Laser assisted liposuction is precise and gentle procedure designed to enhance the contour in specific areas of the body by melting fat deposits and tightening loose, sagging skin.
Common areas where laser liposuction may be performed include the neck, upper arms, abdomen, inner and outer thighs. Laser lipo is also utilized during micro liposuction of the chin, elbows, knees, and ankles. One of the key advantages with laser liposuction is that the procedure can be performed under local or twilight anesthesia, but this is also usually true for regular tumescent liposuction in the hands of plastic surgeons who are experienced in the field of liposuction.
Dr. Nicholas Vendemia performs laser liposuction and micro liposuction for women and men. We encourage you to contact us online or give us a call at 917-703-7069 to schedule a visit to fly out. Dr. Vendemia is a leading cosmetic surgeon in Los Angeles with a reputation for custom care and beautiful results.
What’s in this section?
Please continue reading by scrolling down this page until you come to your desired treatment, or give us a call at 917-703-7069 to schedule a personal consultation. You may also want to visit our gorgeous Before & After Liposuction Photo Gallery for pictures of real results from real patients in our practice.
- How does laser liposuction tighten the skin?
- How is laser liposuction different from tumescent liposuction?
- What are the five most common myths about laser liposuction?
- What is the most effective laser liposuction procedure?
- What areas of the body are the best candidates for laser liposuction?
- Which laser liposuction machine is the best?
How does laser liposuction tighten the skin?
There are many different ways to tighten the skin, but direct heating of the dermis with the internal passing of laser liposuction fiberoptic cannulas is one of the most effective. Heating the dermis stimulates an intense healing response and collagen production, which tightens the skin and improves it’s elasticity over time. The only skin tightening treatments that are more effective are surgical skin tightening procedures like neck lifts, breast lifts, and tummy tucks, but those are all more invasive procedures with a different set of risks, costs, and recovery times.
The skin can also be heated externally with any number of “nonsurgical” devices like the MaxIR from Palomar, Thermage, or Ulthera, but this process is never as effective as direct heat applied to the underside of this skin with a laser liposuction cannula. There is a limit to how much energy can be delivered to the skin from the outside before the procedure becomes too uncomfortable or risks burning the top layers of the skin and producing a visible scar. Internal fiberoptic devices are more reliable in terms of their heat delivery and the uniformity of their heat generation, and while it is true that a tiny incision must be made for the cannula to pass under the skin, the resulting scar is so small and inconspicuous that it is almost always inconsequential.
How is laser liposuction different from tumescent liposuction?
Contrary to popular belief, laser liposuction is not significantly different from traditional tumescent liposuction (assuming the the surgeon performing the procedure is competent and experienced with both techniques of course). Both procedures offer similar levels of comfort, have similar recovery times, and both can be performed with any level of anesthesia. Laser liposuction still requires exactly the same tumescent technique as “regular” liposuction, and although it makes sense that melted fat is easier to remove with laser lipo, in actual reality there is no difference in the ease of the fat removal step. There are a variety of other technologies like ultrasound assisted lipo, power assisted lipo, and vibration techniques that all make the process of removing fat easier whether it is melted or not. Here are the only real differences between laser lipo and regular liposuction:
- Laser liposuction adds an additional fat melting and skin tightening step. This extra step is the biggest difference between the two procedures. Both procedures require a tumescent step, and a fat removal (or suctioning) step, but only laser lipo requires an additional step where separate fiberoptic cannulas are passed under the skin to melt fat and heat the undersurface of the skin. This additional step may have the additional benefit of tightening the skin in certain areas of the body that are prone to sagging (like the neck, arms, and inner thighs), but this extra step also adds quite a bit of time to the procedure as compared to regular liposuction. On average, laser lipo procedures take much longer to perform because of this additional step, and many inexperienced surgeons will actually rush through this step to make up the time which can cause any number of problems and should never be a routine practice for any qualified liposuction specialist.
- Laser liposuction may tighten loose skin more than regular liposuction in certain areas that are prone to sagging. As discussed above, this is where laser liposuction may sometimes offer an additional benefit over regular liposuction, but this benefit is limited to certain areas of the body that are prone to sagging skin. The neck, the arms, and the inner thighs are the areas that most often benefit from the skin tightening power of laser liposuction. The technology is simply not powerful enough to produce a noticeable difference in skin tightening as compared to regular liposuction when it is used to treat larger areas with thicker skin like the abdomen, love handles, hips and thighs.
- Laser liposuction cases can be performed awake, but they take much longer. While it is true that laser liposuction cases can be performed awake, this is also true for any other liposuction technique performed in the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon. The decision of which level of anesthesia to have is more of a personal preference based on the level of comfort and awareness you wish to have, and should not be misconstrued as a “benefit” of laser liposuction. That being said, when laser liposuction cases are performed awake, you must keep in mind that the procedures take much longer because of the additional step involved, so make sure to consider how long you are willing to lay on a procedure table before you make the final decision.
