Weight loss is hard. For many people, it can be a decades-long journey. Unfortunately, once you finally reach your ideal weight, you won’t necessarily have the body of your dreams, because where your body stores the remaining fat is up to your genetics. At ARR Medical Group in San Juan, PR, we want you to know that you can outsmart your genetics with the help of an FDA-approved body contouring treatment called laser lipo.
What Is Laser Lipo?
Laser lipo, also known as laser lipolysis or laser liposuction, is a body contouring treatment that melts away the walls of fat cells beneath your skin via laser light energy. There is no general anesthesia required. However, for your comfort, you may opt for local anesthesia to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the entire treatment. Among the most popular variations of laser lipolysis are:
- ProLipo Plus
The difference between each of these variations is the type of laser device which is used. All the results are consistent. During your initial consultation, ask us if liposuction would make a good complementary treatment to enhance the results of your SmartLipo.
CoolLipo, also known as Zerona, uses a cold laser for treatment. This differs from other laser body contouring treatments in that the results of the treatment are not immediate. Like CoolSculpting, it takes a couple weeks to see the results. One of the best parts about this cold laser treatment is there is no pain or discomfort.
The cold targets the fat cells in the treatment area, destroying them. Then, they are flushed out of your system with the help of deoxycholic acid. You can expect roughly a quarter of the fat in a given treatment area to be eliminated with this body contouring method. This is very similar to CoolSculpting, which results in an average of 23% volume loss in a given treatment session.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Before your treatment, Dr. Ariel Rosado Rosa will inject a local anesthetic into the treatment area to ensure your comfort. Then, he will make a tiny incision through which a minuscule laser is inserted beneath the skin.
This laser liquefies the fat in the treatment area through light energy heat. Next, he will insert a cannula, or tiny tube, into the incision which sucks out the fat melted beneath your skin.
What Can I Expect From Recovery?
Some clients choose to take a few days before returning to work. However, this is not an invasive procedure like liposuction, so you don’t need to take any time off of work. However, you should wait three weeks before you engage in strenuous activity.
Which Areas Can Be Treated?
With SmartLipo, you can treat nearly any region of your body that has an adequate amount of excess fat. Among the most common areas to be treated are the hips, thighs, upper arms, underarms, back, abdomen, chest, chin and sides.
Because lasers are used for this body contouring treatment, you will be given specially designed eye protection during your treatment to protect your eyes.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The length of each treatment session depends on the volume of fat that needs to be removed, how many areas are being treated and the size of the areas being treated.
Addressing submental fullness or arm fat will not take as long as treating the flanks, lower abdomen or middle back. On average, you can expect each treatment area to take an hour. However, the results of treatment are immediately apparent.
What About CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive, FDA-approved body contouring treatment. It is the most popular alternative to SmartLipo. With CoolSculpting, you can expect each treatment area to take between 35 minutes and an hour.
With DualSculpting, two handheld CoolSculpting devices are used at the same time to ensure even results and cut treatment time in half. This technique is often used in areas that need symmetrical results, such as the inner or outer thighs, flanks, lower buttocks or upper arms.
One of the most significant differences between CoolSculpting and SmartLipo is how long it takes to see the results. While SmartLipo delivers instant results, CoolSculpting requires several weeks of waiting before you can start to see the results. It can take three to four months to see the final results of treatment.
Can I Lose Weight With This Treatment?
It is essential that you understand that this treatment is a body contouring treatment rather than a weight loss treatment. In other words, it is designed to help you spot-reduce fat. It is not designed to help you lose weight. With that being said, the destroyed fat cells are suctioned out of the treated areas. Thus, you will lose a marginal amount of weight.
How much weight you can expect to lose with this treatment varies on a case-by-case basis. Individual factors that will affect how much weight you can lose include the volume of excess fat you have, how many areas you are having treated and how many treatment sessions you receive.
Depending on your size, we may only be able to remove around five liters of fat. This equates to 11 pounds of body fat. During your initial consultation, we will advise you on what results you can realistically expect.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
Because SmartLipo is not invasive like liposuction, nearly everyone is a good candidate. However, during your initial consultation, we will review your medical history, your current health status and your unique aesthetic goals to help you determine if this is the right body contouring treatment for you.
