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Laser Lipo Discussion at ASAPS: The Science of Laser Body Sculpting and Marketing Hype


Laser body contouring came under fire today at The Aesthetic Meeting 2010.

For more information, look at our Beauty Tech Review of Laser Lipo devices.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) continued their meeting today in Washington DC. American Health and Beauty has been in attendance since Friday gathering information on the newest and most exciting technologies and techniques in cosmetic surgery and today we attended the "Point/Counterpoint - Laser Lipoplasty - Hype or Useful Tool?" scientific session.

laser lipo
Presenters Dr. Barry DiBernardo and Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel gave two different viewpoints of laser lipo technologies. Dr. DiBernardo uses the Cynosure platform SmartLipo in his New Jersey office and was one of the first to work with this technology. He believes that laser lipo is a useful tool in body contouring because it is effective and safe, as well as having the added benefit of providing patients with skin tightening. Often, patients who undergo traditional liposuction surgery have loose skin, and the heat of the laser is able to not only melt fat prior to removal, but also stimulate collagen regeneration which tightens skin over time. He was careful to point out that the results are still largely dependent on the physician's skill and technique.

Dr. Kenkel on the other hand does not feel that laser lipo is effective and that it is in fact dangerous. He pointed to a premise that any new technology must first be as effective and safe as existing technology before it can even be considered as a tool for the physician. He feels that heating the tissues as laser lipo does is a dangerous enterprise. First, he says that patients will often experience significant tissue damage at 45C, and goes on to say that any collagen regeneration will only come at higher temperatures than that so that damage is almost necessary if the skin tightening is to be achieved.

This debate is not a new one, it has been active since at least 2006 when the Cynosure SmartLipo device received FDA approval. There are qualified physicians on either side of this debate and in the end, it is up to the patient and their physician to decide what is best modality for the patient to reach their goal.