Vaser Liposuction vs. SmartLipo: What’s The Difference?

Written by WD Staff, Skin Care Specialists on October 11, 2022 2 Comments

vaser or smartlipo

Traditional liposuction uses manual manipulation to loosen fat cells before permanently suctioning them away. While effective, the act of using the cannula to physically scrape away fat increases the trauma caused by the procedure. Recent advances in liposuction use new technology, like ultrasound and laser energy, to improve outcomes in many cases. These newer techniques work to either liquefy or loosen fat cells, making their removal less traumatic. This improvement allows for more precise sculpting while also reducing trauma to blood vessels and surrounding tissue for faster recovery.

Two of today’s most popular liposuction technologies are Vaser Liposuction and SmartLipo. Both of these provide significant benefits over traditional liposuction. However, both techniques differ in terms of how they address contouring. Learn more about the differences between Vaser liposuction and SmartLipo.

What is Vaser Liposuction? 

Vaser liposuction uses a form of ultrasound to loosen fat cells before they are suctioned away. The Vaser method is often referred to as ‘high definition’ or ‘Hi-Def’ liposuction because it allows the surgeon to get really close to the skin during liposuction. Vaser lipo is often used in abdominal etching techniques to enhance the appearance of the abs for a toned, athletic-looking appearance.

The addition of ultrasound makes Vaser liposuction more efficient and less traumatic. During the procedure far less damage is caused to underlying blood vessels, connective tissues and nerves. This leads to less bruising and swelling after the procedure, and may allow for a quicker recovery time.

This is a great technique for patients who have more fibrous tissues (possibly because of previous liposuction, or many male patients), and patients seeking to use their fat for transfer to another area like the buttocks or face.

What is SmartLipo?

SmartLipo works to liquefy targeted fat cells before their removal using laser energy. The SmartLipo laser heats targeted fat to a point where it begins to melt. This liquefied fat is then removed from the body through standard suction.

The addition of laser technology reduces bleeding by sealing blood vessels, an effect that leads to less bruising, swelling, and pain. SmartLipo also provides an added skin tightening benefit, wherein laser energy stimulates collagen production within the skin. Liposuction alone does not provide any skin tightening benefits, so there is an increased possibility of dimpling or sagging after the procedure, particularly with patients who have lost a significant amount of skin elasticity and collagen.

Vaser Liposuction vs SmartLipo: The Key Differences 

Fat Emulsification Technique

The primary difference between Vaser and SmartLipo is that Vaser lipo uses ultrasound energy to dislodge the fat cells, while SmartLipo uses laser energy to melt the fat cells.  Both are forms of energy that help improve outcomes in many patients seeking body contouring.


All forms of liposuction require incisions to be made along the treatment area.

Skin Tightening

In addition to fat removal, the laser energy involved with SmartLipo works to smooth and tighten skin in the treatment area. This makes SmartLipo a great choice for patients who have higher levels of skin laxity. Vaser has less skin tightening benefit.

Recovery Time

Both SmartLipo and Vaser Liposuction seem to require a shorter downtime than traditional liposuction due to the less invasive nature of the procedures.

SmartLipo vs. Vaser Liposuction: Which is Better?

SmartLipo and Vaser Lipo are both innovative evolutions of liposuction, each offering unique benefits. So, which is best? Since every patient is unique, the best liposuction technique for each individual patient depends on a myriad of factors including each body characteristics, the body area to be treated, the amount of fat to be removed, and the patient’s desired end result.  In fact, it’s possible your surgeon may use a combination of both Vaser and SmartLipo within a single treatment, especially if more than one body area will be addressed.

Ultimately, the skill of your doctor, and not the method used, will significantly impact your results and recovery time. A consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon can help you decide which type of liposuction is best for you.

WD Staff

A united group of skin care specialists from Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Austin's leader in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Articles posted under WD staff are authored through combined contributions from our entire team, including Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistants, Aesthetic Nurses, and Patient Coordinators.

2 Responses to “Vaser Liposuction vs. SmartLipo: What’s The Difference?”

  1. Avatar Nicole says:

    I am interested in VASER LIPOSUCTION or SMARTLIPO

  2. WD Staff WD Staff says:

    Thanks for your interest Nicole, we’ll reach out to you via email to discuss.

    WD Staff

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