Liposuction vs. Lipo Laser: Which One Is Better?


If you have areas of body fat that you want to get rid of, you may be wondering about the benefits of liposuction vs. lipo laser treatments.

Most of us have areas where our bodies retain extra fat even when we reach our healthy goal weight. Since you can’t spot reduction through diet and exercise, those problem areas look proportionately larger than the rest of the body. For one person, it may be the belly, but for someone else, it may be the thighs. Both surgical procedures like liposuction and non-surgical treatments like Lipo Laser can help you reduce fat from targeted problem areas.

The best option depends on your overall health, how much fat you want to lose, and the specific areas you wish to target. Neither option is a substitute for weight loss through diet and exercise. Both are most beneficial when you are near your goal weight and have specific areas you want to re-sculpt.

Keep in mind that this article is purely educational to help you as you research your options. The best way to know which option is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a skilled plastic surgeon.

What is Liposuction?

Most likely, you’ve heard of liposuction (or lipoplasty) and may even be thinking about getting it. Liposuction is a surgical procedure where excess fat is sucked out of the body. It involves general anesthesia and downtime as you recover from the procedure.

Liposuction can remove targeted fat from the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, arms, or other areas of the body. Removing fat deposits from problem areas that diet and exercise cannot fully sculpt, permanently changes the body’s proportions and shape.

Since liposuction is a surgical procedure, you need to be generally healthy, close to your healthy BMI range, and a nonsmoker to qualify as a good candidate. You will also need to take time off as you heal. Your plastic surgeon will talk you through this more precisely and coordinate your follow-up care.

As a surgical procedure, there is a risk of minor and more serious side effects from the operation itself, infection afterward, or the anesthesia. This risk is lower for people considered good candidates and higher for people with diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions that affect your healing ability. One of the more common side effects is redness, numbness, tingling, bruising, and tenderness around the treated area for up to a couple of months.

Since liposuction is a popular and often performed procedure, many people have benefited over the decades. They feel more confident when they like their body proportions and can more easily wear stylish clothing that fits well. These days, there are also nonsurgical options like CoolSculpting, Kybella, and Lipo Laser.

Before we get into the specifics about Lipo Laser, we want to point out it isn’t the same as Laser-assisted lipoplasty. Some plastic surgeons use laser technology to assist liposuction, which is a variation of traditional liposuction.

What is Lipo Laser?

Lipo Laser, or Laser lipolysis, is a non-surgical fat loss alternative that uses lasers to remove small amounts of body fat. It’s less invasive and doesn’t require general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is all you will need to be comfortable. The treatment also doesn’t result in significant downtime like traditional surgical liposuction. It also doesn’t remove quite as much body fat.

At this time, the treatment focuses on excess body fat in the abdominal or flank areas of the body.

Results from Lipo Laser are not instant. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you will see results starting around six weeks, but it may take three months to see your final results. While fat cells are destroyed, it takes the body time to flush them out of your body.

The treatment takes around twenty to thirty minutes. Your provider will examine the treatment area and choose the specific spot to apply the laser treatment. You may notice a cooling sensation when the proprietary applicator is first applied. As it progresses, you may notice tingling and warmth on and off throughout.

The laser’s heat damages the membranes of some of the excess fat cells, causing those cells to be destroyed. Over the next few months, your body absorbs the dead fat cells and releases them using its natural processes.

Common side effects from lipo laser treatments include temporary tenderness, redness, and swelling at the treatment site. However, patients can return to their normal daily activities.

Which Option Best Suits Your Needs?

Since Lipo Laser is non-surgical, it may be a good option if you don’t want the risks and downtime associated with more invasive surgery. However, it also isn’t able to remove as much excess fat as surgical liposuction. But if subtle, targeted fat reduction is what you want, then you may prefer a non-surgical yet effective method like Laser Lipo.

If you want to remove more fat than Laser Lipo can achieve, then traditional liposuction may be your best bet. Also, liposuction is better for eliminating fat from more areas of the body than Laser Lipo.

Your Next Step to a Sleeker Physique

Your first step, once you reach (or are close to) your goal weight range, is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon.

One benefit of a consultation is that it helps keep you from wasting money and taking risks if a procedure isn’t likely to be the right fit for you. For example, people who still have good skin elasticity are most likely to be happy with either liposuction or Lipo Laser since your skin will, in time, “shrink wrap” around your leaner body. People with less elasticity may prefer a “lift” operation where your plastic surgeon removes excess skin as well as fat. This is how a consultation with a knowledgeable plastic surgeon can help you identify which procedure will most likely give you the results that satisfy you.

If you live in the Charlotte, NC, area, we hope you consider booking a consultation with a member of our surgical team at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. We have a well-established name in the community because of our proven track record, commitment to our patients, and our results.