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Patient Satisfaction after Upper Extremity Laser Lipolysis without Suction

DOI: 10.1155/2011/352451

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Background and Objective. There has been a heightened interest in laser-assisted fat reduction procedures. We aimed to determine if lipolysis with the 1,320?nm Nd-YAG short-pulsed laser without subsequent suction results in satisfactory contouring of the upper extremity. Materials and Methods. Unilateral laser lipolysis of the upper arm was performed on 5 patients. Subcutaneous, subdermal, and skin surface temperatures were monitored with flexible thermocouples throughout the procedure to aid in the establishment of a treatment endpoint. Photographs and arm circumference measurements were evaluated before and 3 months after laser lipolysis. Patients were given the choice of undergoing the procedure on the contralateral arm at 3 months. Results. All patients achieved no improvement to minimal improvement in upper arm contour. One of five patients was elected to have lipolysis performed on the contralateral arm. Conclusion. Laser lipolysis may be safely performed with the parameters utilized in this pilot study, although minimal improvement was seen in upper extremity contour. 1. Introduction A number of fat-reduction procedures have emerged over recent years to address a demand for less invasive approaches, with an ultimate goal of imparting less risk while producing favorable results. These include the use of tumescent solutions [1], smaller gauge cannulas [2], external ultrasound [3], low-level external laser [4], injection lipolysis [5, 6], cryolipolysis [7], external radiofrequency energy [8], and percutaneous laser lipolysis [9]. Laser lipolysis has been described with and without concurrent suction lipectomy [9, 10]. Laser energy passes through an optical fiber and is directed at the subcutaneous fat layer. Adipocyte damage, or more specifically adipocyte cell membrane damage, can lead to cell content leakage to the interstitial compartment with potential irreversible cell collapse. Suction applied to the area can clear the interstitial fatty debris or this material can be allowed to be handled by innate metabolic mechanisms. The current pilot study aimed to evaluate patient satisfaction after laser lipolysis without suction of the proximal upper extremity with a treatment endpoint of 41 degrees Celsius in the subcutaneous layer. This temperature was selected based on previous determinations that higher sustained dermal temperatures can lead to irreversible necrosis [11]. 2. Materials and Methods Five female patients who expressed a desire for improved upper arm contour were included in this prospective pilot study which was performed according to

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