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Laser liposuction

Laser liposuction is a hybrid technique whereby fat is melted before being removed from the body.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Treatment Basics

Regulatory approval: First engineered in Italy and Brazil, SmartLipo for laser assisted liposuction was the first device approved for the procedure in the United States by the FDA in 2006.

Like plain old liposuction, laser assisted liposuction sucks small pockets of fat from the body. Laser liposuction, also called laser lipolysis, is a hybrid technique whereby fat is melted before being removed from the body. The procedure can be completed through a smaller incision, meaning minimal bleeding (because the laser closes down small blood vessels), and consequently less bruising.

Laser assisted liposuction works best when targeting small fatty areas, such as the face, neck, chin, and arms. Devices that liposuction fat with laser assistance include SmartLipo, Slim Lipo, Cool Lipo, ProLipo Plus, and LipoLite.

What It's Good For

Laser lipo is most effective on smaller pockets of fat, like the face, neck, arms, breasts, and male breasts, but it can be used on thighs, hips, waist, chin, jowls, and buttocks.

Who it works for: As with most rapid weight loss treatments, laser liposuction is for individuals who have already tried to shrink problem areas with diet and exercise.

Recommended age range: The process is not recommended for those over the age of 60, when muscle tone and collagen decreases and skin sensitivity increases.

When will I see results?: Results can often be noticed a week later, though the overall slimming process is a gradual one. Regular liposuction can leave the skin saggy and deflated where fat has been removed. Luckily for your saggy skin, the laser simulates collagen production, which firms up the treated areas.

The idea behind the laser is that collagen should contract when heat is applied to it. When collagen contracts, your skin tightens, though this can take between six and eight weeks. The final results of laser assisted liposuction may not be visible for a year.

How long it lasts: The speedy process can generate significant results, but laser liposuction doesn't prohibit fat from returning - though it will return to a different, non-lipoed area of the body. Diet and exercise are the only way to sustain the results and ward off the return of fat for good.

Key benefits of laser liposuction: Because the process involves a smaller incision and a laser that melts fat first to ease removal, laser lipo typically means less bruising and a quicker recovery. The entire process is easily monitored, since the patient remains awake, helping to avoid taking too much fat (and running the risk of ripples or uneven results).

Licensed uses: First engineered in Italy and Brazil, SmartLipo for laser assisted liposuction was the first device approved for the procedure in the United States by the FDA in 2006. SmartLipo is the first of its kind to be approved for fat reduction and body contouring.

Who's Done It?

Still somewhat new to the market, laser liposuction has not yet been linked to any celebrities.

Find experts who offer laser liposuction near you