Laser Lipo vs. Traditional Liposuction: What You Need to Know

With so many new cosmetic surgeries and non-invasive procedures becoming available, it can be difficult to know which options are right for you.

Liposuction is still one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries across the globe, with over 240,000 surgeries carried out in 2017 in the United States alone.

Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction removes unwanted fat cells from the body, targeting the areas with stubborn pockets of fat that won’t budge through exercising and dieting.

Liposuction has come a long way since it was first introduced as a procedure in Europe in 1974. Since its inception, liposuction has seen two very significant advancements.

In 1985, California dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Klein developed tumescent liposuction that uses a smaller cannula to perform the procedure. The other advancement took place in 2006 when patients were given the option to use laser to remove unwanted fat instead of traditional liposuction.

How is traditional and laser liposuction different?

While both traditional liposuction and the laser alternative are great ways to get rid of stubborn, unwanted fat, there are a few key differences between the two procedures.

  1. The Technique: While traditional liposuction uses a cannula to manipulate and suck the fat out, laser lipo uses laser heat to soften the fat, making it easier to remove with the cannula. Liquefying the fat means that patients experience less pain and bruising after the procedure.
  2. The Results. One of the biggest benefits of laser lipo is that it offers the additional benefit of skin tightening. Unfortunately, traditional liposuction doesn’t offer this same benefit and actually increases the risk of sagging and dimpling after the surgery. Sagging and dimpling is particularly common amongst older patients who have lost a lot of their skin’s elasticity.
  3. The Recovery: Traditional liposuction does require more downtime than laser lipo and a compression garment will need to be worn for up to 6 weeks. Laser lipo, on the other hand, only requires a few days of downtime and compressions garments usually only need to be worn for a week.
  4. To find out more about the entire laser lipo procedure, visit

Is laser lipo always the better choice?

Currently, the benefits of laser lipo far outweigh those of traditional liposuction and it’s becoming far more popular than traditional liposuction, for obvious reasons. Laser lipo can be performed on nearly any area of the body. The only time that a surgeon may choose to use traditional liposuction instead of laser lipo is if the patient is not concerned with receiving the additional benefit of skin tightening.

Finding a laser lipo surgeon

If there are areas of your body that are simply not responding to diet and exercise, laser lipo is a great alternative to traditional liposuction but it’s still important to consult with a board-certified surgeon who has the relevant qualifications and has experience with this fairly new procedure.

As with any type of surgical procedure, there is a certain degree of risk that needs to be taken into consideration, which is exactly why you should take the time to choose the right professional.

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