Laser hair removal and laser resurfacing are household terms now. Laser lipolysis is still somewhat new and intriguing.
Unlike traditional liposuction, laser lipolysis does not do the suction part. Instead, the cannula housing the laser is inserted into the area and used to liquefy the fat. Then the liquefied fat is drained from the body through very tiny incisions (1-2mm) with less suctioning than that used in a traditional liposuction techniques.
Several lasers are used for lipolysis – a recognized technique for fat reduction. It has been demonstrated that (i) fat liquefaction is induced through a temperature elevation of the adipocyte cells, and (ii) fat volume reduction depends on total cumulative energy delivered at the treatment site. Which wavelength (920nm, 980nm, 1064nm, 1320nm, and 1440nm) is the best?
Studies and substantial anecdotal evidence show that the penetration depth of wavelengths between 900 and 1320nm is very similar – around 1.5mm. The only minor difference is at 1440nm, which is more absorbed by subcutaneous fat. The irreversibly damaged volume of tissue is also similar for wavelengths between 920 and 1320nm. Practitioners obtain the total of about 4cm3 with 3750J delivered to the tissue.
With laser lipolysis, thermal elevation of a given volume can be obtained provided that the penetration depth remains in this nominal range. This explains why similar end results can be obtained using 920nm, 980nm, 1064nm, and 1320nm. Thermal build-up is the main factor behind adipocytolysis and skin contraction. Successful outcomes are dependent primarily on the movement of the optical fiber inside the tissue and even and stable delivery of the laser energy. It’s the hands of the surgeon that truly make a difference!
Doctor Roger Bassin of The Bassin Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Orlando, FL is one of few surgeons in Florida, who does water and laser assisted awake lipolysis.
1. Small incisions in targeted numbed areas (e.g. abdomen and love handles).
2. Water spray into the area (in his words: “With traditional liposuction, the stuff everyone sees on TV with the doctor literally going back and forth, what you’re doing is making mashed potatoes out of somebody”). Instead of using harsh motions to dislodge fat, the water gently breaks it up. You could call it the lipo dissolve stage.
3. Getle suction of fat: “The way I can describe it is almost like playing the violin, very gentle,” says Dr. Bassin.
4. Laser treatment to tighten skin and melt away leftover fat.
With this new procedure, there’s less bruising, swelling and trauma to the nerves, muscles and skin. It costs about $3000, which is less than standard lipo because patients don’t require general anesthesia.
“The patient’s going to drive themselves to the office, get the procedure done, drive themselves home, go back to work that day or the next day.”
This is what I can call truly smart lipo.
Happy lipo, everybody!
This is our most recent (constantly updated) collection of video materials demonstrating laser assisted lipolysis, laser lipo and smart lipo.
Actifirm Post Laser Gel combines skin-soothers like Aloe and Chamomile with a Mushroom-derived, exfoliating enzyme, Mucor Miehi Extract, to inhibit pain and inflammation, while helping renew your skin to its freshest form. You’ll be looking your best in no time.
Final Inches Medical Body Shaping Center in California just announced a new marketing idea. That is in addition to picking a cool name. This practice has two locations specializing solely in Laser Liposculpture, a minimally-invasive procedure that permanently eliminates frustrating fat. This lipo sculpture practice recently announced that they are helping their patients get ready for summer with their custom swimsuit giveaway.
“Certain areas of the body are genetically predisposed to store fat, including the waist, stomach, hips, thighs, and arms. This fat can be very difficult to reduce or eliminate through diet and exercise but at FINAL INCHES we remove this stubborn fat permanently, in about an hour,” states Anh Ngo, MD, Board Certified Surgeon and Medical Director of FINAL INCHES. “With our Laser Liposculpture procedure, we permanently remove stubborn fat, reshaping our patients’ bodies to create a slimmer, sleeker swimsuit-ready body.” This lipo practice performs more Laser Liposculpture procedures than any other Southern California practice.
