Does Fat Enter the Bloodstream After Laser Liposuction?

If not, where does it go? How do surgeons even know?

Doctor Answers 10

Yes, it can potentially enter the bloodstream

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This is a complex answer and may be beyond what you are asking.

Laser lipo is supposed to me similar to mesotherapy in that you use the laser as a modality to achieve fat cell destruction. Mesotherapy uses detergent like agents to accomplish the same. In either case, the fat cells rupture and release triglycerides and lipids which are taken up by the bloodstream. The effect of this on your health is unknown. These fats are in molecule form.

However, when traditional liposuction is conducted (usually following laser liposuction), trauma to blood vessels can cause whole fat cells to enter the bloodstream, a process that is called a "fat embolus". Fortunately this is extremely rare but occurs following liposuction or large bone fractures. It can have serious consequences but occurs extremely infrequently.

Excreted? deposits in blood vessels? causes cancer?

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I have looked into this and have not found an adequate answer to this question. It may be that the fat and fat by-products are all excreted from the liver/ kidneys never to be heard from again. Hopefully this is the case. Other possibilities include the possibility of fat/ cholesterol byproducts depositing in the blood vessels causing premature vascular or heart disease. Additionally, it is well known that over cooked fat in BBQ leads to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon creation which is known to be cancer causing. Could the process of burning fat with a laser create similar carcinogens? NOT IN MY PATIENTS. Not until smartlipo is further studied for safety.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 185 reviews

Fat in bloodstream after laser liposuction

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Fat that is emulsified by the laser does not enter the bloodstream.  Most of the fat that is treated by the laser is removed with liposuction, which is always done in my practice.  There may be some components of laser treated fat that are left behind, which does remain.  This is absorbed by the body through the blood vessels and lymphatics, but the actual fat cells would not enter the bloodstream.

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Effects after laser liposuction

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I do not know of any data where fat has is known to enter the body after lipo.  It is difficult to see how this could occur, since the fat is pretty well localized within its own space, and the liposuction technique only suctions it out to be collected into a canister.  Any residual fat that is not removed stays where it is.

Liposuction and Where Does The Fat Go?

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After laser liposuction there is some amount of fat/oils that stay in the tissue and go into the blood but are filtered out by the liver and cause no increase in cholesterol or any internal issues; even with large volume removal.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Yes, a small amount of fat usually does

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Fat disrupted by both tumescent and other forms of liposuction in a very small way enters the blood stream. This can vary in its extent. Fat embolism (fat travelling via the bloodstream) is a very rare cause of problems leading many surgeons to recommending limitations in the amount of liposuction performed in one sitting.

WIth that being said in several hundred cases, I have never seen this embolized fat cause a problem in my patients. Perhaps the amount that gets to the bloodstream varies also between surgeons due to technical reasons. This has not been proven.

So, the answer is "Yes," but usually to such a small extent that it causes no problems.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Laser Lipo

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Leaving the fat behind has unknown consequences. What happens to it nobody knows. Most believe it goes to the liver and kidneys to get filtered out but this isnt a great concept medically. Liposuction has in its name the word in to suck out the unwanted fat.

Dont be fooled into thinking that adding the word laser means it is painless, noninvasive or safer. In fact, pushing a hot laser around blindly in the abdomen can be more dangerous in the wrong hands. So by all means be certain that you are being treated by a board certified dermatologist (inventors of tumescent liposcution)or a plastic surgeon who has been FORMALLY TRAINED in fat removal procedures. If they are the ones on the other end of the lipo device you have the best chance of getting safe effective results.

By the way, if your doctor is also offering Lipodissolve beware This product come from cow bile and has been banned in Brazil, UK, and in some states in the USA but not all. It is not and has never been FDA approved or studied and I have seen patients who were injected and had horrible pain, permanent scarring and discoloration from this product injected by doctors and nurses.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist

Fat should be removed by a cannula

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Fat should not enter the blood stream after laser liposuction or any type of liposuction. The laser energy used should be used only for melting the fat. The second step should be removing the fat from the body by a real cannula.

It does not

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After laser lipo your surgeon need to remove the melted fat. There are some non-board certified doctors that do not have enough experience with regular liposuction and do not remove fat post laser lipo.Please check the certification of your surgeon and make sure that your doctor is board certified plastic surgeon. If your doctor does not offer regular liposuction, tummy tuck and only offer laser lipo,then beware. Do your home work and get more than one consultation. If the melted fat is not suctioned out ,you not see a good result and it will take a long time the body to remove damaged fat cells. This process will cause inflammation and long recovery.

Fat Entering Bloodstream After Laser Lipo

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Yes, a small amount of fat may enter the bloodstream during laser (or any) liposuction. Most of the fat is sucked out of the body through the cannula, but surgeons have done blood tests of patients having liposuction and found that some of the melted fat enters the bloodstream. This is usually only a very small, harmless amount, but if very large volumes are aspirated, this can reach unhealthy levels. This is why most Plastic Surgeons limit liposuction to around a gallon at each session.

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.