Being overweight is becoming more and more common in this country. While some people fight the battle of the bulge with diet and exercise, others look for alternatives in the form of plastic surgery using procedures such as liposuction. Unfortunately, liposuction is not without its drawbacks. It requires the use of general anesthesia which carries risks, not to mention the risks of the procedure itself.
The recovery period after traditional liposuction can involve several days, weeks and even months of downtime. If you’re weary about taking the risks, you should know that there’s another procedure involving smaller amounts of excess fat called laser lipolysis; and the best thing is-it’s safe.
How Laser Lipolysis Works
Laser lipolysis uses a smaller sized canula to remove excess fat. Use of this procedure minimizes the bruising and swelling associated with traditional liposuction. The incision can also be smaller which allows the areas to heal quickly after the procedure and reduces the risk of infection.
Another advantage to laser lipolysis is that it can be done without the use of general anesthesia allowing the patient to be awake throughout the entire procedure. Usually, the patient is given several medications prior to laser lipolysis to reduce pain and anxiety. A topic anesthetic agent is applied to the areas to be suctioned and several small incisions are made to allow the canula access to the areas of fat to be removed. The canulas are moved around in a crisscross pattern underneath the skin, heating up the underlying fat tissue, allowing it to be melted away. The treated areas can then be bandaged and the patient can return home.
The risks associated with laser lipolysis are far fewer than those seen with traditional liposuction. The most common complications include the potential for infection, bruising, and burns to the skin. Because general anesthesia isn’t used, serious complications are rare and the patient is ready to resume normal activities within a day to several days.
During the recovery period, skin tightening may occur as new collagen is laid down in the dermal layers of the skin. Improvement in skin firmness continues for up to six months after the laser lipolysis procedure. The skin tightening effect seen with this procedure can be quite gratifying to patients who have experienced significant skin laxity.
One drawback to laser lipolysis is that it’s primarily designed for patients who have smaller, more discrete areas of fat to remove. These would include areas of fat around the knees and ankles, under the chin, backs of the arms, the waistline, and regions of the legs or abdomen. If the goal is removal of larger amounts of fat over a larger area, traditional liposuction may be the best option.
Laser lipolysis provides the right candidate a safe way to remove excess fat without the risks associated with traditional liposuction. If you’ve considered traditional liposuction, this may be a liposuction alternative worth considering.