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1440 nm Laser-assisted Liposuction Proven Safe and Effective, Says New Study Published by bodySCULPT Plastic Surgeons

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A study “1000 Consecutive Cases of Laser-Assisted Liposuction Utilizing the 1440 nm Wavelength Nd: YAG Laser: Assessing the Safety and Efficacy,” on the safety and effectiveness of laser liposuction using the 1440 nm laser wavelength has been published in The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) journal. The team of authors includes Dr. Christopher T. Chia and Dr. Spero J. Theodorou, plastic surgeons at bodySCULPT®, a leading plastic surgery practice in NYC. The main aim of this study was to review 1000 consecutive laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) cases utilizing the 1440 nm wavelength, and importance was placed on the complication rates and the need for revision procedures.

LiposuctionLiposuction is an aesthetic procedure that has undergone continuous refinements over the past four decades and still remains the most popular aesthetic surgery procedure for body contouring. Advancements in anesthesia, improvements in instrumentation, better understanding of fluid dynamics and the addition of energy to liposuction have led to better procedure outcomes with improved safety and efficacy.

For the study, the surgeons utilized 1440 nm laser wavelength that has a professed higher specificity for water and fat chromophores and is therefore more efficient than other wavelengths. This allows fat emulsification with less unintended heat dispersion, and therefore a decreased risk of burns. The purpose of this study was to present the complication rate associated with LAL using a 1440 nm wavelength in 1000 consecutive cases of LAL alone, or combined with other aesthetic procedures.

The main highlights of this study are:

  • The charts of 611 patients who underwent 1000 consecutive LAL operations were reviewed.
  • Patients went through preoperative evaluation and additional clearance by a primary care physician to deem them medically fit for the procedure.
  • Patients who were pregnant, or had a history of malignancy, or had allergies to medications used, or had unrealistic expectations, excess skin laxity or severe comorbid medical conditions were not considered fit to undergo laser liposuction.
  • Before and after photographs were obtained of all patients. They were requested to provide written informed consent.
  • All operations were done in an AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities)-accredited office-based operating room by two senior plastic surgeons Dr. Christopher T. Chia and Dr. Spero J. Theodorou.
  • Demographic information, tumescent volume, aspirate volume, surgical time, complications and other data were reviewed.
  • The 1440 nm wavelength Nd: YAG laser was used to emulsify the deep and intermediate layers of subcutaneous fat following tumescent infiltration.
  • The platform used in this study was Smartlipo that includes safety mechanisms such as an internal thermostat and accelerometer.
  • Fourteen different anatomic areas were treated that included the neck, triceps, axilla, male chest, bra roll, flanks, hips, abdomen, mons pubis, inner thighs, outer thighs, knees, calves and ankles.
  • 426 (69.7%) women and 185 (30.3%) men underwent LAL using the 1440 nm wavelength Nd: YAG laser.
  • Ages were from 18 to 71 with a mean of 36.8 years, and the average body mass indexes (BMI) were 25.6 kg/m2 for females and 29.4 kg/m2 for males.

The study shows that there were no major complications, burns, hospitalizations or mortalities following the procedure. Only a minor complication was found in one patient where the patient developed a small hematoma which was probably caused by the patient self-aspirating edema fluid during the immediate post-op period. But then it was solved through non-surgical management.
All local anesthesia patients were discharged within 20 minutes of the completion of the procedure and these patients returned to normal daily activities, but not vigorous exercises within 2 days. Laser assisted liposuction can be combined with other procedures and no complications were reported in any combination operations.

The study notes that energy-assisted liposuction represents a critical refinement and improvement in the continuously evolving field of body contouring surgery. The authors also point out that to their knowledge, this is the first and largest series of laser-assisted liposuction procedures performed using the 1440 nm wavelength Nd: YAG laser.

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