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!