Traditional liposuction has for many years been a popular way of removing small, local stubborn pockets of fat. The procedure itself is pretty invasive, often requiring the patient to take time off work to recover from their wounds. Technology has advanced so much in the last couple of decades that patients now have access to a variety of minimally invasive laser-assisted treatments for removal of fat.
This of course means there is considerably less aftercare required than with traditional liposuction, making them increasingly popular. One of these laser-assisted body contouring treatments is known as the ‘SlimLipo’. This device can eliminate stubborn pockets of local fat, with significantly less discomfort for the patient, and almost no downtime.
The ‘Slim’ part of the name is an acronym, which stands for ‘Selective Laser Induced Melting’. It is one of the most novel devices on the market today. The machine utilizes a special medical laser beam, which has been tuned to a wavelength of 920 nanometers. The manufacturers claim it can melt fatty deposits faster and more effectively than other similar devices. Most of the discomfort experienced during traditional liposuction is due to the entry wounds in the treatment area. The incisions necessary for SlimLipo treatments are extremely small, which does a great deal to reduce recovery time.
The SlimLipo laser is a very precise instrument, which means it can be used to treat far smaller areas than a surgeon is able to do during normal liposuction. These areas could include:
- Upper arms
If the patient is only having a small area of fat removed, the fat will most likely not need to be suctioned out after lasering. This means that there is even less recovery time, as suctioning can
be quite damaging. SlimLipo is also appropriate for reducing larger pockets of fat, which could include:
Most of the time, suctioning will be required to remove the melted fat from a larger treatment area.
How is it performed?
During your consultation with a qualified cosmetic surgeon, your medical history will discussed so as to ensure that your body is physically healthy enough to recover from the procedure, and that you do not have any underlying medical conditions which could interfere with your recovery.
Your cosmetic surgeon should also take some time to discuss with you the possible outcomes of treatment. This is because they need to ensure that your expectations about outcomes are realistic.
Then, they will mark the treatment area and apply a local anesthetic. Once the area is completely numbed, your surgeon will make a couple of very small incisions at the edge of the area, through which small, thin tube called a cannula will be inserted.
At the end of this cannula, the special laser is attached, so that it can be fired directly at the fat cells. The laser will gradually dissolve the fatty deposits into a liquid, so that it can be suctioned out of the area. If it is a small enough treatment zone, your surgeon may opt to allow your body to dispose of the fat naturally.
Is it right for me?
The ideal candidate for a SlimLipo procedure will be in general good health, who wish to get rid of small-to-medium sized local fatty deposits that have are unresponsive to diet or exercise. SlimLipo, like liposuction, is not designed to treat people who are excessively overweight or obese. It important that before the procedure starts, the patient has realistic expectations about what results can be achieved with the treatment, and have been carefully informed about proper aftercare.
Laser-assisted liposuction treatments like SlimLipo come with a great many benefits over traditional liposuction. Firstly, pain, bruising, and recovery time are radically reduced because the incisions made to insert the laser are tiny. The laser is also incredibly accurate, so less trauma is caused to the surrounding area, which again means the body can recover faster.
Many of these modern lasers have additional cosmetic benefits, such tightening the skin in the area, which can help to smooth the body’s contours. The SlimLipo device is very versatile, which means it can treat many more, smaller areas than normal liposuction. It also comes with significantly less risk because it can be performed under local anesthetic, instead of general anesthesia.
Although the process is minimally invasive, some patients will experience a small amount of swelling and bruising in the area, which is often accompanied by some slight pain and discomfort. This is completely manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. Your cosmetic surgeon may recommend that you wear a specialised compression garment over the area, so as to reduce these side effects and help your body adjust to its new contours. Most patients find they are able to return to work the day after their treatment, as long as no major stresses are put on the body for the first week or two.
Limits & Risks
There are risks that come with any wound made to the body, these could include infections, redness, some swelling and bruising and mild pain in the treatment area. Depending on your physiology and your surgeon, there is also the slight possibility that your skin pigmentation alters after the procedure, or that your contours are left slightly uneven.
Compared to full surgery (like liposuction), the risks that accompany SlimLipo are very small. You can reduce these risks even further by choosing a fully qualified aesthetic surgeon, who has a lot of experience using a SlimLipo device. You should also take care to follow all the pre and post-operative instructions given to you by your surgeon precisely.