LipoLaser Fat Reduction Treatments
Weight-loss treatments are big business, but we all know that if something sounds too good to be true, it often is. So when we heard about a non-invasive treatment that claims similar results as liposuction, we had to check it out. Goldmine or just more gold digging?
LipoLaser is described as laser-assisted lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat in fat cells) or non-surgical liposuction. It can be used on the waistline, abdomen (middle and lower), back (upper, middle, lower), buttocks, thighs, arms, and underarms.
The treatment is generally available at medi-spas or wellness centers in Canada and the US.
From the website of the LipoLaser (Lapex 2000) manufacturer: “A safe, painless, and completely non-invasive spot treatment for fat reduction and inch loss.”
Practitioners say you can see measurable results after 1 or 2 treatments, and you can expect a standard loss of 3-4 inches (though some lose more) after 4-6 weeks of treatment.
How it Works:
In theory, LipoLaser works by irradiating fat cells, creating pores in the cell wall that allow stored water, triglycerides, and free fatty acids to spill out. The fat cells are not removed, but the draining process is said to help them shrink significantly.
The laser operates at a low level of energy, strong enough to create pores in fat cells, but gentle enough that no bruising, bleeding, or blood vessel damage occurs.
You lie in a comfortable position wearing a shirt and a towel or skirt. A technician attaches 2 small laser probes to your inner thighs near your groin to target lymph nodes that help the body digest and eliminate fat. Two larger, multi-laser paddles are attached to your target area using an adhesive belt. The paddles are shifted regularly at 10-minute intervals to provide full coverage. You should feel no more than a slight warming sensation.
The treatment is said to work best if you also commit to a balanced diet and regular exercise. Cardio activity (or infrared sauna treatment) immediately following each session is said to be essential for fat elimination, otherwise the fat cell content may just be stored back in fat cells again.
We ran our tests courtesy of Som Visao Spa in Vancouver, which offers an 8-pack of its LipoLaser sessions for $1080 CAD ($135 per 40-minute session) with infrared sauna sessions (20 minutes each) included.
There are health risks:
The LipoLaser procedure is not recommended for people with special health conditions or that are pregnant/nursing. It’s always best to read the procedure information carefully and consult your doctor before starting any treatment.
The LipoLaser treatment is not permanent because it doesn’t eliminate fat cells. It just shrinks them, meaning they can grow again. (Traditional liposuction actually removes the fat cells.)
All Lapex 2000 machine technicians should be trained and doctor-certified.
Backed by Science?
We asked plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Warren to weigh in on the procedure. He says that non-surgical fat removal is the holy grail. There have been many attempts to apply energy from the outside to dissolve fat cells, going all the way back to the jiggling machine of the 1950s. Nowadays, ultrasound and laser treatments are being explored.
While physiotherapists have been using low-level lasers for a long time to treat muscle and joint pain, there’s actually no scientific literature on how the Lapex 2000 machine affects fat. It’s new, unproven technology, which would be great if it works, but for now it’s buyer beware.
TEST LAB NOTES
Two volunteers tested the LipoLaser treatments on their abdomen area for 8 sessions. We measured each volunteer before the treatments started and compared the results.
- Our testers didn’t feel anything when the treatment was in progress. It is definitely pain-free.
Inch Loss Test:
Volunteer Krista lost about two-fifths (2/5) of an inch from her target area after 8 sessions, which is pretty insignificant, especially since regular diet and exercise can easily produce similar results, if not better.
Volunteer Paralee lost about half an inch after 8 sessions, which again seems pretty insignificant when the standard claim is 3-4 inches in 4-6 weeks of treatments.
Does the LipoLaser treatment get the A&K Stamp of Approval?
No. We didn’t see any significant change in our test subjects to back up the inch-loss claims, so we don’t think the LipoLaser treatment is worth the cost.