Have you been struggling to lose weight only to find “problem areas” that don’t change in response to diet and exercise? Luckily, cosmetic procedures like liposuction take the painstaking effort out of shedding the fat in these areas. Unfortunately, liposuction also has its drawbacks, like causing sagging skin in some patients.
Laser fat reduction is a non-invasive procedure that melts fat while keeping skin tight, thanks to the effects on your body’s production of collagen, a protein in the skin. The good news is that the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports on a study that showed that low-laser therapy for spot reduction is effective and safe.
Laser fat reduction is often used as an alternative to traditional liposuction, and some surgeons use the two together to achieve greater results.
For people who are thinking about cosmetic fat reduction or who are looking for an option to use in conjunction with liposuction, laser fat reduction procedures may be the answer. But like any procedure, not everyone is a right candidate. Could you be eligible for laser fat reduction? Check out below what qualities good candidates must have.
Candidate Must Have a Normal Body Weight
While laser fat reduction sounds like a quick fix for overweight adults, it’s generally not practiced on these patients. Instead, patients who undergo this type of procedure are usually in good health and simply have areas of fat that are resistant to change from diet and exercise.
That’s because liposuction, laser treatment, and other procedures are not designed to be a fix for obesity. As the American Society of Plastic Surgeons puts it, these procedures “are used to help contour your body in those areas that are not responsive to diet and exercise such as saddlebags or a paunchy stomach.”
Ideal liposuction candidates must be within 30 percent of their ideal body weight, says The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Since the two procedures are often used to complement each other, you can expect your surgeon to consider the same weight requirements for both procedures.
Candidate Must Be in Good General Health
Like with any type of surgery, there are risks involved in laser fat reduction. The NCBI reports on an article from The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, which says that, “The ideal candidate for laser lipolysis is a patient who is thin, in good health, and presents with isolated pockets of removable fat.”
The article also talks about how some patients may encounter minor burns, a hazard that affected four patients in 537 cases. One patient out of the 537 cases also developed an infection. The National Society of Plastic Surgeons also lists bruising, swelling, numbness, and minimal bleeding as potential side effects of the treatment. Because of these risks, surgeons want to see patients in good health before undergoing a procedure like this to reduce the risk of complications.
However, these risks often only apply to other lasers. Verju offers no harmful side effects or risks compared to other popular body contouring lasers.
As the above mentioned article from NCBI reports, many cosmetic surgeons don’t generally work with patients over 60 or with problems like cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, or diabetes without being medically cleared before undergoing laser fat reduction treatment. Patients who have previously undergone chemotherapy, those taking antiretroviral medications, and those with liver disease are also not good candidates. Their risk increases because of impaired lidocaine metabolism and lidocaine toxicity.
In addition to complications that might arise, laser fat reduction treatment can increase the time spent at your surgeon’s office. This means patients must be well enough to sit through the duration of the procedure.
Candidate Must Not Be Pregnant
Similar to most medical procedures, it’s not advised to undergo cosmetic surgeries and treatments while pregnant. The NCBI lists a study that reports that there hasn’t been enough research to conclude whether cosmetic surgery during pregnancy is safe or not. For this reason, the study advises pregnant women to steer clear of elective surgery until after the baby is born.
After the woman gives birth, her surgeon may want to wait a while to perform a procedure like this so that her body has time to naturally heal. If you’re considering laser fat reduction treatment after pregnancy, talk to your surgeon about a safe time frame and what cosmetic treatment options you have to help get your pre-baby body back.
Candidate Must Struggle With Specific Problem Areas
Since laser fat reduction targets specific areas of the body, patients must have problem areas worth targeting. In other words, it’s not a cure-all solution. In addition, some laser tools only allow fat to be removed from certain locations, such as the abdomen and the hips.
Womenshealth.gov says that the best candidates for cosmetic surgery are those who have a strong self-image but have a certain physical characteristic they’d like to change. This is true of candidates seeking laser fat reduction treatments. Some common problem areas this procedure can help with include:
Candidates Must Be Educated and Have a Good Reason For Undergoing the Procedure
Cosmetic surgeons won’t perform procedures on just anyone. Instead, they carefully assess a patient’s reasons for undergoing the treatment and take a look at how educated a patient is about how the procedure works, what they can expect, and what the risks are.
In interviews with patients, surgeons try to get a better understanding of why patients want the procedure. A patient who has always had extra fat in his upper arms, for instance, might be a good candidate for spot reduction. A patient who is headed on vacation next week and wants to get into her summer beach body would not be a good candidate as this shows unrealistic expectations. Understanding patient motivations and educating them about the procedure can increase the chances of the patient finishing up treatment satisfied.
Remember that cosmetic surgery like this works best when used in conjunction with good diet and exercise. Research the facts, and talk to your doctor about whether or not you’re a good candidate for this procedure. Do you think you’d be a good candidate for this type of treatment? What problem area would you address?