“We couldn’t be happier designing custom swimsuits for the lipo sculpture patients,” states Jessica Neeper, National Sales Manager of Ginger’s Island, one of the swimsuit companies partnered with the practice in this promotion. “Lipo sculpture patients are some of our most enthusiastic customers because they come to us ready to show off their slimmer bodies. It’s a real thrill working with them to design custom swimsuits that accentuate their curves and get them ready for the beach.”
Qualifying for the free custom swimsuit is simple; patients only need to come in for a consult and have their slimming Laser Liposculpture procedure done before August 31, 2009. After the procedure, patients are then fitted for their free custom swimsuit to show off their new beach-ready body.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the FDA’s approval of suction lipoplasty systems, commonly known as liposuction. Although versions of it, like suction-assisted lipectomy, had been recorded in medical literature since the 1970s for non-cosmetic uses such as the removal of fatty tumors, it wasn’t until 1989 that it was officially rubber-stamped for aesthetic body contouring.
Lipo means fat. Liposuction is an established and well researched procedure to liquefy and remove (using vacuum suction) stubborn deposits of fat, which are resistand to strenuous exercise and strict diet.
In the last two decades, liposuction’s popularity has escalated—it’s currently the second most popular surgical cosmetic procedure, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (after breast augmentation)—and the same is true of its safety and innovation.
The technology developed over the years has paved the way for versions of liposuction that include ultrasound assisted, laser assisted, and Vaser assisted lipolysis. Laser liposuction is one of the more effective and minimally invasive techniques, which allows physicians to achieve excellent results with topical anesthesia and very minor discomfort for the patient.
Regardless of technique, a certain understanding of body proportions play an enormous role in a successful outcome. If this landmark year is the one in which you choose to undergo liposuction, be sure to choose a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience.
Cosmetic surgeons are developing innovative techniques in order to meet the patient demand for effective procedures with less downtime and less trauma.
Dr. Patrick McMenamin, Sacramento-based cosmetic surgeon and president of American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, is perfecting a procedure known as the “laser facelift”. He combines Smartlipo laser-assisted lipolysis and liposuction skin-and-tissue tightening associated with subcutaneous application of light and heat energy. After administering local anesthesia, the surgeon creates three or four small incisions, one behind each earlobe, and one or two under the chin. The surgeon removes a variable amount of fat (depending on the individual patient), then uses a laser probe between the skin and muscle to uniformly liquefy additional fat. In addition to removing extraneous fat underlying the skin, the laser facelift technique heats the skin, which stimulates collagen formation, tightening the tissues.
“There are all kinds of theories about what mediates this healing process, whether it’s cytokines, leukotrienes, prostaglandins,” or some other mechanism, Dr. McMenamin says. But what he knows for a certainty is that in the hands of skilled surgeons, liposuction — and laser treatments — provide exceptional results.
“In my experience, this represents a different healing process than what I’ve seen before with my standard facelift techniques. And, on some levels, based on the parameters I use with my patients, it’s better. Recovery is easier.” Patients have their procedures on Monday or Tuesday, for instance, and go back to work by the end of the week. They also have somewhat normal sensation in the area within the first week, Dr. McMenamin says.
Good candidates for this procedure include nonsmokers in good general health, with localized areas of fat in the jowl area and under the chin, and who have good skin integrity.
“The improvement on the entire jowl (to the oral commissure to the nasolabial line) has been exceptional” Dr. McMenamin notes.
Aloette is a new anti-aging product that contains natural skin moisturizing agents. Clinical testing has shown that this herbal blend decreased fine lines and wrinkles while increasing skin firmness.
“Why are we using the laser? We think we are getting better skin contraction. We think we’re getting that because we’re inducing another level of trauma — in this case heat — a more uniform level of trauma. At least, this is our hypothesis.”
Whatever the causation, Dr. McMenamin says, “It seems to be a little easier on the patient, and I’m able to get a slightly better result, specifically in the jowl, along the jowl line, and in the oral commissure and moving up nasolabial line.” This is something, he says, that he does not get with a regular facelift because the facial nerve is so superficial.
Our medical panel believes that even though the benefits of using laser for both complex facial surgeries and rather minor liposuction treatments may still remain scientifically understudied, but anecdotal evidence proves that the use of lasers makes such treatments more controllable, less invasive, and reduces the healing time.