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Laser-Lipolysis or Laser-Sculpture: A new focus on body shape remodelling

Tumescent liposuction has proven to be the most effective method of improving body shape and contour volume, especially in treating lipodystrophic regions. It is ideal for the elimination of localised fat deposits and slight alterations in body weight.

As the procedure was consolidated, larger body areas were addressed with increased surgical times and longer anaesthetic processes, the outcome was a higher risk and unsatisfying results.

Laser Lipolysis reduces the trauma associated with tradicional liposuctionHowever, these drawbacks have not reduced the social demand to improve the body contour, rather to the contrary, as the search for techniques with minimal risk and invasiveness is on the rise. Techniques are needed that do not require major anesthesia and that allow the patient to immediately resume their normal activities.

In these cases, the effectiveness of radiofrequency, ultrasounds and cryolipolysis in reducing fat accumulation has been well proven. The feature of all of these techniques is that they induce a result, but do not implement it as in the case of liposuction, particularly in the details and nuances achieved with liposuction. Therefore, the outcome varies depending on each patient's response and on occasion they do not satisfy the physician or the patient's expectations.

However, liposuction does control the shape and correction of the body contour volume, since it is much more accurate. Optimum results are conditioned solely by the physician's skill in performing the technique and the readaptation of the skin depends exclusively on the biology.

Laser in body shaping treatment was introduced as a new tool in hands of the physician who aims at correcting the shape and volume of the treated areas in a personalised manner. Laser lipolysis reduces the trauma associated with traditional liposuction and increases aspiration selectivity. At the same time, the thermal effect of laser on the dermis and septa of the fatty tissue improves readaptation of the skin, an unattainable objective in conventional liposuction.

Objectives of Laser-Lipolysis

The main objectives of this new technique, still under development, are:

  • Increased safety.
  • Reduced recovery time.
  • Readapts the skin with optimum results in a reduced period of time.

The advantages of a reduced optical fibre and aspiration cannula are added to these objectives; which on the one hand provides the treatment with a much less invasive facet than other techniques, and on the other hand facilitating the procedure for the surgeon.

The laser lipolysis technique is based on subtle increases in fat tissue temperature that liberate the triglycerides stored in the fat cells. These liquefy and are subsequently aspirated. The light energy delivered by the laser is absorbed by the receptive chromophores (structures sensitive to the wavelength of each laser) in the fat cells, which produced enough specific heating to attain thermal damage. The heat also produces coagulation of the collagen fibres and the small vessels that reduce operative trauma while achieving skin contraction.

Stages of Laser-Lipolysis

The technique is performed in four consecutive stages:

  1. Patient selection criteria: excessive deviations in body weight are excluded, as well as patients with any concomitant condition that could present risks in the treatment.
  2. Supplementary examinations to set objective criteria: by means of blood work and an ultrasound, the areas to be treated are meticulously assessed; as well as any fibroses conditioned by prior liposuctions, surgery or traumas.
  3. Treatment: local anaesthesia is applied. Laser dosimetry is adjusted. Optical fibre displacement begins. The liberated triglycerides are removed, through extrusion with a roller or suction with a fine cannula. The skin retracts. The partitions, septa and vessels, high in water content, coagulate.
  4. Patient follow up and result evaluation: A week after treatment, the patient presents moderate inflammation with almost no or very discreet bruising (use of compression garments), a month later, shape and volume can be assessed and 3 months later, the whole process of skin readaptation can be perceived. Skin quality gradually improves up to a year after treatment.

Tolerance has been satisfactory and the down-time very low. Patients are satisfied with the tolerance, efficiency and accomplishment of their expectations. Over 90% are willing to recommend the procedure. More studies would be needed to adjust the dosimetry and explain diverse responses in different areas.

We believe that the procedure applied has proven to be safe, with good correction in shape and volume, high tolerance and satisfaction levels on behalf of the patient. Good results have been achieved in skin behaviour in a large number of cases, something not expected with conventional liposuction. None of our patients experienced major complications.

Javier Moreno Moraga and Josefina Royo de la Torre

For personalised informative consultation of Laser Lipolysis treatment, contact IML now and we will give you a gree informative consultation with one of our medical experts.