Since Albert Einstein first theorized the concept of the laser in 1917, and the subsequent development of the laser by scientists in 1960, lasers have enjoyed wide applications in science, industry, and medicine. Lasers have been used in retinal procedures, as a surgical cutting tool, and in skin resurfacing. Most recently, in plastic surgery, lasers have been used in body contouring, cellulite treatment, and facial rejuvenation.
In body contouring, lasers have been used to improve results in liposuction procedures. With traditional liposuction, a suction tube is used to suction unwanted fat. With laser liposuction, prior to the suctioning a small laser device is inserted through a tiny skin incision into the fat. Laser energy is then delivered through the device to the fat and overlying skin, causing the fat to liquefy and the overlying skin to tighten. A small liposuction tube then removes the unwanted fat, which suctions out more easily and evenly, resulting in a much improved contour. In addition, there is better skin tightening than with traditional liposuction. In my own practice, for the last several years I have been using SmartLipo Triplex™ laser liposuction as my liposuction technique of choice. The procedure is done as an outpatient procedure under either local anesthesia or sedation anesthesia, with a usual recovery time of 1-3 days. It is ideal for many areas, including the abdomen, “love handles,” thighs, upper arms, back, and neck. My SmartLipo™ liposuction patients recover quicker than with traditional liposuction, with less bruising and swelling. In addition, the SmartLipo™ laser can also improve cellulite at the areas being treated.
The Cellulaze™ laser has also been developed for the specific treatment of cellulite. Cellulaze™ is a minimally invasive laser procedure which directly treats the causes of cellulite under the skin, and delivers long-lasting results in a single treatment. Cellulite is the rippling and dimpling of skin, affecting at least 85% of women. Structural factors which cause cellulite include connective tissue bands surrounding fat cells and dimpling the skin, enlarged pockets of fat trapped by the bands and pushing against the skin, and thinning of the skin making the appearance of cellulite even worse. These can all contribute to the “cottage cheese” look of cellulite. Other factors which contribute to cellulite include aging, heredity, hormones, and weight changes.
Previous cellulite treatments, including creams, lotions, and skin surface therapies, had to be used repetitively, and only resulted in minimal temporary improvement of cellulite. Cellulaze™, however, directly treats the causes of cellulite under the skin, using a specially designed SideLight laser to release the connective tissue bands, reduce the fat pockets, and improve the quality of the skin. Cellulaze™ has been shown to deliver long-lasting results with only a single treatment. The procedure lasts about an hour and is performed under local anesthesia. Recovery time is typically no more than 1-2 days.
Precision Tx™ (also known as LazerLift) is a minimally invasive laser procedure which has been developed for facial rejuvenation. It is ideal for patients with moderate face and neck laxity who do not want, or are not quite ready, for a more extensive surgical facelift. I perform the procedure under local anesthesia, where the Precision Tx™ laser device is inserted under the skin through tiny incisions behind the ears and under the chin. Laser energy is then delivered to achieve tightening of the jowl and neck areas. I often combine it with liposuction of the neck to achieve a more optimal neck contour. Recovery is quite quick, typically 1-2 days.
Lasers have revolutionized the field of medicine. In plastic surgery, in particular, lasers have substantially improved the results and recovery time of minimally invasive body contouring and facial rejuvenation procedures.
Dr. Arnold Breitbart is a board-certified plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and specializes in cosmetic surgery of the body, breast, and face. He has practices in both Long Island and Manhattan. For more information, call Dr. Breitbart's offices at 516-365-3511.