Smart Lipo: Liposuction using Laser: Pros & Cons

Laser-assisted liposuction pros and cons were discussed at the annual conference of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in April 2010. Mr. Franklin Dispaltro was the moderator and Messrs Barry DiΒernardo and Jeffrey M.Kenkel were participating speakers.

According to the statistics of the ASPS, liposuction is the second most common procedure in the USA, with 283,735 procedures performed in 2009.

Laser-assisted liposuction, where laser was used to break down fat cells prior to liposuction was questioned by plastic surgeons following FDA’s announcement on the approval of the first laser device at the end of 2006.

“Over the last two decades, many new technology devices have been introduced in the field of liposuction with a great deal of enthusiasm, but we must distinguish which of them are useful or not”, says Dr DiSpaltro, past President of the American Society, from West Orange, NJ, USA.

Typically, in laser liposuction, a probe enters the area to be liposuctioned through a small incision in order to break down the fat cells (adipose cells). Then, the laser is directed to the skin to assist in skin stretching. Liquidated fat is then aspired. Initially, the technique had gained great popularity.

But the initial data showed that laser liposuction was no better than what we have been doing over the last 10 years with tumescent liposuction. In addition, it may have an impact on the liver and kidneys, when fat acids are released from fat cells.

“Over the last 3 years, extensive research has been conducted on laser liposuction and it seems to be safe, but no technology works on its own. The experienced hand of a plastic surgeon is always needed”, says DiBernardo, Plastic surgeon from Montclair, NJ. “It is just another weapon in a plastic surgeon’s armory”.

ΤTowards the end of the panel discussion, Dr Kenkel, Plastic surgeon from Dallas, USA, says: “Each technological device is directed and applied by an experienced plastic surgeon”.



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