Laser assisted liposuction or lipolaser is a technologically advanced liposuction. It is not a slimming technique, but it is a body reshaping or liposculpture technique, since it regularizes the thickness of the subcutaneous cellular tissue or fat in all areas of the body.
The lipolaser is a laser machine with two wavelengths, one of them specific for the fat and the other with affinity for the skin collagen. The main differences with respect to a classic mechanical liposuction are in terms of achieving fat removal: it is performed in a more uniform and less aggressive way, by heating and liquefaction of the fat. This makes the body’s response less aggressive and the patient becomes less inflamed, there are fewer hematomas because the heat coagulates the vessels and there are fewer irregularities in the skin, because the fibrous tracts of the skin are released when the laser fiber optic passes through. This less aggressiveness will make the patient’s return to normal life faster, in three or four days.
But, undoubtedly the main innovation in the treatment is that the additional heating of the skin collagen is a very powerful stimulus to improve skin flaccidity, which makes a better adaptation of the same having removed much volume in the treated area.
The ideal patient is the one who presents an accumulation of localized fat with flaccidity, that is to say, the patient to whom you would indicate a classic liposuction, because it has been proven that the flaccidity that the surgeon creates with the extraction of the fat when applying the laser on the skin, this one reabsorbs it and remains stuck and perfectly defined. But, out of the ideal condition, we have verified in our clinic that we can perform liposculpture and improve the shape and volume in patients in which it would be unthinkable to perform a classic liposuction, as for example in patients after important weight loss, in skins of worse quality, in double chins, in the internal face of arms with sagging?
It is a minimally invasive technique because we are working on the surface and through 1-2 mm entry points, but it must be performed in an operating room under ideal sterile conditions. It must be taken into account that the optical fiber first and then the suction cannula are passed inside the skin. A good anesthesia or sedation will also be essential because the skin is a very sensitive organ to heat, and the laser is providing high heat energy.
After the procedure the patient goes home, no hospitalization is required. I call this surgery “surgery of patience”, since the results are expected within 3 to 4 months, but the patient will continue to improve throughout the first year, especially flaccidity.
As a liposuction technique it cannot be compared with classic liposuction, it is an important technological step and the results are undoubtedly much better. As a flaccidity treatment there is more variability in the response, which probably depends on genetic factors of the skin, something similar to what happens with scars.
The only risk of this technique in my opinion is that the patient has false expectations regarding the result, so the surgeon must make a correct assessment and explain perfectly what can be achieved and what not. The rate of “happy patients” with the results is over 80%, and from my point of view in all of them we get a real improvement.
At the present time we have been performing lipolaser for more than three years in our clinic D&S Dexeus, being probably the plastic surgeon with more cases and experience in this innovative technique.