Lipolysis, or laser-based fat reduction technique, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that utilizes laser technology to liquefy stubborn fat cells beneath the skin and suction them away for removal. Additionally, this procedure tightens skin as it triggers collagen production – not an ideal way to tackle excess weight but great for those seeking refinements in areas resistant to diet and exercise.
Your doctor will use anesthetic to numb the treatment area before attaching paddle-like applicators that emit low-level laser energy to heat up fat tissue beneath your skin and break down cell membranes, eventually leading to their destruction and natural absorption by your body.
Other benefits of this method include shorter recovery periods and less bruising than traditional surgery, as well as being more precise than conventional liposuction techniques.
However, research supporting these claims remains mixed. While certain studies have demonstrated how light therapy can cause fat cells to deflate in rats through experiments performed on them alone, other researchers have reported similar results with less conclusive evidence and smaller scales experiments.
Neira and colleagues36 conducted one such research study published in 2002. These researchers utilized a 635 nm diode laser on surgical sites and observed that within six minutes after laser exposure, 99 percent of fat had been released from adipocytes; transmission electron microscopy revealed that these lipids were being released through porous structures within cells.
Another study, led by Ayham Al-Ayoubi at London’s Cadogan Clinic, enrolled 40 healthy men and women between 18-65 years of age with BMIs of 30 kg/m2, who underwent either experimental laser treatment or control treatments twice weekly over four weeks for half an hour each time; participants must maintain stable weight throughout. Glycerol and triglyceride measurements from adipocytes released were measured both in vitro and in vivo during this trial period.
Researchers discovered that experimental laser treatment caused apoptosis only in adipocytes, not surrounding non-fat tissues. Apoptosis occurs when cells rupture and release their contents (glycerol and triglycerides).
After treatment, your physician may advise the use of compression garments to minimize swelling at the site of surgery. They’ll likely also suggest drinking plenty of water to flush away dead cells and allow your body to absorb glycerol and triglycerides more efficiently.
Laser lipo can produce results after just one session, though full benefits typically become visible after about a month or two as your body naturally expel dead fatty cells and processes any remaining lipids. Your doctor can advise on the number of sessions necessary to reach desired results.