Your Weight Is Stable
SmartLipo has several advantages over body contouring treatment alternatives. It is the only body contouring treatment that is scientifically proven to tighten your skin along with treatment. This is because the heat from the laser stimulates your body’s natural collagen production. The result is tighter, smoother, younger-looking skin.
However, it is still important that you be at a relatively stable weight before you receive this treatment. If you regain weight after treatment, you will need a follow-up treatment if you regain the weight at the original treatment sites. Also, your skin will stretch to accommodate the new fatty tissue deposits. If you lose the weight again, your skin may not be elastic enough to “snap” back into place. This results in loose, sagging skin.
You’re Fairly Healthy
It’s important for anyone considering this treatment to be in good overall health. If you suffer from certain blood diseases or take blood-thinning medications, this is not the body contouring treatment for you. You should avoid taking NSAIDs within 72 hours of this treatment to ensure you have the most successful aesthetic treatment possible.
When you come in for your initial consultation, bring a list of all medications and supplements you are currently taking. You may be surprised by the vitamins and herbal supplements you are taking which can thin your blood. We will let you know if you need to alter the medications and supplements you are taking temporarily to ensure the success of your treatment.
You’re Near Your Goal Weight
The best candidates for this treatment are within 10 to 35 pounds of their goal weight if they are not there already. Depending on the health and elasticity of your skin, losing more than 30 or 35 pounds will cause your skin to stretch and sag.
Being near your ideal body weight also ensures that you are satisfied with the results of your treatment. Remember, this treatment is not meant to help you lose weight. Losing 10 or 11 pounds is an ancillary benefit to this treatment.
You Are Done Having Children
There are no health risks to you or your fetus if you become pregnant following this treatment. However, the best candidates for this treatment are done adding to their family.
This is because pregnancy causes extreme hormone fluctuations which often result in fairly significant weight gain. You may find that you need a follow-up treatment after giving birth to restore your desired contours.
Alternatives to Laser Liposuction
There are several alternatives to laser liposuction, as well as several complementary treatments. Among the most common are liposuction, truSculpt and CoolSculpting.
This treatment sets itself apart from other body contouring treatments in that it uses controlled radiofrequency technology to liquefy fat cells. It can treat excess pockets of fat on the stomach, buttocks, thighs and hips. However, it is not ideal for the treatment of excess fat around the chin, arms, chest, sides or back.
Each treatment area takes only around an hour, just like SmartLipo. However, you may need a couple of treatments to see your desired results.
Like SmartLipo, this body contouring treatment may tighten the skin due to the heat from the radiofrequency energy. However, if you have significant skin laxity, SmartLipo is probably the best body contouring treatment for you.
Liposuction has been FDA-approved since the 1980s and is the original body contouring solution. Originally limited to the tumescent technique, there are now several liposuction techniques that allow for faster procedures, shorter recovery times and faster results.
This body contouring solution is most often used to address excess fat in the arms, legs, back, face, neck, stomach and chest. In most cases, only one session is necessary to achieve your desired results. SmartLipo is often used in addition to liposuction to enhance the results.
CoolSculpting can be used to replace or complement SmartLipo. In areas with a small volume of fat, such as below the chin or under the arms, you can expect up to an 80% reduction of fat volume. However, if you are treating larger areas with a larger volume of fat, you can expect each treatment session to reduce localized volume by 20% to 25%.
Keep in mind, this can easily mean losing half an inch from each thigh or several inches from your abdomen, back or sides. When considering CoolSculpting to replace SmartLipo, consider the amount of time needed for treatment. Both body contouring techniques require around an hour for treatment. However, you may need two CoolSculpting treatment sessions to see your desired results.
Learn How to Achieve the Contours of Your Dreams Today
If you are at or near your ideal weight, stubborn pockets of fat can be frustrating. But you don’t have to settle for the way you look. To learn more about what to expect from laser lipo, contact the dedicated medical professionals at ARR Medical Group in San Juan, PR today to schedule your initial consultation. We will help you determine the best body contouring treatment to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.