Recovering from laser-assisted liposuction has proven to be easier than recovering from traditional liposuction procedures. For one thing, there are no stitches to deal with. Because the doctor's incision is so small, no stitches are needed to close the skin. Many people will feel a bit sore after their procedure, but so far studies have found no risk of any serious side effects. Because the laser closes off small blood vessels as it moves under the skin, there is less chance of bleeding, swelling and bruising than with conventional liposuction.
There was some concern that the extra fat circulating in the blood after the procedure might eventually increase patients' risk for developing high cholesterol and potentially lead to heart attacks or strokes, but researchers have not found this to be the case.
Within a day after surgery, most patients can slowly resume their normal activities, although doctors advise that they avoid strenuous exercise or hot tubs for about two weeks. Wearing special compression garments for a week or two after the procedure can speed healing. These close-fitting elastic garments can also reduce swelling.
Most people start seeing results within a week after the procedure, but it can take up to a full six months to achieve the final look. In the majority of cases, people need only one laser-assisted liposuction treatment to see results. However, some go back for minor touch-ups. It is possible to retreat the same areas, but patients need to wait at least four months between procedures. Laser-assisted liposuction also can be done before or after regular liposuction to hit hard-to-reach areas.
Why re-treat these areas -- isn't laser-assisted liposuction permanent? That largely depends on the patient. The body makes only a limited number of fat cells, so once they're gone, they're gone for good. But because this procedure removes only small pockets of fat cells, patients who don't eat healthy diets or regularly exercise can risk losing their streamlined figures. The fat cells that remain will enlarge, and patients will gain weight in parts of the body where they didn't have the liposuction.
For more information about liposuction and other body beautification alternatives, follow the links on the next page.