Laser lipolysis, technically known as 'laser-assisted lipolysis', is a new form of liposuction which employs a laser to 'melt' fat enabling less downtime, smaller incisions, and generally better results.
Two Advantages over Liposuction
In my opinion, when you compare laser lipolysis to liposuction your gain is twofold. One, you're generating greater skin tightening than you would from standard liposuction because of the heat that's generated by the laser, under the skin. That heat is stimulating new collagen and elastin proteins to develop over time. The second benefit of laser lipolysis over liposuction is it allows you to melt fat in a very non-aggressive way. So you're not placing a large cannula into the body, using a mechanical form to break the fat away which breaks blood vessels and injures the area.
Laser lipolysis is invasive but it's a 'soft invasive'. On an average we use a 1-2 mm little cannula that goes in the skin through a 2 to 3 mm incision in skin. The majority of time, you don't even have to use a stitch to close it. Minimal bruising, minimal bleeding, minimal swelling, people go to work the next day, that's because it's not as traumatic as standard liposuction.
Gets Tough-to-Treat Areas
The other benefit of laser lipolysis is that it allows you to do procedures in areas which you wouldn't normally be able to have liposuction. For example, in treating the abdomen we'll treat either the lower part of the abdomen or the upper part of the abdomen. In the upper part of the abdomen you have tiny little pockets of fat that are very difficult to get with standard liposuction. Also, you can end up making more ripples in the abdomen with traditional liposuction. With laser liposuction, you're actually able to smooth out the surface quite nicely, and again because of that retraction, over time you generate a nice appearance and greater results.
Recently I treated a woman who had fat under the neck, the 'turkey gobble' problem. If I had done regular liposuction on her I would have created a lot of bruising and swelling. It would be nearly 3 to 6 months before she would see final results, she would have been in a lot of pain, and we would have had to use general anesthesia. Instead we did laser liposuction under local anesthesia and she had beautiful results. We saw them the next day. I take serial pictures of all my patients and the results are just beautiful. She had just one little stitch under her chin and she went to work next day.
The Ideal Patient for Laser Lipolysis
Liposuction has its place and I think laser lipolysis has its place. This is not replacement for someone who really needs a surgical procedure. The ideal patient for this procedure is someone who spent all their lives in fairly decent shape, maybe they're a little bit overweight, who has pockets of fat that they would prefer to be rid of. It's not just for the belly. It's also for the little pockets of fat under the chin, little pockets of fat on the arms, or what people may call the "muffin top". For men it may be on their chests, if they have large breasts, It can be quite effective for those areas.