In the ever-evolving world of cosmetic surgeries, where it feels like a new procedure pops up every month, some techniques have withstood the test of time and remained popular in the face of innovation.
One of the most popular cosmetic procedures has been liposuction and its derivatives, such as laser liposuction, power-assisted liposuction, and tumescent liposuction.
You probably have at least heard of laser-assisted liposuction before, but you may not realize the term refers to two completely distinct procedures. One of these is minimally invasive and still requires the use of anesthesia, whereas the other is noninvasive and done without anesthesia.
Minimally invasive laser liposuction utilizes heat emitted by lasers to melt and liquefy the fat before it is extracted by a cannula (the cannula is also used in traditional liposuction to destroy and remove fat).
The procedure begins with the insertion of the cannula through a small incision, explaining why this procedure is considered minimally intrusive. For this first step, an adaptor is placed on the cannula, allowing it to emit lasers to liquefy the fat without burning the surrounding tissue. After this step is complete, the cannula has a vacuum-type head attached to it, which is used to suck the melted fat from the area. This procedure does require the use of local anesthesia, meaning it comes with some added risks, and may also leave small scarring in the incision area.
During noninvasive laser liposuction, a technician will place pads equipped with laser diodes directly onto the skin. The pads emit laser energy to shrink fat cells, rather than break down and remove them. This procedure does not use a cannula or any other tool to eliminate the broken-down fat from the body; instead, the body naturally discards the fat itself (via the lymphatic system) or burns it as energy. As you probably guessed, noninvasive laser lipo does not require the use of anesthesia. The lack of anesthetic reduces some risks, but because this is a less aggressive procedure, it does need additional sessions for noticeable changes to occur.
The pros and cons are pretty clear for both minimally invasive and noninvasive laser liposuction.
Minimally Invasive Laser Liposuction:
- Instant results
- Only a day or two of recovery
- Less invasive than traditional liposuction
- Use of anesthesia
- Could leave small scarring
- More traumatic procedure for the treated area
- Fairly extensive tightness and numbing in the treated area
Noninvasive Laser Liposuction
- No anesthesia used
- You can continue your regular day after each session
- Quick sessions
- No incisions
- Needs several sessions to see results
- Minor tightness and numbness in the treated area
Overall, both procedures are effective and share the same end goal. The major questions are what areas you want to address and your time frame for results. If you are looking for immediate, more drastic changes, then minimally invasive is probably the way to go. But if you are looking for a gradual change, are in no hurry, and prefer not to have any instruments inside of your body, then noninvasive laser liposuction is probably right for you.