Cosmetic Surgery Today

Plastic Surgery News, Costs of Cosmetic Surgery and Elective Procedures Blog

ASPS Annual Meeting Cuts Through the Hype About Laser Lipoplasty

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on May 8, 2010

Laser lipoplasty, also known as laser lipolysis and laser liposuction, is among the most sought-after plastic surgery procedures in the United States.

Many plastic surgery centers and medical spas now offer this procedure on an outpatient basis, and advertise it as one of the quickest and most effective ways to permanently reduce body fat. The pros and cons of this innovative procedure were recently discussed by experts at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center this past April.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s statistics show that lipoplasty is currently the second most popular surgical procedure in the United States. Over 283,700 procedures were performed in 2009. Still, plastic surgeons are divided on whether this procedure is equally as or more effective than traditional liposuction.

According to Dr. Franklin DiSpaltro, MD, former president of the ASAPS, “the past two decades have been highly technology-driven, with the introduction of many advanced liposuction-assisting devices…each new technology has spurred great interest and enthusiasm. It is our role to determine if it is hype, or a useful tool.” (Source:

Laser-assisted lipoplasty works using a laser probe that is inserted into the fatty tissue through a very small incision. When the laser is fired, the fat cells rupture and are easy to extract with a cannula. The heat from the laser affects the surrounding tissue and causes it to contract. As the body heals from the surgery, the tissues become more tightened, toned and the overall result is a more sculpted, sleeker appearance.

While initial data showed that laser-assisted liposuction was no better than traditional liposuction, today’s advances and newer technology are offering more promising results. Surgeons must be trained with a special teaching protocol to effectively perform this procedure. Patients are advised to look for a skilled, experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon when considering liposuction and laser lipoplasty.


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