- Laser liposuction has an additional risk of skin burns. This is an obvious difference with laser liposuction that is commonly overlooked. Because laser liposuction involves a heating component in the fiberoptic cannulas, there is a chance of burning the skin that doesn’t exist with regular liposuction.
Are you considering laser lipo in Los Angeles? We offer the most innovative technologies and the quickest recovery times, and all treatments are performed by a physician for added safety and comfort. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office at 917-703-7069.
What are the five most common MYTHS about laser liposuction?
- Laser liposuction is easier and faster than regular liposuction. As discussed above, laser liposuction is neither easier nor faster than regular tumescent liposuction. It is merely another tool at the disposal of an experienced surgeon who customizes his liposuction technique to his individual patient’s needs and desires. Laser lipo and tumescent lipo can both be performed under local anesthesia if you wish, both can be relatively comfortable procedures, and the recovery times for comparable areas of the body are very similar. Laser liposuction procedures do tend to take longer than regular liposuction because of the additional step involved, but this may or may not be an issue form some patients.
- Laser liposuction is “less invasive” than regular liposuction. Laser liposuction is not less invasive than regular liposuction. Both procedures require exactly the same techniques and steps, with the exception of the extra laser step of the laser lipo procedure. Both procedures require a tumescent solution, small incisions for the cannulas, and a fat suctioning step. And while it may seem like melted fat is easier to remove than regular fat, this is not true in practical reality where many other devices exist to make the fat removal just as gentle as it is when the fat is melted.
- Laser liposuction is the only liposuction technique that can be done awake. This is one of the most common sales pitches offered to patients by surgeons who only offer one liposuction technique, but it is unfortunately a myth. Any liposuction technique can be performed awake with local anesthesia in the hands of a plastic surgeon that is experienced with all forms of liposuction, but this is not always the most appropriate form of anesthesia depending on the number of areas being worked on, and the desired level of comfort and awareness during the procedure.
- Laser liposuction hurts less than regular liposuction. This is another myth commonly used as a sales pitch in practices that only offer laser liposuction, but the reality is that the recovery times are very similar between the two techniques, and contrary to popular opinion, compression garments are still required with laser liposuction to achieve the best results.
- Laser liposuction produces better results than regular liposuction. The quality of your final result has very little to do with the decision to have laser lipo vs tumescent lipo, and in fact, many of the most experienced liposuction specialists will use a combination of the two procedures for almost every patient. The final result depends mostly on two factors: 1) your surgeon’s skill in using his instruments and his attention to detail, and 2) the quality of your compression garment, and your commitment to wearing it after surgery.
What is the most effective laser liposuction procedure?
The most effective way to use skin tightening technology is to combine the external infrared heating of the MaxIR with the internal fiberoptic heating of a laser liposuction cannual into a single procedure. The laser lipo fiberoptic dermal heating is usually performed first under local or twilight anesthesia, which is then followed by the first session of MaxIR infrared heating approximately 4-6 weeks later. MaxIR sessions are usually continued at intervals of 4-6 weeks for an additional 2-3 sessions to maximize the amount of skin tightening. The MaxIR is tremendously more effective at tightening the skin if the dermis has been heated directly from the inside with the fiberoptic cannula before the treatment series begins, and a this procedure has been used to successfully tighten the neck, arms, abdomen, and thighs, and has also been shown to reduce cellulite.
What areas of the body are the best candidates for laser liposuction?
Certain areas of the body are prone to sagging skin in natural process of aging, after weight loss, and after liposuction. These are the areas that stand to benefit most from the dermal heating component of laser liposuction:
- The neck
- The arms.
- The inner thighs.
Although laser liposuction is commonly marketed as a superior treatment for the stretched, sagging skin that occurs on the abdomen after pregnancy, it is rarely beneficial in this area. When the skin is damaged to the point of having stretch marks (which are actual tears in the dermis), there only reliable option to tighten the skin is an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
What laser liposuction machine is the best?
There are so many laser liposuction machines on the market that it can be very difficult to keep track to which is which. Most of the machines offer the same thing under a different brand name. SMART Lipo, COOL Lipo, Aqua Lipo, VASER Lipo, and SLIM Lipo all offer essentially the same technology manufactured by different companies. SLIM Lipo has a slightly unique benefit of having two laser wavelengths instead of just one, which allows the surgeon to adjust the proportion of the laser energy devoted to skin tightening vs fat melting independently.
The most important factor for making a decision about laser liposuction is not the machine or the technique, or even whether you have laser lipo vs regular liposuction… it is the experience and skill level of the surgeon doing the procedure. Your surgeon should be very comfortable with liposuction cases of all types (Liposculpting, tumescent lipo, laser lipo, micro lipo, revision lipo, etc), and should be able to show you multiple Before & After photos of his own personal work (not photos borrowed from other surgeons or corporate websites). And while everyone appreciates a good price, the cost of the procedure should not be at the top of your priority list in making the decision. Bargain liposuction of any kind can easily lead to a poor outcome that can be very difficult and expensive to fix.