One of the most innovative approaches to removing problematic fat deposits, laser liposuction is an extremely efficient, safe and comfortable method available to patients. Approved by the FDA for use in 2006, laser liposuction has quickly become a patient-preferred out-patient method of fat removal. During the procedure, a laser is used to quickly dissolve fat deposits and tighten the surrounding skin. Once fat is removed through suctioning, the aesthetic effects are permanent. Patients often elect to use laser liposuction for it’s successful sculpting results. Beyond body alteration, laser liposuction is performed without the use of general anesthesia, completely reducing risks associated with extended hospital stays and surgical procedures
As with any treatment, there are certain qualifications that categorize a potential patient as ideal for the selected approach. Patients who are considering laser liposuction should be in overall good health, maintain a healthy body weight in relationship to their height, and participate regularly in physical activities. While laser liposuction is not intended as a weight loss solution, it can help patients remove stubborn pockets of fat deposits that haven’t disappeared with diet or exercise.
Patients considering laser liposuction with certain underlying conditions will want to avoid this type of treatment as it could result in medical complications. Those suffering from significant chronic liver complications or blood disorders will want to see alternative treatment, as laser liposuction could put these individuals at risk for infection. Similarly, those suffering with chronic kidney issues, heart problems, or connective tissue disorders—including lupus or rheumatoid arthritis—will want to avoid laser liposuction and seek a more appropriate and safe method.
Laser liposuction is an extremely versatile approach to fat removal and successfully removes deposits from many areas of the body with ease. Laser liposuction has proven successful on the chin and jowls, inner and outer thighs, hips, calves, ankles, buttocks, abdomen, flanks and upper back. Additionally, patients see visible results with laser liposuction performed on the bra-line, upper arms, pubic mound and back of the neck.
On average, 3500 – 5000ml of fat can safely be removed in a single laser liposuction session. It’s important to note that this is only a few pounds of fat and a concentrated slimming effect may take several sessions to achieve. Patients should discuss their physical goals with their physician in order to anticipate the number of sessions required for their particular physique aspirations.
Laser liposuction provides the benefit of permanent fat removal to patients. While it’s not possible to remove all fat cells in the body, the number is significantly reduced through this procedure, leaving patients with a permanently altered physical shape. The most effective way to ensure the continued success of this process is for patients to stick to a personalized diet and exercise plan post-procedure. Keeping weight gain at a minimum will help patients maintain the results of their laser liposuction.
Patients who elect to use laser liposuction will undergo the procedure in the comfort of the performing physician’s medical office. Prior to the procedure, areas to be treated will be clearly marked by the physician and local anesthetic will be applied to numb those same areas. The physician then uses a laser to hover over these marks, and as the laser travels, fat cells begin to break up and liquify. The laser will also cause small vessels near the surface to coagulate which will result in less bleeding and swelling after the procedure is complete. Once fat cells begin to liquify, the fluid can then be released using a small microcannula and gentle suction. The entire process results in skin tightening, which leads to a more ideal appearance for patients.
Laser liposuction is a painless process that results in minimal bruising for patients. While bruising disappears within 2-3 days, the majority of patients will be able to resume normal daily activities within 24-hours of the procedure. Over-the-counter pain medication is generally recommended to treat any discomfort and patients will be scheduled for a follow up visit as the physician will want to ensure results are on track. Many patients choose to wear compression garments over the treated areas in the days following the procedure to assist the body in finding its new shape successfully.
Patients are often thrilled to see minimal, yet immediate results right after the procedure has been completed. A more compact silhouette can often be noted at this time; however, full results should be expected to become visible over the following 6-8 weeks. It takes a certain amount of time for skin and surrounding areas to adjust to a new body contour.
One treatment per area permanently sculpts. In most cases, people ask to have 2-3 different areas treated, such as stomach and flanks or arms and neck. It’s worth noting that when we say “flanks,” that is one area, as is “arms,” or “thighs.” We do not count each arm separately. This is permanent fat removal, not merely fat treatment.
There are a number of benefits for patients who elect to use laser-assisted liposuction as their preferred method for fat removal. It is an overall gentle procedure that results in a short recovery time and minimal pain. Patients are able to resume normal everyday activities shortly after the procedure and the majority of patients report minimal bruising. The procedure itself does not require stitches and risks associated with general anesthesia are completely eliminated. Permanent fat removal means patients do not have to worry about restrictive diets following the procedure or loosening skin.
The cost associated with laser-assisted liposuction will vary according to the area of the body being treated. It’s important that patients discuss costs with their physician prior to the procedure in order to fully understand treatment charges. In the majority of cases, laser-assisted liposuction is categorized exclusively as a cosmetic procedure. The cost of elective treatments is often not covered by insurance companies. In the event of non-insurance coverage, the staff at the St. Louis laser liposuction Center are happy to provide information on alternative financing options such as Care Credit. Feel free to contact us with any questions or to set up an initial consultation.