What is Laser Liposuction?
You've undoubtedly heard of liposuction, the traditional procedure used to remove fat and sculpt the body. Laser liposuction, also known as laser-assisted liposuction or Smartlipo™, is similar, but as its name suggests, it includes the use of a laser.
Smartlipo™ has a few benefits over traditional liposuction, including less pain, minimal downtime, and greater improvement in appearance. There's also less chance of the skin dimpling as a result of the procedure.
Laser liposuction can be used to target areas such as the inner and outer thighs, abdomen, upper arms, neck, and parts of the face.
How Laser Liposuction Works
For this procedure, we use the Smartlipo™ Triplex LaserBodySculpting™ Workstation, manufactured by Cynosure, one of the leading cosmetic device companies. Part of the reason laser liposuction is less painful is that the cannula is smaller than the ones used for traditional liposuction.
Another feature that makes this cannula unique is that it contains 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser fiber, which pulses at two wavelengths. When the laser comes into contact with unwanted, subcutaneous fat, one wavelength ruptures the fat cells, and essentially "melts" the fat within. The second wavelength is targeted to improving the appearance of the skin by sealing blood vessels and stimulating collagen production. This results in a tightening of the skin, and a reduction in bleeding, bruising and swelling.
Laser liposuction is not meant as a weight loss method, or to treat obesity. It's strictly for reshaping. To have this procedure done, you should be within 25 to 30 pounds of your normal weight. After the Smartlipo™ procedure, you may see preliminary results in two weeks to one month, and should see the final results within three months.
Why is Laser Liposuction Better?
Laser liposuction is better than traditional liposuction in a few important ways, including:
- Traditional liposuction that treats larger areas of the body typically requires general anesthesia. However, Smartlipo™ can be performed with local anesthesia.
- The incisions made for laser liposuction are much smaller because the cannula used is much smaller, measuring less than 2mm. In most cases, stitches are not required. As a result, scars are less noticeable.
- Challenging areas such as the neck or jowls can be treated with laser liposuction.
- After Smartlipo™, patients experience far less pain than with traditional liposuction. In addition, bleeding and bruising are minimized, and you should be able to return to a light work schedule more quickly, possibly within just a few days.
- Since there is less swelling and less bruising, you'll be able to see the results faster
- Traditional liposuction can sometimes leave skin slack. Smartlipo™ tightens the skin in the treated areas.
When will I see results?
You may see preliminary results in two weeks to one month, and should see the final results within three months. Follow your physician's instructions as closely as possible to ensure a quicker recovery.
Is laser liposuction a solution to obesity?
Like other forms of liposuction, Smartlipo™ is not a solution to obesity. It is designed to eliminate small, stubborn pockets of fat in specific areas of the body.
Can I treat more than one area in one session?
Yes. You may treat up to three areas, depending on the extent of correction needed. Discuss this with your doctor during your consultation.
What type of anesthesia is used for laser liposuction?
Laser liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis, usually under local anesthetic, but general anesthesia may be used. The anesthetic is effective at reducing or eliminating pain and discomfort, making the procedure essentially painless.
What happens right after the procedure?
You may need to wear a compression garment, depending on the area you had treated. There may be some swelling and discomfort, but any pain is typically a dull ache. The extent of bruising, if any, is mild.
How long do laser liposuction results last?
As long as you follow a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen, results should be permanent.
Can Smartlipo™ be repeated in the same area?
Yes. However, you must wait at least four months between treatments.
Does laser liposuction have any risks or side effects?
Like any surgical procedure, Smartlipo™ comes with certain risks and side effects. These include, but aren't limited to bruising and discomfort, both of which typically dissipate more quickly than with traditional liposuction.