What is Lipotherme?

Lipotherme is an efficacious, safe and effective procedure, which utilizes laser energy to liquefy and remove unwanted fat in problem regions of the body and causes the contraction of collagen.  This results in a tightening and firming of the epidermal layers of the skin. The clinical term for this procedure is laser-assisted liposuction (lipolysis).

How does Lipotherme work?

Lipotherme is a European technology which assists with the removal of fatty tissue via small, easily concealable, incisions that are made in the skin at the region of treatment.  A small optical laser fiber (1-2 mm in size) is introduced through a small hand-set called a cannula directly into the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat.  A red diode aims a beam at the tip of the cannula, which provides the surgeon visual guidance during the treatment procedure. 

The degeneration of collagen (fibrous fatty tissue) and dermal reorganization that occurs during the liposuction treatment results in the reduction of fatty tissue and the tightening of the dermal and epidermal tissues. The laser also effectively causes small blood vessels to coagulate immediately, reducing bleeding, swelling and bruising. Because of the small size of the fiber optic tip, laser-assisted liposuction has become the standard for treating a greater number of hard to reach areas of the body.

When is Lipotherme an appropriate treatment and who are candidates for the procedure?

Lipotherme is not traditionally intended to be utilized as a weight-loss technique however this treatment is commonly used on individuals to remove diet and exercise resistant fat deposits and to sculpt a slimmer profile. Only a board certified physician can determine the most suitable candidates for the Lipotherme procedure. For women, problem areas typically include the abdomen, hips, thighs and knees, while men most often treat the upper-arms, chin, hips, abdomen, and breast areas. Laser-assisted liposuction may also help to remove sweat glands to abate excessive sweating.

When is Lipotherme most effective?

Lipotherme is most effective when utilized as a treatment for improving skin laxity after traditional liposuction has been performed or for small areas of fatty deposits that occur from the natural aging process. It is not recommended for individuals who have problems with obesity, large fatty areas or stretch marks.

The laser is effective in the treatment of areas with high vascularity or where the use of large cannulae may be problematic. Because the laser combines fat melting with skin tightening it can be used in the same areas where liposuction can be used but where skin laxity may be made worse by the use of traditional liposuction treatment.

Is Lipotherme favorable over traditional liposuction?

Although Lipotherme itself has not demonstrated itself to have a clear and significant clinical difference in outcome over traditional liposuction, the reduction of arm motion and fatigue of the surgeon results in less trauma being caused to the patient, which in turn reduces the incidence of swelling and bruising. Additionally, the skin tightening capabilities of laser-assisted liposuction are superior to traditional liposuction on smaller problem areas.

What is the disadvantage of Lipotherme treatment?

The single disadvantage of Lipotherme treatment is that the procedure renders the fat tissue unsuitable for fat transfer or redistribution to other regions of the body. Caution also must be taken when undergoing large volume liposuction because there is an increased risk of burns from the laser tipped cannula.

How long until optimum results are noticeable?

Typically, dramatic improvement can be seen within 1 to 2 weeks post-procedure, although the regions of the neck and jaw show more immediate results. Due to the fact that patient health and healing is variable, results from the Lipotherme treatment typically require 12 to 16 weeks to become fully visible and improvement can continue for several months.

How many Lipotherme treatments are necessary for optimum results?

Typically, Lipotherme is a one-time treatment, but if a patient has a range of areas to be treated, more than one treatment may be necessary.

Is there a recuperation period?

There is on average a one day period of down-time after a Lipotherme treatment however as with all invasive surgical procedures it is recommended that a patient restricts strenuous activity such as lifting, exercising and other physically challenging activities.

Who is qualified to perform Lipotherme?

Only board certified surgeons are qualified to perform Lipotherme treatments.  Board certified surgeons are medical doctors who have acquired at least two-years in additional training to perform plastic and cosmetic surgical procedures.

Is Lipotherme safe?

Lipotherme has been approved as a treatment by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States.

What is the cost of laser-assisted liposuction?

The cost of laser-assisted liposuction is variable and is determined by geographic location, skill of the surgeon and the number of body areas and treatments that are required for optimum results.

Furthermore, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has issued a recent public warning that consumers looking to cut costs during the current economic downturn cannot afford to cut corners on quality of care and that searching for low pricing may impact safety. The directive states that patients should proceed carefully prior to putting their health and physical bodies in the hands of anyone who is not qualified to perform surgery.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By OnlineSurgery Staff
Updated: March 18, 2009

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