INTRODUCTION: On the basis of the available information, it is difficult to establish the appropriate dose of laser energy with which to obtain predictable results in laser-assisted liposuction. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a 980-nm diode laser by using geometrical formulas. These formulas allow a precise quantification of tissue volume and, as a result, an estimation of the required laser dose.
METHODS: This prospective study was conducted to evaluate 39 consecutive patients who underwent 980-nm diode laser-assisted liposuction (LAL) between November 2011 and November 2013. Four geometric patterns were used to determine the volume of fat before laser application. Ultrasonography was used to determine fat depth. Biopsies were conducted to determine immediate laser tissue reaction relative to laser dose. The aesthetic results and complications were recorded. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationship between the applied energy and tissue volume.
RESULTS: 163 anatomic regions were treated with 980-nm LAL. The applied energy was relative to the volume in each area (R = 0.8786). 8 to 14 J/cm3 was the dose needed to produce effective hemostasis and minimal lipolysis. The results were very satisfactory in most cases. Biopsy results revealed lipolysis, ballooning, membrane rupture, and collagen band breakage; these changes varied with the radiation dose. The only complications were edema and transient bruising.
CONCLUSION: The use of 3D geometrical models improved safety and efficacy of laser-assisted liposuction by permitting accurate determination of the tissue volume.
Keywords: Surgery, Plastic; Lipectomy; Mathematical models; Laser-therapy.