AESTHETICS SURGERY – Liposuction
Laser Lipolysis, Laser Body Sculpting & Contouring
With weight-gain on the rise around the world, people are looking for ways to truly slim down. Weight-loss gimmicks don’t work, diet and exercise can take years to show results, and even when they do, often it isn’t in the places we want to target. Pesky belly fat, love handles, that “spare tire”, the backs of the thighs, these areas are sometimes unresponsive to working out. Attempting to target hard-to-slim areas is very difficult to do. Now new scientific developments in laser medicine give real results to people seeking a slimmer body.
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty (“fat modeling”), liposculpture suction lipectomy (“suction-assisted fat removal”) or simply lipo is a cosmetic surgery operation that removes fat from many different sites on the human body. Areas affected can range from the abdomen, thighs and buttocks, to the neck, backs of the arms and elsewhere.
AREAS OF THE BODY WHERE LIPOSUCTION IS PERFORMED
- Outer thighs (saddlebags)
- Flanks (love handles)
- Inner thighs
- Inner knees
- Upper arms
- Submental (chin),(gullet)
- Gynecomastia (male breast tissue),(man murrays)
Zaps the Fat, Slims the neck, arms and the other small areas
Previously lipo was the only way to quickly remove targeted areas of body fat. Today we have new, minimally-invasive technologies which can zap fat cells and permanently remove them, with much safer and less traumatic than surgical or even tumescent liposuction. Unlike the traditional surgical methods, it can be performed as an outpatient procedure with minimal anesthesia required. Many patients are able to return to work the day after treatment.
Targets Areas Traditional Lipo May Not
Because of its gentler, more focused approach, laser liposuction is able to treat localized pockets of fat in the neck, underarm, and other areas of the body that pose too many risks for removal by traditional liposuction.
Mechanism of Action
Laser-assisted lipolysis works through selective photothermia, which occurs when laser-light energy is absorbed by fat and then converted into heat energy. The laser energy is transmitted to the adipocytes via the passage of a laser fiber. The adipocytes absorb the energy and rupture, yielding permanent volume reduction. Laser-assisted lipolysis is a photo thermal process secondary to the absorption of laser energy by water which raises the temperature of the subcutaneous space and lower dermis. This causes contraction in all layers due to collagen remodeling. The laser energy is delivered by thin fibers passed within the subcutaneous space. The main chromophore is water, which causes heating of the subcutaneous space and dermis. The lower dermis is heated to temperatures 5-8 degrees Centigrade higher than the surface of the skin. Tissue tightening through coagulation occurs at internal temperatures of 40 – 42 degrees Centigrade.
Which Lasers is Used?
Plasma Lipo 360 – Petitbody Toning Lipolysis and Liposuction system,
Prolipo-Plus, Sciton – High power assisted Laser Lipolysis and Liposuction
Benefits of the new laser liposuction technique are:
· The laser selectively dissolves fat unlike standard liposuction which can destroy all tissues.
· The laser closes blood vessels=less bleeding, less bruising
· The laser tightens skin=less loose skin after liposuction
· Laser liposuction is less traumatic=quicker recovery
· The laser fiber is tiny= smaller scars
· Smaller areas done under local anesthesia
Laser Tightens Skin
In addition, laser liposuction stimulates the formation of new collagen (the skin’s “scaffolding” material), thus offering the added advantage of plumping up and tightening the skin in the treated area.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE?
First, laser liposuction should be considered only after exercising and dieting has failed and pockets of stubborn fat continue to cling to your body. You should be in good health and within 20 pounds of your ideal body weight. Your skin should be only mildly to moderately lax. Skin that is too loose (from extreme loss of weight, for example) cannot be tightened by laser liposuction. In those cases, often a tummy tuck or other procedure may be best.
Have Reasonable Expectations
You also need to have realistic expectations about what this procedure can do for your body’s contour. Remember, isolated pockets of unwanted fat can be removed, but you’re still going to have to maintain your results through healthy lifestyle.
Before receiving any of the procedures, no anticoagulants should be taken for two weeks before the surgery. If general anesthesia or sedation will be used, and the surgery will be in the morning, fasting from midnight the night before is required. If only local anesthesia will be used, fasting is not required. Smoking must be avoided for about two months prior to surgery, as nicotine interferes with circulation and can result in loss of tissue.
In all liposuction methods, there are certain things that should be done when having the procedure:
- The candidate and the surgeon will agree ahead of time on exactly which area(s) will be treated and both will discuss what outcome to expect
- A consent form is signed on the day of surgery
- An antibiotic will be given about an hour beforehand, or afterwards
- The targeted areas are marked on the body while the candidate is in a standing position
- Sometimes photos will be taken of the area to be treated, so the patient will have before and after photos
- In the operating room, a sterilizing solution such as Betadine, is applied to the relevant areas
- Local anesthetic is injected and the patient may be given a sedative, either orally, or through an IV injection
- Incisions are small, about a quarter to a third of an inch
- The patient will probably have an IV fluid line, since they will be losing fluid with the fat, and the fluid balance must be kept intact
- There will be some monitoring devices attached to the body to keep track of the blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level
- The patient will feel only a scraping or rasping sensation from the cannula movement
- Usually the patient can get up, walk around, and go home the same day if they did not receive general anesthesia, although they would need someone else to drive them.
Depending on the extent of the liposuction, patients are generally able to return to work between two days and two weeks. A compression garment which can easily be removed by the patient is worn for two to four weeks, this garment must have elasticity and allow for use of bandages. If non-absorbable sutures are placed, they will be removed after five to ten days.
Any pain is controlled by a prescription or over-the-counter medication, and may last as long as two weeks, depending on the particular procedure. Bruising will fade after a few days or maybe as long as two weeks later. Swelling will subside in anywhere from two weeks to two months, while numbness may last for several weeks. Normal activity can be resumed anywhere from several days to several weeks afterwards, depending on the procedure. The final result will be evident anywhere from one to six months after surgery, although the patient will see noticeable difference within days or weeks, as swelling subsides.
The suctioned fat cells are permanently gone. However, if the patient does not maintain a proper diet and exercise regimen, the remaining fat cell neighbors could still enlarge, creating irregularities.
A side effect, as opposed to a complication, is medically minor, although it can be uncomfortable, annoying, and even painful.
- Bruising: can be painful in the short term, and should fade after a few weeks.
- Swelling: should subside gradually over a month or two.
- Scars: will vary in size depending on the particular procedure, and should fade over the weeks. Scarring is an individual thing, partly dependent on heredity. For some, scar healing may take as long as a year.
- Pain: should be temporary and controlled by either over-the-counter medication, or by a prescription.
- Numbness: sometimes persists for a few weeks.
- Post-operative weight gain
- Limited mobility: will depend on the exact procedure.
There could be various factors limiting movement for a short while, such as:
- Wearing a compression garment
- Keeping the head elevated
- Temporary swelling or pain
The surgeon should advise on how soon the patient can resume normal activity.