What is Slim Lipo?
Slim Lipo is a laser-assisted fat removal method for specific areas of the body. It is a type of liposuction, although this procedure carries less risk and downtime than traditional surgical procedures. The use of a laser to break up the fat means smaller incisions that do not require suturing.
Smaller incisions also mean a lower possibility of bruising or bleeding after the procedure. The patient can often tolerate a Slim Lipo procedure without general anesthesia, so the risks are much lower. Recovery is usually a matter of days rather than weeks, with many patients returning to work the day after treatment.
Slim Lipo uses a laser to break up localized pockets of fat and melt them into liquid form, so they can be eliminated through normal body functions. In cases where a large amount of fat is to be removed, a suction device may be used to assist the elimination process. The procedure can be done in a physician's office, clinic or medical spa as an outpatient procedure.
In addition to completing the fat breakup and removal, the Slim Lipo laser will close off surrounding blood vessels, reducing the risk of bleeding and bruising during and after treatment. This tool will also tighten skin in the area, allowing for a smoother contour than other types of liposuction procedures.
Why consider Slim Lipo?
Slim Lipo offers many benefits over traditional liposuction procedures. Smaller incisions and less trauma to the body translates into less discomfort during and after the procedure and a shorter recovery time. The laser provides a smoother contour after the fact, and the precision of the tool allows smaller areas to receive the benefit of liposuction. Because the procedure is usually performed with local anesthesia and sedation, many of the anesthesia-related risks and side effects are greatly reduced. The procedure is considered a permanent solution in eliminating fat pockets and only one treatment is generally required for desired results.
Who is a candidate for Slim Lipo and what areas does it treat?
Any man or woman in relatively good health with unwanted, localized pockets of fat can have the Slim Lipo procedure. It is not generally recommended for patients who are overweight, since it is not considered a weight loss treatment. Patients with underlying medical conditions should talk to their physicians about whether any type of liposuction is safe and appropriate. It is also important to have realistic expectations of what this procedure can do, by talking to the doctor about past experience and viewing before and after photos of previous treatments.
Slim Lipo can treat a host of areas in the body. Typically, the procedure is used on localized pockets of fat that have not responded positively to diet and exercise. These areas might include:
- Hips (love handles)
- Thighs (both inner and outer)
- Back (especially area along bra strap)
- Upper arms
- Chin (for double or sagging chins)
- Breasts (for males seeking breast reduction)
What may a treatment session include? What may be associated with recovery?
When a patient schedules a Slim Lipo treatment, the first step will be to meet with the doctor to go over the patient's medical history, expectations and concerns. The area to be treated will be marked and a local anesthetic administered. In some cases, the patient will also be provided with a mild sedative to make the experience more comfortable.
The doctor will then go to work with the laser tool, using small incisions to insert the long tube containing the laser into the area of fat. When the laser is fired, the fat is melted away into a liquid form. Small amounts will be left for the body to eliminate naturally through normal functions. More fat may be suctioned out of the area with a tool attached to the tube.
Most Slim Lipo sessions will take one to three hours, and the patient will be able to go home the same day. In many cases, a compression dressing will be applied to the area to reduce the risk of swelling and bruising. This dressing can usually be removed within a few days.
The patient may be instructed to rest for a day or two, although many return to work the day after the procedure. Most doctors will advise against vigorous activity for a week after the treatment. Some patients report mild discomfort, swelling and bruising that goes away on its own in a matter of days.
What risks may be associated with Slim Lipo?
Any medical procedure carries a degree of risk, and Slim Lipo is no exception. However, the less invasive method reduces much of the risk normally associated with traditional liposuction. Risks might include infection, bleeding, swelling, bruising and discomfort.
In rare cases, irregular skin contours or pigmentation can occur. Patients who wish to reduce the risk even further should consult with a doctor who is experienced in the Slim Lipo procedure and follow instructions before and after treatment very carefully.
How much does Slim Lipo cost? Does health insurance cover the procedure?
The cost of this procedure will vary greatly based on the size of the area and the amount of fat to be treated. In most states, the average cost of Slim Lipo will run between $2,000 and $6,000. Insurance rarely covers the cost of cosmetic procedures like Slim Lipo, but financing options are usually available. Meet with a cosmetic surgeon near you who offers Slim Lipo to discuss costs and what financing options may be available.
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.com Staff
Updated: March 18, 2009