Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed. It is not a weight-loss procedure; it is, however, an effective method to remove stubborn deposits of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Many people seeking liposuction today are unaware that there are several different minimally invasive liposuction options available. Many people seeking liposuction are also likely to become very confused when faced with an assortment of non-invasive fat reduction treatments that aren't actually liposuction yet are named in such a way that they sound like they are performing liposuction.
The names of these procedures seem deliberately chosen to confuse patients. Laser liposuction may be called Smart Lipo, Cool Lipo, or Slim Lipo. Cold laser treatments may be called LaserLipo. However, cold laser treatments do not surgically remove fat cells and are not a type of liposuction. Ultrasound liposuction may be called Vaser Lipo. Another non-invasive, non-surgical treatment called Liposonix uses ultrasound on fat. However, no fat cells are surgically removed during Liposonix and it is not a type of liposuction. There are also non-invasive fat removal methods that involve freezing the fat cells, sometimes called cryolipolysis.
Laser liposuction is a minimally invasive method of performing surgical liposuction. A laser is used to heat the fat cells until they melt into a liquid. The melted fat is then aspirated away through tiny incisions. The heat from the laser seals off blood vessels, reducing bruising. The heat also tightens the skin. A local anesthetic is used, and most patients report feeling no sensations at all during the procedure. The sites of the incisions may feel mildly painful later on. Recovery is quick- a return to full activity within a week. A compression wrap does need to be worn around the area, and there is some swelling. Most of the swelling will be gone within a month. There may some residual swelling for up to 6 months.
Despite its name, Laser Lipo doesn't actually involve liposuction. It does use a laser. The laser is called a cold laser because it uses relatively low energies to avoid burning the skin and other tissues. The treatment is intended to be a completely non-invasive method of shrinking fat deposits. The laser is focused on the fat deposits and it releases the fat to be removed by the body. Multiple treatments are required before any reduction in the size of fat deposits can be expected to occur. Because no actual fat cells are removed, any observed effect is probably not permanent and the treatments will need to be repeated in future. However, most patients report being quite satisfied with the effects of non-invasive cold laser treatments.
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