rejuvenation and Innovative Surgery Center in Scottsdale for the newest form of liposuction on her legs. An hour later, she was up and about and able to walk out of the clinic.

“It was amazing. There was no pain during the procedures, and there was no pain afterward,” she said. “I literally was back at work the next day.”

Instead of having fat removed through traditional liposuction techniques, Spitza had Smartlipo, the latest liposuction technology which uses lasers to melt the fat.

For years Smartlipo has been the preferred method of liposuction in Britain, Australia, Asia and Italy. And after recently receiving approval by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States, the technology is offered in Scottsdale.

“With Smartlipo, a tiny laser goes under the skin dissolving the fat,” said Dr. Todd Malan, a surgeon at the center, one of 15 practices in the country offering the procedure.

“There’s no need to suck out the fat, it’s absorbed into the body and naturally excreted through your lymphatic system.”

Because only local anesthesia is used during the procedure, the patient remains awake the entire time.

Not only is Smartlipo less traumatic to the body, it also does a better job of evenly removing the fat and tightening the skin, Malan said.

“The laser melts the fat in an even pattern,” he said. “And it really does a dramatic job of tightening loose skin. The patient ends up with a really nice, tight appearance to the area.”

The procedure can be used anywhere, but it is ideal for smaller areas of the body such as under the chin, the cheeks or the knees.

However, it costs slightly more than traditional liposuction. The exact cost depends on the amount of fat the patient wants removed, Malan said.

Spitza said she never considered traditional liposuction because “it is very invasive.”

She said Smartlipo was for her because it helped improve her body and her confi dence with minimal recovery time.

“I am so pleased with the results and what it did for me,” she said. “I went on vacation recently, and it was the fi rst time I’ve walked on the beach where I wasn’t embarrassed.”

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