A prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial comparing laser-assisted lipoplasty with suction-assisted lipoplasty

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Sep 15;118(4):1032-1045. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000232428.37926.48.


Background: The authors randomized and prospectively analyzed their clinical experience with the use of internal neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet low-level laser-assisted lipoplasty compared with suction-assisted lipoplasty.

Methods: Suction-assisted lipoplasty was generated through a SmartLipo machine and delivered into the subcutaneous tissues through 2-mm solid optical probes. Ipsilateral suction-assisted lipoplasty and contralateral laser-assisted lipoplasty were performed on one or more comparable topographic areas of the body in the same patient. Laser-assisted lipoplasty and suction-assisted lipoplasty sides of 25 patients were compared with preoperative and postoperative photographs at 3 to 5 days, 12 to 15 days, and 6 to 11 months. Statistical analysis considered surgeon and patient satisfaction, time used in the procedures, learning curves, lipocrits, operative technique, postoperative pain, edema, ecchymosis, time of recovery, body mass index, DNA proteins, free fatty acids, and cytologic patterns of post-laser-assisted lipoplasty and suction-assisted lipoplasty adipocyte architecture. Photographs were sent to the patients (blinded to the operated sides) and two plastic surgeons unfamiliar with the cases for evaluation of results.

Results: All patients completed the preestablished follow-ups. No complications were observed. Less pain, lower lipocrits, higher triglycerides, and DNA cellular membrane traces were detected in the laser-assisted lipoplasty sides. All other considerations studied showed no differences with either technique in the three periods of the follow-up controls. Cytologic studies showed more damage of the adipocytes in the laser-assisted lipoplasty sides.

Conclusions: No major clinical differences for suction-assisted lipoplasty versus laser-assisted lipoplasty were found. Higher concentrations of free-fatty acids after laser-assisted lipoplasty must alert us to possible hepatic and renal toxicity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Lipectomy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Weight Loss