The term liposuction is now commonplace – everybody knows that it is a plastic surgery procedure which removes stubborn fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. However, most people are ignorant when it comes to the various types of liposuction treatment available today. One question that most surgeons are asked is ‘What is the difference between laser liposuction and standard or traditional liposuction’?
The procedure in both cases is the same – making incisions in natural folds, introducing a suction cannula and suctioning out unwanted fat. Areas that can be successfully treated are the abdomen, hips, thighs, pelvic roll, back and neck. The ultimate outcome of the both the procedures is also more or less the same – improved contour in the treatment sites. In a paper presented at a Congress of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in San Francisco, a plastic surgeon reported that whether standard liposuction, ultrasonic assisted liposuction, or laser assisted liposuction, all modalities of treatment yielded similar results. The extent of pain was the same and amount of skin tightening was also similar.
However, when it comes to the ease of fat removal, time required for the treatment, safety and downtime, advanced laser liposuction can offer important advantages. To get rid of the surplus fat in areas such as abdomen, buttocks, hips, and thighs, standard liposuction uses a larger cannula which requires a larger incision. This, in turn, could result in a longer downtime. However, laser lipolysis with technology such as the FDA-approved SmartLipo Triplex involves the use of a small, minimally invasive cannula which means means smaller incision, less downtime and quicker recovery. The most important difference is that the laser-enabled procedure liquefies the fat, allowing the plastic surgeon to suction it out more easily. In areas such as the upper abdomen and back with a greater extent of fibrous tissue, liquefying the fat allows easy removal. The other benefits of laser liposuction include the following:
- Use of local anesthesia as compared to general anesthesia for standard liposuction
- Effective treatment of smaller areas such as the face, ankles and knees
- Faster recovery
- Return to normal routine activities in 2 to 3 days
- Improved safety
Advanced laser liposuction modalities also come with special features that allow more precise targeting of the treatment site, prevent overheating and minimize damage to the surrounding tissues. Regardless of the technique, it’s important to ensure that it is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon in an accredited surgical suite. The right surgeon can provide optimal results for laser as well as standard lipolysis treatments.