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Laser Liposuction Comparison

February 8, 2012

by Christine G. Adamo

Laser Liposuction – from Your Perspective

Thinking about recent advances in technology and their effects on liposuction and plastic surgery, in general, got us wondering. If you’re a candidate for laser liposuction, should you care which laser your plastic surgeon uses?

Granted, after a consultation you may have already come to the conclusion that laser-assisted liposuction is the best option for you. You’ve discussed laser liposuction cost. You may have already penciled in a date for liposuction treatment. In short, that tight, firm body you always wanted is getting closer by the day!

Why wonder, then, whether your plastic surgeon’s role in making those decisions will affect your liposuction experience? Because there are multiple choices out there and, in the end, your plastic surgeon’s primary goal should be to help you determine which one will offer you the best results. Our goal is to help you better understand your options.

Laser Liposuction: An Overview

Laser liposuction allows pockets of fatty tissue along your body’s trouble spots to be liquefied. Using concentrated beams of low energy laser light, focus is placed on targeted pockets of fatty tissue. After that tissue is made liquid, it becomes easier to remove than it would be using traditional liposuction techniques.

Laser liposuction can be used to remove fatty tissue in these areas of the body:
  • Abdomen
  • Hips & Thighs
  • Upper & Lower Arms
  • Fatty Breasts (in Men)
  • Waist or Love Handles
  • Fronts & Backs of Knees
Because only liquid needs to be removed, laser liposuction incisions are relatively small and small areas can also be treated. Laser liposuction results in less inflammation, bruising and bleeding than traditional liposuction or other body contouring procedures. Post-operative pain is also less intense and recovery times are generally quicker.

Laser Liposuction: Your Plastic Surgeon’s Role

Anyone who is a good candidate for traditional liposuction is generally thought to be a good candidate for laser liposuction. Characteristics which are common among laser liposuction candidates include:
  • Being in overall good health
  • Being within 25 lbs. of ideal weight
  • Having a relatively healthy BMI (or Body Mass Index)
  • Having areas of the body resistant to change in diet and exercise
The best way to decide whether laser liposuction and a particular technique are right for you is in consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Find someone who has ample experience with laser liposuction and has used a variety of laser-assisted lipo techniques. Be sure they’re able to explain the risks and benefits of each one to you.

Ask your plastic surgeon why they might recommend one treatment option over another. Ask which options are available based on your unique problem areas. Tell them all you can so they can guide you to the best possible choice. Things he or she should consider include your own body-related goals, medical history and lifestyle.

It’s also a good idea to review laser liposuction before and after photos so you can gauge the quality of prior patient outcomes. Don’t be afraid to ask about qualifications and credentials, either. If you have trouble locating a professional who meets the above criteria, turn to our FREE Surgeon Finder for help.

Laser Liposuction Techniques: Similarities & Differences

Today’s laser liposuction techniques do have similarities.

In most cases, little to no IV sedation or general anesthesia is required to carry out laser liposuction. Multiple liters of undesirable fatty tissue are removed using a small, slender cannula. Since related incisions are small, recovery times are shorter than they would be with traditional liposuction.

Other similarities can include:
  • 1 to 4 hrs. of procedure time
  • Initial downtime of about 1 week
  • Full recovery expected in 1 to 3 weeks
  • Nearly immediate and stunning visible results
What differs most among laser liposuction options is the type of laser being used to carry out the procedure. More specifically, does the laser operate on one wavelength or provide the plastic surgeon with multiple wavelengths to choose from? Can it only treat relatively small areas of the body or larger areas, too? And, will it only eliminate fat?

In recent years, a variety of laser liposuction techniques have emerged. A few which are frequently discussed and sought out by patients include:
  • SmartLipoTM
  • CoolLipoTM
  • ProLipo PLUSTM
A quick comparison of all three follows.

SmartLipoTM – manufactured by Cynosure

  • One, two and three wavelength options
  • Said to have the highest absorption rates
  • Benefits include tissue coagulation and skin tightening
  • This technique can be used by itself or with traditional liposuction
  • Integrated temperature and motion sensing prevents over-treatment
  • Also offers high definition treatment in small areas (ex: face, neck)

CoolLipoTM – manufactured by CoolTouch

  • One and multiple wavelength options
  • Benefits include collagen stimulation and skin tightening
  • This technique can be used by itself or with traditional liposuction
  • Used to remove fatty tissue along the abdomen and treat saddle bags
  • Also offers high definition treatment in small areas (ex: chin, neck, jowels)
  • Some CoolTouch laser products can also treat varicose veins and fine lines

ProLipo PLUSTM – manufactured by Sciton®

  • One laser with two wavelength options
  • Wavelengths can be used alone or together
  • That flexibility is said to help customized treatment
  • Other benefits include tissue coagulation and skin tightening
  • This technique can be used by itself or with traditional liposuction
  • Areas which are harder to access are said to benefit most from this option (ex: upper abdomen, upper arms, mid-thigh, etc.)
Believe us when we tell you – this is just the tip of the cannula!

These and other manufacturers make a variety of laser products that are designed to make all of your plastic surgery dreams come true. But, the one that’s right for you can only be determined by a qualified professional – one who can realistically view your situation and help you evaluate the current trends in laser liposuction technology.

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