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Laser lipolysis, commonly known as ‘laser lipo’, is a liposculpture procedure for the removal of stubborn pockets of fat such as saddlebags, love handles and double chins. It can effectively reduce areas of fat resistant to diet or exercise with fewer side effects than traditional procedures such as liposuction.
Am I a Candidate for Laser Lipo ?
Anyone who has unwanted, stubborn areas of fat may be a candidate for laser lipolysis. The ideal candidate should be at, or close to, their healthy body weight and have realistic expectations of what the treatment can achieve. People who have a significant amount of weight to lose or are obese are not suitable for this treatment as it is designed to contour and shape the body rather than provide significant weight loss. Pregnant women are also not suitable for this treatment. The best way to find out if you are a suitable candidate for laser lipo is to book a consultation with a practitioner who is experienced in the treatment.
What Are the Results of Laser Lipolysis?
Depending on whether or not the practitioner also uses suction you can expect to lose up to a fist-sized amount of fat from the treated area. You can usually start to see results in 6-8 weeks. The results are more dramatic and immediate where suction is used. The heat from the laser can also help tighten the skin so you may instantly feel more toned.
What Happens During a Laser Lipo Procedure?
SculpSure Non-Invasive Laser Lipolysis
During treatment your doctor will mark on your body with pen the areas to be targeted. They will then fit a customised applicator pattern to fit your body and target the right area. You will then be asked to lie down on a bed to fit the applicators on to your body. The applicators will be secured into the pattern to rest on the body part that is being treated. The SculpSure machine will then be turned on and treatment will begin.
When the treatment starts you will feel a cooling sensation that helps keep your skin comfortable throughout the treatment. The first four minutes of the treatment is the build phase.
After these few minutes you will feel alternating sensations of deep warmth and cooling as the lasers start to destroy your cells. This will continue for 21 minutes until the treatment is complete.
Invasive Laser Lipo
The doctor or surgeon will usually make surgical markings on the areas being treated to serve as a guide during the procedure. You will then be injected with a local anaesthetic to numb the area and allow the doctor or surgeon to make a small incision through which to infiltrate the rest of the anaesthetic. This small incision will also be the point through which the laser in inserted (inside a thin tube or cannula).
Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, the doctor will insert the laser fibre and begin the treatment. You will be awake throughout the procedure but should not feel anything other than a bit of pressure or tugging on the area. Sometimes you can experience some heat from the laser which feels like being flicked with an elastic band. This will only happen in areas that the anaesthetic has not fully reached and your doctor can stop the procedure and add more anaesthetic if necessary.
The treatment takes between one to two hours depending on how many areas you are having treated and the size of the area being treated. The doctor will move the laser around under the skin, using its heat to melt the fat in your problem areas. The melted fat can either be sucked out in much the same way as liposuction or left to be metabolised buy your own body. The suction assisted technique, known as aspiration, allows the doctor to remove more fat but is slightly more invasive.
What Are the Risks and Complications with Laser Lipolysis?
Laser lipo is a very safe treatment with less associated risks and side effects that surgical liposuction, however, there are some risks involved.
The most common side effect after laser lipolysis is that you can experience some swelling and bruising but this is temporary and should subside within a couple of days. These side effects are usually worse if you have had suction-assisted laser lipo.
To reduce the risk of any complications occurring, follow the post treatment advice given to you by your practitioner.