Traditional liposuction is accompanied by the risk of damage to an internal organ. The risk is due to the surgeon’s inability to see the end of the cannula, the hollow tube used to suck the fat cells out of the body.
Another risk is excessive bleeding. Tiny blood vessels are damaged by the cannula and the sucking action. The laser-assisted liposuction technique reduces both of those risks.
The procedure is often referred to as “safe-lipo”. The laser-light allows the surgeon to “see” what is going on beneath the patient’s skin. The laser-tipped probe has the ability to clot the blood quickly, so there is less risk of bleeding. A shorter recovery time is another advantage over the traditional techniques.
In the past, ultrasound has been used to help the surgeon avoid internal organs and to break up more fat. The disadvantage to ultrasound is that the heat from the device can burn the skin and even injure deeper tissues. So, the laser-tipped probe is an improvement.
The other side effects and potential risks of laser lipo are the same as those accompanying the traditional treatments. There is a risk of allergic reaction to the medications and other materials used during the surgery.
For example, lidocaine is a component of the super-wet and tumescent methods. Some people are allergic to lidocaine. It can be toxic to some individuals, completely overcoming them. Cardiac arrest can result.
Although the puncture wound needed to insert the cannula is small, there is a risk of infection and skin necrosis. People heal at different rates. In some cases, the wounds take a long time to heal.
The other type of laser lipo is non-invasive. There are no wounds to heal. The procedure does not require the use of anesthesia. There is no risk of allergic reaction, because no medications are used.
A low-level laser-device called the Zerona is used to reduce the size of fat deposits only through the action of light energy. The energy disrupts the membranes of the fat cells somehow and causes them to leak. Usually 6-8 sessions are required to see results, but it is effective.
Only a cosmetic surgeon can perform assisted laser liposuction. However, many day spas offer the Zerona treatments because there is no risk to the patient.