What is Lipo Laser Therapy
Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Since it’s introduction in 2010 and approval by the FDA shortly thereafter, LipoLaser therapy has grown in popularity as an innovative alternative to liposuction which safely and painlessly targets fat cells through the skin to help you lose inches, tighten skin, and reduce cellulite. During a LipoLaser therapy treatment, qualified healthcare professionals apply several laser pads to the areas being targeted, which stimulate pores in the walls of fat cells beneath. This stimulation of the cells allows fat to escape, and changes the permeability of the cell membrane. The fat cell loses its shape and triglycerides spill through the cell’s broken membranes, which are then slowly released through the body’s natural systems. Instead of removing the fat cells, they’re drained naturally through natural metabolic processes, requiring no needles or anesthetics -- making it pain-free. The treatment can be done within just 20 minutes or less, and there is no down time needed.
LipoLaser therapy is generally geared toward stubborn areas of fat on the body that haven’t responded to traditional diet and exercise, but isn’t ideal for substantially overweight or obese individuals. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best candidates for these laser treatments are near their ideal weight.
Bariatric surgeon and Medical Director of California’s Memorial Care Center for Obesity Dr. Peter LePort agrees that the ideal LipoLaser patient is a person already committed to healthy lifestyle choices who doesn’t have a lot of weight to lose. Says LePort, "This procedure is not useful for people who are obese or looking to lose a lot of weight, but it works great for tweaking individual body parts after losing weight or having plastic surgery."
So...Does Laser Lipo Work?
There is research show positive results. One independent study found laser lipolysis (slightly different than LaserLipo therapy) marginally decreased fat and increased collagen production, making the skin appear younger and tighter than it did before the treatment (Chamsuddin, 2013). Another small trial showed patients lost an average of one inch off their waist and hips as well as a centimeter from each leg when they underwent Zerona laser treatment, which is also slightly different than, but similar to, LaserLipo therapy (Jackson, Roche, and Shanks, 2013). The FDA did ultimately decide to approve the Zerona laser for general use in the United States around the time of this study. Unfortunately, most of the participants gained back some of the inches within two weeks. (It should be noted that this trial was sponsored by the manufacturer, Erchonia, although compensation was not provided.)
Some doctors have cautioned anyone considering these types of treatments to keep their expectations realistic. Plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory C. Roche of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, explained, “You have to be careful that people don't get overzealous and think that this is going to cause a weight loss or size change. What you're going to get is change in your contours when you use this procedure, changes in your shape, and that can be very dramatic depending on your body style and type. This isn’t a procedure that treats obesity or is a miracle cure, it just is an alternative or an additional procedure to traditional liposuction.”
How long does it take to see results from LipoLaser therapy?
For LipoLaser therapy specifically, some sites recommend 8 treatments over 4 weeks, at approximately 2 sessions per week to see optimal results. According to the Zerona website, their laser treatment (similar to LipoLaser therapy) takes approximately 40 minutes per session. Potential patients are advised that the procedure should be done at least six times on alternating days. The site warns that if over 72 hours lapses between sessions, the fat cells may take up the fat again.
LipoLaser Therapy is best combined with other therapies like Radiofrequency and Ultrasound cavitation, according to some like LifeTime Fitness Medi-spa Director Lisa Bloch also agrees with the above, and feels potential patients should incorporate a few other things into their routine before going into LipoLaser therapy. Bloch explains, “This is definitely not a miracle cure. This is complementary medicine, not a cure-all. It's designed to make your healthy eating and exercise more effective, especially if you're at a point where you've plateaued. You still have to do the work; it just enhances your results." Bloch suggests potential LipoLaser patients work out reasonably, eat a clean diet, drink plenty of water, and wear compression undergarments.
A recent study appears to agree with this as well, as results showed the Zerona treatment to be most effective when integrated with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. (Jankowski, Gawrych, Adamska et al., 2017). A healthy diet and exercise routine is recommended following any treatments, as well as an individualized number of follow-up treatments.
As we’ve discovered today, LipoLaser can be a great way to rid the body of stubborn unwanted areas of fat -- as long as the recipient is reasonably healthy, accustomed to drinking plenty of water, and near their ideal weight to begin with. If you’re curious about LipoLaser therapy, go ahead and contact us anytime we’re open! Our friendly, informed staff can answer any questions you may have and set you up with your first appointment. Hours are below, and you can also email us at: email@example.com
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Chamsuddin, A. (2013, April 15). Laser liposuction melts fat, results in tighter skin. Retrieved June 26, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415124819.htm
Jackson, Roche, and Shanks. (2013). Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trial Evaluating the Ability of Low-Level Laser Therapy to Improve the Appearance of Cellulite. Retrieved from: https://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/i-tried-it-laser-fat-removal
(should redirect to: https://www.erchonia.com/research-articles/)
Jankowski, Gawrych, Adamska et. al. (2017, February). Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) does not reduce subcutaneous adipose tissue by local adipocyte injury but rather by modulation of systemic lipid metabolism. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellfit.com/laser-fat-removal-everything-you-need-to-know-4174974