What Is The Latest School Of Thought On Laser Liposuction Vs. Traditional Liposuction?

I am a 37, 5’5” and 145 ponds. I want abdominal, inner and outer thigh liposuction. I have made an appointment for liposuction with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who only performs traditional. His opinion was laser lipo did not offer the control he likes as to how much he ‘takes out’. He claims to be conservative that respect. My concern is missing the the touted skin tightening effects of laser lipo. He is older, is this a case of knowing his stuff or can't teach old dog new tricks?

Doctor Answers (4)

Neither laser nor traditional liposuction is worth the problems they can have.

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Doing liposuction under tumescent local anesthesia with the smaller micro canulas gives the best results in my experience. The problems of doing traditional lipo under gen. anesthesia with the larger canulas are obvious to everyone nowadays and the problems with the laser lipos are why they are the cheapest lipos now and fading out of favor. The advantages of being awake and able to stand up during lipo with the smaller more precise canulas gives such better results and less risky with quicker recovery as well. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD


Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

What Is The Latest School Of Thought On Laser Liposuction Vs. Traditional Liposuction?

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My feeling is that it is always the surgeon who produces the results not the machine or the technology. Liposuction results are highly surgeon dependent. Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of liposuction procedures each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Laser Lipo suction vs other types of liposuction

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I have owned and used most of the various types of liposuction devices, and when additional skin tightening is required my preferred method is Vaser (ultrasound). Both Vaser and SmartLipo (Laser) are two stage liposuction procedures, where the fat and layers under the skin are treated first with the Vaser (ultrasound) or SmartLipo (laser) before the actual suction is performed to remove the fat. In my experience the laser lipo devices generate too much heat, with a much higher risk of excessive scar tissue formation under the skin. This may not be immediately apparent, but there are a significant number of patients who complain that the tissue under the skin feels very firm due to this excessive scarring. The laser lipo devices actually generate the skin tightening by this deep tissue scar contraction, and in my opinion it is often excessive. The final result of the actual liposuction and fat removal still depends on the skill of your surgeon, and I agree that laser lipo is overrated and may even create unnecessary problems.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

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Laser Liposuction vs Traditional Liposuction

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Thank you for your question. Opening in this very greatly among plastic surgeons on the various choices for liposuction including traditional, tumescent, laser, ultrasound and other new procedures such as water jet.

The most important factor in achieving a good result is the skill and knowledge of your physician and his or her ability to achieve a good result with a technique that they feel comfortable with.

If you're comfortable with the surgeon you consulted and have confidence in his or her results and seen photographs of his results and then it is always advisable to follow the advice and preferences of the surgeon you have chosen.

I have used SlimLipo laser liposuction for over 6 years and have been thrilled with the results I have achieved.

In my experience the benefits I have achieved with laser that are not available with traditional is the significant skin tightening which studies have now shown can be as high as 22-35% greater than skin tightening achieved with traditional liposuction. In addition I almost quit doing liposuction in the past because of contour deformities and skin irregularities caused by traditional liposuction.

The laser uses a tiny laser fiber which melts the fat and makes it easier to remove the fat using smaller cannulas and I have had no skin contour deformities using the laser technique. This latter benefit of smooth skin after laser liposuction I believe is the most important reason that I have chosen to use a laser exclusively for liposuction for the past 6 years.

Lasers cost a lot of money and many physicians simply do not want to make the adequate investment in their practice. When this happens there is often criticism and prejudice against a new more expensive machine that is based on financial decisions rather than the potential benefits of the new technology.

I suggest you consult another plastic surgeon who is certified by the American board of Plastic Surgery and who is experienced in laser liposuction and judge the 2 consults as to which best meets your comfort level and needs.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.