Laser Lipolysis (also known as Laser Assisted Lipolysis or Laser Lipo) refers to a group of procedures similar to liposuction in that they remove unwanted fat by use of a small tube, or cannula, inserted into the body and basically sucking the fat out. That's where the similarity ends - laser lipolysis uses a laser at the tip of the cannula to heat and melt the fat before suctioning it out. The lasers used are tissue specific so that they target only the fat cells leaving nerves and other tissues undamaged. Further, the strain on the body is so small that only local anesthesia is needed, rather than general anesthesia that's used with traditional liposuction. Laser lipolysis surgery is considered less invasive that liposuction and it requires less recovery time, with most patients able to return to work the following day.
Many different varieties of laser lipolysis are available, using different wavelengths of light and some using a continuous beam while others use a pulsed beam. Only a consultation with your doctor can determine which is right for you.
SmartLipo from Cynosure is the first of its kind - an amazing alternative to liposuction which removes body fat from those stubborn areas that exercise just can't seem to cure. SmartLipo removes the excess fat by quite literally melting it away. The tissue-specific laser is a significantly smaller instrument than traditional liposuction cannulas and does wonders for contouring and reshaping of areas such as the abdomen, love handles, backs, thighs, hips, knees, arms, neck and chin.
SmartLipo is not for everyone and only a discussion with a qualified physician will enable you to decide whether you want to have SmartLipo done. Average cost is in the range of $2,500 to $5,000 per area and can usually be performed in one in-office visit.
SlimLipo from Palomar is also a laser fat removal system, similar to SmartLipo. The key difference between these two is the wavelengths used to melt the fat. SmartLipo 1064nm and 1320nm wavelengths. while SlimLipo uses 924nm and 975nm. Manufacturers of SlimLipo claim that the wavelengths they use target fat and dermal tissue, enabling a greater level of skin tightening. Also, they state that their "continuous wave delivery and treatment tip thermal profile create a thermal effect that is over 20 times larger than other laser-assisted lipolysis devices."
Like other laser lipolysis procedures, SlimLipo procedures can be performed under local anesthesia rather than general, eliminating a large portion of the cost of body sculpting procedures as well as increasing overall patient safety.
CoolLipo made by CoolTouch, Inc. is another exciting body sculpting procedure which works by actually liquefying fat, making it easier to break up and remove. It is different than standard liposuction because of a unique wavelength that allows it to directly compress collagen and tighten skin from the inside out.
CoolLipo is a quick procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia in a physicianís office. It typically takes 1-3 hours. Most patients are ready to return to work the next day and experience only minimal bruising and swelling. Some patients see immediate results; improvement in skinís tightness can continue up to 6 months.
LipoLite Laser LipoSculpture from Syneron, the makers of VelaShape, is popular for its ability to treat smaller problem areas that liposuction cannot. The laser is inserted under the skin through a small incision and the fat is 'zapped' away. The liquefied fat is then suctioned out using that same incision, leaving minimal scarring. According to the manufacturer, "ideal treatment regions include smaller areas on the face, neck, arms, bra line, back, belly, thighs, and buttocks. The male breast can also be treated."
For most patients, only one procedure is needed and the finished result can be seen in six to eight weeks. Sessions last approximately 30 minutes to one hour depending on the area treated.
Lipotherme from Osyris uses a very small cannula so the incision size is only 2mm, about the size of a couple grains of sand. It uses a diode laser emitting a continuous pulsed light beam, liquefying fat as it moves gently through the body. At the same time, it tightens the skin so the final result is smooth, avoiding the need for additional skin tightening procedures.
During the procedure, the doctor will first inject a mild numbing agent into the area to be treated. The cannula is then inserted under the skin and a tiny beam of laser light is emitted as the doctor moves the cannula back and forth. The laser heats the fat cells, creating a thermal effect and liquefying them. Finally, the liquefied fat is suctioned out, leaving a more desirable result.
ProLipo from Sciton uses a 1064-nm laser to zap away fat from those stubborn areas resistant to diet and exercise. It is ideal for fat removal from areas such as under the chin, on the neck, the abdomen, flanks, and buttocks. It has also proved useful on the upper arms and upper thighs.
ProLipo is a minimally invasive, pulsed laser body sculpting system that removes fat deposits and tightens the overlying skin. Downtime and scarring are minimal.
AccuSculpt from Lutronic is a laser assisted lipolysis system is the first to use the 1444nm wavelength for accurate sculpting and fat removal. Dr. Daniel Man states, "It targets fat cells more precisely producing less scattering and less collateral heat to surrounding tissues. Patients love the results and they recover faster."
It is safe to use on all areas of the body, including the abdomen, flank, buttocks, knees, inner thighs and has also been used in the reduction of male gynecomastia. Recovery time is very short, just a few days as opposed to the week or more needed for traditional liposuction.