What you should know
What Is Laser Liposuction
While diet and exercise should always be your first line of defense when tackling fat, there are options for when you need a little extra help. Different than traditional liposuction, laser liposuction is an option that delivers a wave of laser light to stimulate collagen production to tighten the skin over subsequent months.
“Liposuction is still the gold standard for exercise-resistant areas such as the thighs,” says Reno, NV, plastic surgeon Tiffany McCormack, MD.
“Laser-assisted liposuction heats the skin from the bottom-most internal layer up to create a tightening effect,” says Boca Raton, FL, plastic surgeon Jason Pozner, MD.
Adds Montclair, NJ, plastic surgeon Dr. Barry DiBernardo, “Because the laser energy is delivered from below the skin, the outer skin isn’t subject to any direct energy. This enables us to deliver significantly more energy to target cells for stimulation and to markedly decrease the amount of external skin damage.”
Who laser liposuction is for
If you diet and exercise and still can’t get those pesky bulges to budge, you may want to consider laser liposuction.
It's also good for those who are within 30 percent of their ideal body weight and in generally good health.
Who laser liposuction is not for
Anyone who does not have good skin elasticity.
Anyone with a lot of excess skin, particularly after dramatic weight loss. (A body lift may be more appropriate.)
What to Expect With Laser Liposuction
During laser lipo, a low-energy laser is used to purportedly break up fat cells, which some plastic surgeons believe offers the added benefit of slight tightening of loose skin, although these claims are debatable and the effects are unpredictable.
It may result in less swelling and bruising that traditional liposuction, but there is the possibility of burns.
The skin may have some sort of tightening effect but it may not be seen right away as it can take a few months for new collagen to be created giving way to tighter skin.
Post-Treatment Care: Laser Liposuction
To maintain the results of any liposuction procedure, it's important to maintain a healthy weight.
- Liposuction is not a quick fix to take the place of a healthy diet and fitness regimen. Good skin elasticity is also a must; if you have excess skin in addition to pockets of fat, a body lift may be more appropriate, “especially after major weight loss,” Houston, TX, dermatologist, Dr. Paul Friedman adds.
- Be cautious of what is promised to you. “Laser-assisted lipolysis procedures have neither science nor data that demonstrates they are better than existing techniques,” says Eugene, OR, plastic surgeon and past president of ASAPS, Mark Jewell, MD. “They cost a lot more than existing lipoplasty technologies and the results are not demonstrably better.”