Everyone, no matter what kind of shape you’re in, has pockets of unwanted fat that are almost impossible to get rid of. The abdomen, outer thighs, and flanks are all prone to accumulating pockets of fat, but they are almost immune to targeting them with exercise and changes in diet.
That’s why liposuction was invented in France in the 1970s. It first came to the U.S. in the 1980s. The original procedure was relatively violent. Patients had to be under general anesthesia because the doctor had to move the cannula so aggressively under the skin to break loose and suction out the fat cells. Of course, this led to serious bruising and tissue trauma that could linger for months. Plus, if too much fat was removed the skin could be dimpled, saggy, or even loose.
But liposuction has come a long way since then. It is far less invasive now and recovery is much easier. The latest advance is adding laser energy to liposuction. Dr. Khatri offers laser liposuction at Skin & Laser Surgery Center of New England.
What is laser liposuction?
Laser liposuction takes one of world’s most popular cosmetic procedures, liposuction, and combines it with a medical-grade laser. Laser liposuction uses laser energy to break up and melt the fat cells. This causes far less trauma to nearby blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissue. Because the fat is liquefied, it is easier to suction out, so the cannula Dr. Khatri uses is smaller than those required with traditional liposuction. This makes for smaller incisions and easier recovery.
A secondary advantage of adding laser energy to liposuction is the response of the surface skin after the procedure. The laser energy triggers a “wound response” in the dermis layer of the skin. This tightens the skin as the body creates new collagen and elastin to “heal” the perceived wound.
Would I be a good candidate for laser liposuction?
It’s important to understand that this procedure is not a weight-loss procedure. Laser liposuction intends to remove isolated pockets of stubborn fat that don’t respond to exercise or diet. It’s actually dangerous to remove too much fat in a single procedure. Dr. Khatri prefers that his patients be within 10 percent of their ideal body weight before they have this procedure.
Patients also should have good elasticity in their skin. This is important so that the skin can tighten down to the new slimmer contour after the liposuction and the corresponding wound response in the skin. If your skin is very stretched and saggy, a tummy tuck with possible liposuction could be a better procedure.
How does laser liposuction work?
The advantage to this procedure is adding the laser energy. When inserted through the tiny incisions, the laser is moved about in the target area. The laser energy hits the fat cells, rupturing their cells walls, liquefying the fat. This makes it very easy to remove the liquefied fat through the cannula.
Also, when the heat of the laser energy is perceived in the dermis, the body believes it has been wounded. It responds by remodeling existing collagen, and then producing new collagen and elastin to send to the area. Over the new few weeks following your procedure, these effects will work to tighten and firm your skin over the treatment areas.
Commom areas treated with laser liposuction
Dr. Khatri uses laser liposuction on the following areas:
- Upper arms
laser liposuction procedure
The first step is to inject a tumescent solution into the treatment areas. This solution is a combination of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine. This solution numbs the area and constricts the blood vessels to minimize bruising and bleeding.
Next Dr. Khatri makes one or more tiny incisions to inserts the laser and cannula. The medical-grade laser fiber is inserted first. Dr. Khatri moves it about under the skin, and the laser energy hits the fat cells, instantly liquefying them. Next, he inserts the small cannula and suctions out the liquefied fat and the tumescent solution. When the desired contouring has been achieved, he withdraws the cannula and the procedure is complete. The incisions are so small, they usually only need a bandage to close.
Laser Liposuction Before And After
laser liposuction Results
You can expect a dramatically slimmer contour after your laser liposuction. The pockets of fat will be gone and the skin will tighten down to match the slimmer contour. The degree of change is variable based on the patient’s situation, but laser liposuction is a very satisfying procedure for our patients.
How long will my results last?
The fat cells removed with laser liposuction are gone for good. You can maintain your results for the rest of your life, if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your skin may sag with age, but the fat is gone permanently.
How many treatments will I need?
Laser liposuction is usually only necessary once on targeted areas. After having the procedure on one area, you may decide you’d like to have it done on other problem areas.
What is recovery like after laser liposuction?
Your incisions are so small they generally don’t need stitches, so there isn’t really any visible scarring. Because the laser energy melts the fat, the cannula doesn’t have to be moved about aggressively to break it up, as it does in traditional liposuction. This makes for minimal tissue trauma, far less bruising, and minimal pain. Our patients can walk and move about not long after the procedure and most don’t even require pain medication that night. Most patients can drive the next day and return to work in two days.