So your practice is considering entering the laser lipolysis field? This is an exciting step, but it is fraught with its distinct selectivity and procedure. There are many different types of laser lipolysis machines, with varying efficacies and modalities to consider. Follow along as we go over some of the various types of laser lipolysis machines, how they work, and what the critical difference between varieties is.
How Do Laser Lipolysis Machines Work?
Laser lipolysis machines work primarily by using focused light energy (commonly called a laser) to bore a hole into the fat cells in your body or to otherwise disrupt the fat cell’s ordinary function by disturbing the cell membrane. First you bore a hole in the cell, or melt the fat cell’s membrane away, then the lipids from inside the fat cell pour out and are excreted by your lymphatic system. In this way, this type of lipolysis is able to help your patients lose significant quantities of body fat.
Laser lipolysis is typically characterized by nonexistent recovery times, with no downtime from the procedure being necessary.
These machines mainly function by targeting fat cells in a particular part of the body with lasers of varying intensity. Laser lipolysis is most successful in patients that are within 25 pounds of their ideal body weight, and this amount of fat loss can be easily facilitated with a laser lipolysis procedure. It may take several weeks for the full effects of the procedure to be apparent, but the results are occurring nonetheless. The difference between Emerald Laser and other popular forms of laser lipolysis, however, is that Emerald Laser does not destroy the fat cell entirely. It just empties it of lipids. This is important because it means that the fat cell will not just regenerate in another unwanted spot.
Types of Laser Lipolysis Machines
There are a few different types of laser lipolysis machines we will be going over here. It is important to remember that these various machines each have their own methodology and efficacy with regard to a successful laser lipolysis procedure.
Cold Laser Lipo
This is arguably the most studied form of laser lipolysis, and it is even FDA-approved for use in obese people. This is the type of laser lipolysis device that Emerald Laser provides. It uses a low-intensity laser placed on the chosen area for treatment to target fat cells and bore a hole in the cell membrane of the adipose (fat) tissue.
The lipids from the fat cells are then excreted from the body by the lymphatic system. This type of laser lipolysis machine is non-invasive and painless as well.
Dual-Wavelength Laser Lipo
This form of laser liposuction machine uses two wavelengths of laser to achieve the desired results. One laser is the usual low-intensity laser, while another super-pulsed high-intensity laser is simultaneously used on the body. Typically, one laser penetrates the tissues deeply, while the other stimulates blood circulation. The core function of this type of system is similar to the cold laser lipo, except that, in this case, the whole fat cell is liquified by the more intense laser light.
This type of laser lipolysis has been less thoroughly studied in the academic literature than cold laser lipo, though it is still a very effective fat-loss method.
Laser Assisted Liposuction (LAL)
Technically, this is not really laser lipo but laser-assisted conventional surgical liposuction. As a result, unlike the other types of laser lipolysis listed, this is an invasive procedure. In laser-assisted liposuction, the laser is used to break down and loosen up fat cells, which are then sucked out using a surgical cannula as in conventional liposuction.
The laser is really just used to facilitate easier conventional surgical liposuction, and it is thus not really a form of laser liposuction in the conventional sense, though a laser is used to break up the fat cells in the first place. This type of laser liposuction requires the largest downtime, as a surgical procedure is being conducted, so your patients should not expect to be back on their feet like nothing happened right away.
Super-Pulsed Laser Lipo
This type of laser liposuction involves the use of just high-intensity lasers to liquefy the fat cells in your body. Similar to dual-wavelength laser lipo, the entire fat cell is melted in this procedure, with the heat from the laser disrupting the cell membrane of the adipocytes (fat cells), thereby allowing the lipids inside to seep out into the intestinal space and be excreted from the body over time.
Just like any other type of laser lipolysis, this procedure takes a bit of time to show the results of treatment. However, this does not diminish the effectiveness of the treatment with super-pulsed laser lipolysis machines.
What Qualities Make a Laser Lipolysis Machine Good?
The qualities which make one laser lipolysis machine ideal for your clinic may make it suboptimal for another clinic. It all depends on what sort of a service you are trying to offer your patients. For example, if you intend to perform laser-assisted liposuction, you will need a full surgical theater available as you would for conventional surgical liposuction. If, however, you are just seeking to offer an outpatient type procedure with minimal to no recovery time, then cold laser lipo is the best choice for you.
Many providers consider dual-wavelength laser lipolysis machines to be the best of both worlds, as they offer two wavelengths of laser light of varying intensity to augment the procedure. Though, one must consider that the more intense super-pulsed form of laser used by this type of machine as well as the super-pulsed lipolysis machines has a slightly different mechanism of fat loss than cold laser lipo. In cold laser lipo, a hole is bored into the side of the fat cell, thereby allowing the lipids to empty out from it and be excreted by the lymphatic system but not destroying the cell entirely.
Some consider this a superior method, as the destruction of the entire fat cell, as with the other types of laser lipolysis machines, can result in the fat cells regenerating in new, undesirable places after the procedure is completed. There are different schools of thought with regard to these procedures and whether destroying the fat cell wholesale is superior to simply draining it. However, these are methodologies on which you should be well versed before you choose a particular type of machine, so pay attention to the current research and academic literature on these technologies!
How To Choose the Right Laser Lipolysis Machine for Your Clinic
Choosing the right laser lipolysis machine for your clinic is a multifaceted decision that you should put a considerable amount of thought into. Having said that, there are two main concerns you should factor into your decision regarding a laser lipolysis machine.
Laser lipolysis machines can range in price from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars. You should absolutely consider your budget and how much you are willing to invest in equipment before setting out to purchase a laser lipolysis machine. The quality of the machine you get for the money will vary depending on the type of laser lipolysis machine and a few other factors, but you should consider the ultimate value you can provide to patients before you choose a cheaper, lower-quality machine to save money.
You should also consider the overall incidence of injury with each type of laser lipolysis machine and how these incidents can be mitigated. The safety of your patients should be priority number one, above even the results you help them achieve, so you should thoroughly investigate the safety profiles of the various laser lipolysis machines available on the market. You should also consider your facility’s preparedness for the event of an injury occurring and how well you will be able to treat the patient and assuage the harm done by the procedure before you decide on which laser lipolysis machine to purchase.
Emerald Laser by Erchonia works differently from other laser lipolysis methods. Emerald’s system uses ten 532 nanometer lasers to target fat cells. While the system allows the cells to drain, they remain intact. Other laser systems destroy the fat cells, which can lead to fatty deposits developing in other areas of the body, as we mentioned earlier.
Additionally, Emerald Laser is relatively painless when compared to other laser systems. Most patients don’t feel anything at all. Laser lipolysis is, as you know, a minimally invasive weight loss method that targets body fat exclusively. It is innovative and relatively new. However, laser lipolysis by Emerald Laser is the first FDA-approved laser lipolysis process.
If you’re interested in being able to offer your patients a non-invasive, effective, and painless fat reduction alternative, contact Emerald Laser to speak to one of our technical sales reps.