Most of us have likely heard about liposuction, which is cosmetic surgery to remove fat from specific areas of the body. But what is laser liposuction? Only few people may have heard of this term.
How is laser liposuction different from any other liposuction?
It is the bane of so many lives that we cannot seem to lose weight from all of the problem spots: the abdomen, the thighs, butt, arms, neck, double chin may be specific problem areas and no exercise seems to help. This is where cosmetic surgery or liposuction comes in. Under local anesthesia, the fat is extracted or aspirated (sucked out) from specific areas of the body.
The liposuction can be suction assisted, ultrasound assisted, external ultrasound assisted, power assisted, twin- cannula assisted or water assisted.
Then there is laser liposuction or laser assisted liposuction where laser tipped probes are used to induce thermal lipolysis.
Here the lasers are used to target fat cells with heat, so as to “melt” the fat which is then extracted using a very thin cannula or tube.
It is claimed that with laser assisted liposuction, not only is the fat removed, the body is re-contoured in a more shapely and effective manner.
There is also the claim that the heat produced by the laser will help to stimulate production of collagen in the skin, which will help to rejuvenate the skin and make it firmer and smoother. It is thought that the laser could also help to contract the skin.
Practitioners claim that laser liposuction is new improved method of fat removal and that it is less invasive than traditional forms of liposuctions. The laser-assisted method is also thought to be less traumatic and may cause less bruising.
Hence the results of the liposuction may be visible earlier. However like regular liposuction there will still be some amount of swelling and compression garments may still have to be worn.
Other advantages of the laser-assisted procedure are that only a local anesthesia is needed for the surgery, which can be performed as an outpatient procedure without any need for overnight stay at the hospital. Even smaller and more intricate areas are possible to target with the laser procedure. Recovery may be quicker and a person can resume regular exercise within about a week or two.
How is laser liposuction done?
The procedure can be used for the stomach area, flanks or love handles, the neck or the double chin, the armpit and arms area, inner and outer thighs, the knees and ankles as well. Men with gynecomastia or extra fat in the chest area can also use this procedure.
Though different cosmetic surgeons may have different methodologies, in general, the laser-assisted procedure is done by making different markings on the skin followed by small incisions in the skin of 2 to 3 mm. The laser is then applied to help break down the fat cells or melt them so that they can be extracted more easily.
The laser is used once again to contract and tighten the skin so that the loose skin issue is tackled as well. During one procedure, about half to one liter of fat can be removed from up to two areas of the body.
Limitations of laser liposuction
The cost of this procedure can be significantly more than regular liposuction, though the actual costs may vary quite a lot depending upon the equipment used, the skill and experience of the doctor as well as the state and country that you have the procedure done. Some surgeons have their rates based on the area from which the fat is to be removed whereas others have a flat rate with an added discount for the number of areas on which the procedures are performed.
The procedure is not fit for people who are very obese. Those who are about 20% overweight, who have good muscle and skin tone are the best candidates. If a person has poor muscle tone (inadequate supportive tissue) the procedure may be unsuitable for them.
The thing to remember with laser liposuction is that it is a newer procedure and if there are any long-term repercussions we don’t really know about them. Earlier there was a flurry of interest about ultrasound-assisted liposuction that also “melted” fat but this has fallen out of favor now.