You’ve probably heard of liposuction, and you may have even heard of laser lipo. However, you’re likely wondering how laser lipo works and where the fat goes after the procedure. Undoubtedly, the lasers don’t cut out the fat like in surgical liposuction. They do not, and we will be going over exactly what the process of laser lipo entails, how it works, and where the fat goes after laser lipo in this blog.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure by which adipose tissue (body fat) is physically sucked out of the body and removed. This procedure is performed under general, regional, or local anesthesia, depending on various factors. There are two types of liposuction: cosmetic liposuction and medically necessary liposuction. Liposuction can be medically necessary to drain lipomas, treat conditions such as lymphedema, and treat lipedema. However, this type of liposuction is far rarer than the other cosmetic type. Most liposuctions are to improve the aesthetic appeal of a person’s body, and we will focus on this type of liposuction in this article.
In liposuction, the fat is sucked out of the body by negative pressure and permanently removed. Many individuals use this as an easy way to lose body fat and improve their appearance. There are several different ways to perform the procedure. In general, a cannula is introduced to a fat deposit in the body, which is attached to an aspirator that applies negative pressure through the cannula. This is moved around the fat deposit, and the fat is sucked through the cannula and into the aspirator by the use of negative pressure, permanently removing the fat from the body. Whether your liposuction is performed under local or general anesthesia is generally determined by the volume of fat being removed.
Liposuction is considered a very safe surgery, and thousands of procedures are performed each year in the United States alone. There are certain complications that can occur with liposuction, just like with any surgical procedure. However, liposuction is generally considered very safe by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Having said this, some 4,500 deaths occur associated with liposuction each year.
What is Laser Lipolysis?
This procedure, also referred to as “laser lipo,” involves the application of a low-intensity laser to the fat areas you wish to lose. Lasers can generate singular-directional light and heat to a minimal area. With laser lipo, the technician will target the cell with the laser. The laser penetrates the skin, reaches the targeted fat cells, and bores a tiny pore into the cellular membrane. In addition to creating a small hole, the laser emulsifies (melts) the lipids inside the cell, which allows them to seep through the pore.
The body’s lymphatic system then naturally disposes of the lipids. Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. While the system allows the cells to drain, they remain intact. Other laser systems destroy the fat cells, which can lead to fatty deposits developing in other areas of the body.
Additionally, Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems. Most patients don’t feel anything at all. Laser lipolysis is a minimally invasive weight loss method that targets body fat exclusively. It is innovative and relatively new. Laser lipolysis by Emerald Laser is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis process.
Surgical Liposuction vs. Laser Lipo
The differences between these two procedures have been outlined above. However, you may be wondering which one is better. The answer is unequivocally laser lipo. Laser lipolysis has a host of additional benefits and almost none of the shortcomings of surgical liposuction. Here are some of the benefits of laser lipolysis when compared to surgical liposuction:
- No anesthesia or surgery
- No risk of surgical complications
- No long recovery time
- More fat loss
- More convenient procedure
Laser lipo is clearly the superior form of lipo. Moreover, Emerald Laser’s laser lipolysis is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis for obese patients, meaning that surgical liposuction or gastric bypass is no longer the only option for treatment for severe obesity.
Where Does the Fat Go After Laser Lipo?
After a laser lipolysis procedure, there is a hole bored into the cell membrane of the adipose (fat) cells in the area that is treated. Adipose cells have lipids, or fats, inside of them, and these lipids leak out through the hole, literally deflating the adipose cell. These lipids are then excreted from your body by your body’s lymphatic system. The fat cells are not permanently destroyed as with other body contouring procedures, as this can cause the unwanted regeneration of the fat cells in other unwanted locations. Instead, the fat cells are permanently deflated, and the lipids that leak out are destroyed by your white blood cells.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Lipo
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about laser lipolysis relating to the procedure, its safety, and the potential results you can achieve from it.
How Much Fat Can I Expect to Lose With Laser Lipo?
The exact amount of fat you can expect to lose depends on a number of individual factors, but losses of up to thirty pounds of fat are not unusual with laser lipolysis. This is more than you could typically lose with surgical liposuction!
Does Laser Lipo Hurt?
Laser lipolysis is a completely painless procedure!
What is the Recovery Time for Laser Lipo?
There is basically no recovery time for laser lipolysis. You can walk out the door comfortably and return to your normal life right after the procedure. This is a further advantage of laser lipolysis over surgical liposuction, as the latter can have extended recovery times after the surgery.
I Don’t Want This Procedure if it Isn’t Permanent. What Then?
This is an understandable position to take. After all, who wants to spend money on a temporary solution? Having said that, laser lipolysis is as permanent as you make it. As we stated above, the results will be permanent if you make them permanent. This means making adequate changes to your dietary and exercise habits to prevent yourself from just gaining the body fat back, as this is a common problem with just about any cosmetic intervention targeted at achieving fat loss. Laser lipolysis can be very permanent if you don’t overeat and underexercise after the procedure.
How Long Does Laser Lipolysis Take to Show Results?
It can typically take several weeks to see the full results of laser lipolysis. Oftentimes, it can take as many as six to eight weeks to see the full fat loss benefits of laser lipolysis. However, this doesn’t mean that the fat loss is not occurring, just that draining the lipids from each fat cell through your lymphatic system takes some time.
Emerald Laser is the state-of-the-art in laser lipo technology. If you’re a provider who is interested in offering top-tier laser lipo to your patients, contact us today. Otherwise, if you’re a patient who wants to achieve dramatic results or a provider schedule a consultation with a laser provider near you.