Liposuction is basically the removal of fat from specific areas of the body. Traditionally it was performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. It involved the use of very large suction cannulas that caused many problems. In the 80s, liposuction under local anesthesia while awake was developed. It is now the preferred method of liposuction using very small microcannulas. It gives much better results with decreased downtime. Around 2006, Smartlipo Laser Assisted Liposuction was introduced. It involved the insertion of a small laser fiber through the same liposuction incisions. The heat generated by the laser was used to cause skin tightening, melt fat and cauterize blood vessels. We now have many different types of laser liposuction devices available.
Liposuction with a cannula is very effective to remove fat from anywhere on the body. However it is not just about removing fat. It is the condition of the fat layer that we leave behind that is more important. We want to produce a smooth, thinner fat layer that hugs the new sleeker body contours. This is very difficult to achieve, especially in areas with small amounts of fat. Being too aggressive can leave unsightly grooves and dents. Plus removing fat doesn’t do anything for the stretched out skin. This is where laser liposuction comes in. The heat generated by the laser liposuction helps to melt fat cells. This fat can then be suctioned or allowed to drain out. So the laser is perfect to melt fat in smaller areas and smooth out the fat in larger areas. The heat generated by the laser also stimulates some immediate skin tightening and induces new collagen formation. As a result, the overlying skin contracts to the new, smaller fat layer giving the perfect liposuction results we want!
Smartlipo laser liposuction by Cynosure was the original laser on the market. There are now many competitors like Slim Lipo, Cool Lipo, Pro Lipo, etc. The only differences between these lasers involves the wavelength of light used and the power. Smartlipo Triplex uses 1064, 1440 and 1320 wavelengths that have research to back their clinical effectiveness. However, there are no studies to show the advantage of one laser over another. Remember the effects of laser liposuction are due to heat delivery. All of these lasers deliver heat to the fat and skin. It is the consensus among the liposuction community, that the type of laser is unimportant compared to the amount of heat delivered. So it is the surgeon who is performing the procedure and his experience with laser liposuction that will give you the best results.
The main things to look for when considering liposuction, include tumescent anesthesia, microcannula liposuction and laser liposuction. These three components will give you the lowest risk of complications, the best results and fastest recovery. Ask your surgeon specifically about each of these techniques and make sure he will be utilizing them. Skipping any of them can affect your results and risk complications. Remember laser liposuction is one tool in the surgeon’s toolbox. An experienced surgeon doesn’t need to use every tool on every patient. As a result, laser liposuction is not right for every patient.
The effectiveness of the laser depends on heat delivery. With the use of heat there is the risk of burns. Many of the lasers now have temperature controls but this doesn’t replace the experience of the surgeon to prevent such complications. Check your surgeon’s reviews, pictures, etc. However, the incidence of burns from laser liposuction is very low and rare.
The heat generated from laser assisted liposuction will cause some immediate skin tightening. However with the swelling and loss of fat it will be hard to see for several days. As the swelling subsides and skin tightens, you will begin seeing the smooth, smaller fat layer and tighter skin. This is the fun part as you see more and more results everyday! It usually takes 3-4 weeks to begin to see where you will settle down and 3-6 months for final results.
Beleza Medspa Cosmetic Surgeons have performed thousand of laser liposuction procedures in Austin over the years. They are skilled at using the Smartlipo laser to smooth fat layers and tighten skin while using local anesthesia. Contact us for your free consultation at Beleza Medspa.