Will Laser Liposuction Get Rid Of My Loose Belly Skin?

Q: I would like to know more about laser liposuction. I had two C-Section deliveries and abundance of skin because of it.

A: While laser liposuction does  have the ability to tighten some skin, it is not a replacement for a tummy tuck. Your description of having had two pregnancies with C-sections and now an ‘abundance of skin’ suggests that your skin excess problem is not slight. In addition, the skin that is there has lost its elasticity (which is why there is an abundance) and does not have the ability to respond to the tightening caused by the heating effect of the laser. Such loose abdominal skin is always more effectively removed by an excisional procedure, aka a tummy tuck.

Laser liposuction, often called Smartlipo, is an improved method of fat removal than traditional liposuction. By using a laser probe to create an elevated temperature in a zone of fat, the fat cells break apart and loose their lipid content. This not only makes it easier to suction out, but fat cell damage continues beyond the surgical period much like the progression of a burn injury on the skin. Even some fat cells which were not directly injured by the laser probe at the time for surgery may go on to die later from the laser injury. This produces more fat loss in the days ahead. Whether that amount of fat loss is significant or not depends on how high and uniform the temperatures were at the time of the laser liposuction procedure.

The skin tightening effect of laser liposuction is similarly caused by the heat created. The temperatures must be high enough and close enough to the underside of the skin for this effect to be created however. Whether that occurs is dependent on the skill and the expertise of the physician driving the laser probe.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana