Pockets of stubborn body fat are an unwelcome guest in your life. They persist despite your best efforts to make them disappear through diet and exercise. In your quest to achieve a lean, toned physique, you have probably explored the idea of liposuction – a time-tested technique that can help remove unwanted fat from areas such as your thighs, abdomen, upper arms, neck, hips, and back.
As you’ve been researching liposuction, you may have come across the phrase “laser lipo” and thought to yourself, “How does laser lipo work?” We’ve put together a guide to understanding the difference between laser liposuction and traditional liposuction to help you choose what’s best for you.
Traditional Lipo vs. Laser Lipo
With regular liposuction, a plastic surgeon makes small incisions in the area(s) where you have chosen to get fat removed, then inserts a thin tube called a cannula and uses it to extract the fat. In contrast, the process of laser lipo, also known as smart lipo, also begins with tiny incisions but relies on a specialized probe to deliver laser energy to the tissues. The laser liquefies the fat, which makes it easier to remove.
Laser liposuction offers the following advantages over the traditional approach.
- Using a laser enables us to keep the incisions notably smaller than with traditional liposuction. They are minimal enough to heal without sutures.
- Patients experience less bruising with laser liposuction than they do with regular liposuction.
- Smart lipo is gentler on the tissues, which often results in a shorter and more comfortable recovery process.
- In many cases, the laser energy has a bonus side effect of tightening the skin by stimulating the body’s production of collagen and elastin.
Does Laser Lipo Work?
Though laser lipo devices have undergone a series of clinical trials to demonstrate their safety, they are still a relatively new approach to liposuction. That means they can’t yet match the long-established track record of safety and efficacy of regular liposuction, which doctors have been performing since the 1970s.
What does that mean for you? Your takeaway should be that it matters who performs your liposuction procedure. Regardless of which technique you choose, it is crucial for your comfort and ultimate satisfaction to have an experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon leading the way.
What Can You Expect After Laser Lipo?
After smart lipo, we will send you home with detailed instructions to follow to speed your healing time and prevent post-surgical complications. You will need to wear compression garments to help minimize swelling and provide the treated areas with additional support as you heal. One of the additional benefits you can look forward to with laser lipo vs. traditional lipo is that you will not need drains to prevent fluid buildup.
The usual healing time for liposuction patients is one to two weeks off work for rest and recovery, though laser lipo patients may be on the shorter end of this scale. You can expect to experience some swelling, soreness, and bruising as you heal. Due to this swelling, you may not notice your results right away, but don’t get discouraged. Soon, you will be able to enjoy your new, surgically enhanced contours.
Though you should not confuse any form of liposuction with a weight loss procedure, finally banishing your most stubborn body fat can be a tremendous incentive to motivate you to eat right and exercise regularly to maintain your results. When you have the flat stomach, toned limbs, and defined curves that remained just outside your reach, despite the hours you put in at the gym, you might be surprised how much it renews your excitement about your body.
Laser Lipo at the Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery
If you’re dreaming about liposuction, now could be the ideal time to take steps to get the results you’ve always wanted. Contact us today at either our Baltimore or Columbia offices to schedule your consultation. One of our four board-certified plastic surgeons will be available to talk to you about your goals and expectations for liposuction, and help you determine the best type of liposuction procedure for your body and skin type.