Lasers and Lights for Adipose Tissue and Cellulite

  • Molly Wanner
  • Mathew Avram


The use of lasers and light devices for the removal of adipose tissue and cellulite represents a new and exciting frontier in the laser field. To date, there are few non-invasive devices in the laser field all of which can only claim limited efficacy. This chapter will review the laser, light sources, as well as devices with radiofrequency and ultrasound devices that currently purport to treat cellulite or adipose tissue.


Adipose Tissue Laser Field Focus Ultrasound Intense Pulse Light Light Device 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1.  1.
    Prado A, Andrades P, Danilla S, et al. Nonresective shrinkage of the septum and fat compartments of the upper and lower eyelids: a comparative study with carbon dioxide laser and Colorado needle. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006;117:1725-1735.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2.  2.
    Prado A, Andrades P, Danilla S, et al. A prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial comparing laser-assisted lipoplasty with suction-assisted lipoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006;118:1032-1045.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3.  3.
    Apfelberg DB. Results of multicenter study of laser-assisted liposuction. Clin Plast Surg. 1996;23:713-719.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4.  4.
    Goldman A, Schavelzon DE, Blugerman GS. Laserlipolysis: liposuction using Nd-YAG laser. Rev Soc Bras Cir Plást. 2002;17:17-26.Google Scholar
  5.  5.
    Kim KH, Geronemus RG. Laser lipolysis using a novel 1,064 nm Nd: YAG laser. Dermatol Surg. 2006;32:241-248.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6.  6.
    Badin AZD, Moraes LM, Gondek L, et al. Laser lipolysis: flaccidity under control. Aesthet Plast Surg. 2002;26:335-339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7.  7.
    Goldman A. Submental Nd:YAG laser-assisted liposuction. Lasers Surg Med. 2006;38:181-184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8.  8.
    Badin AEZD, Gondek LBE, Garcia MJ, et al. Analysis of laser lipolysis effects on human tissue samples obtained from liposuction. Aesthet Plast Surg. 2005;29:281-286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9.  9.
    Neira R, Arroyave J, Ramirez H, et al. Fat liquefaction: effect of low-level laser energy on adipose tissue. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002;110:912-922.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Neira R, Ortiz C. Low level laser assisted liposculpture: clinical report of 700 cases. Aesthet Surg J. 2002;22:451-455.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jackson RF, Roche G, Butterwick KJ, Dedo DD, Slattery KT. Low lever laser-assisted liposuction: a 2004 clinical study of its effectiveness for enhancing ease of liposuction procedures and facilitating the recovery process for patients undergoing thigh, hip, and stomach contouring. Am J Cosmet Surg. 2004;21:191-198.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brown SA, Rohrich RJ, Kenkel J, et al. Effect of low-level laser therapy on abdominal adipocytes before lipoplasty procedures. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004;113:1796-1804.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kuwahara K, Gladstone HB, Gupta V, et al. Rupture of fat cells using laser-generated ultra short stress waves. Lasers Surg Med. 2003;32:279-285.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Anderson RR, Farinelli W, Laubach H, et al. Selective photothermolysis of lipid-rich tissues: a free electron laser study. Lasers Surg Med. 2006;38(10):913-919.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Harvey RA, Champe PC. Fatty Acid and Triacylglycerol Metabolism. Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott Company; 1994.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Grundy SM. Metabolic syndrome pandemic. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008;4:629-636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Moreno-Moraga J, Valero-Altes T, Martinez Riquelme A, et al. Body contouring by non-invasive transdermal focused ultrasound. Lasers Surg Med. 2007;4:315-323.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Teitelbaum SA, Burns JL, Kubota J, et al. Noninvasive body contouring by focused ultrasound: safety and efficacy of the contour I device in a multicenter, controlled, clinical trial. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007;120:779-789.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ichikawa K, Miyasaka M, Tanaka R, et al. Histologic evaluation of the pulsed Nd:YAG laser for laser lipolysis. Lasers Surg Med. 2005;36:43-46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Neira R, Toledo L, Arroyave J, et al. Low-level laser-assisted liposuction: the Neira 4L technique. Clin Plast Surg. 2005:117-127.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Neira R, Jackson R, Dedo D, Ortiz CL, Arroyave JA. Low-level laser-assisted lipoplasty appearance of fat demonstrated by MRI on abdominal tissue. Am J Cosmet Surg. 2001;18:133-140.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Medrano AP, Trindade E, Reis SRA, et al. Action of the low-level laser therapy on living fatty tissue of rats. Lasers Med Sci. 2006;21:19-23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Silberg B. The technique of external ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;101:552.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Silberg B. The use of external ultrasound assist with liposuction. Aesthet Surg J. 1998;18:284-285.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kinney B. Body contouring with external ultrasound. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;103:728-729.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rosenberg GJ, Cabrera RC. External ultrasonic lipoplasty: an effective method of fat removal and skin shrinkage. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000;105:785-791.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wilkinson TS. External ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Aesthet Surg J. 1999;19:124-129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cook WR. Utilizing external ultrasonic energy to improve the results of tumescent liposculpture. Dermatol Surg. 1997;23:1207-1211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Havoonjian HH, Luftman DB, Menaker GM, Moy RL. External ultrasonic tumescent liposuction. Dermatol Surg. 1997;23:1201-1206.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mendes FH. External ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty from our own experience. Aesthet Plast Surg. 2000;24:270-274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lawrence N, Cox SE. The efficacy of external ultrasound-assisted liposuction: a randomized controlled trial. Dermatol Surg. 2000;26:329-332.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zocchi M. Ultrasonic liposculpturing. Aesthet Plast Surg. 1992;16:287-298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tebbets JB. Minimizing complications of ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty: an initial experience with no related complications. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;102:1690-1697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Scuderi N, Paolini G, Grippaudo FR, et al. Comparative evaluation of traditional, ultrasonic, and pneumatic assisted lipoplasty: analysis of local and systemic effects, efficacy, and costs of these methods. Aesthet Plast Surg. 2000;24:395-400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Maxwell PG, Gingrass MK. Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty: a clinical study of 250 consecutive patients. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;101:189-202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Fodor PB, Watson J. Personal experience with ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty: a pilot study comparing ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty with traditional lipoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;101:1103-1116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kloehn RA. Liposuction with “Sonic Sculpture”: six years experience with more than 600 patients. Aesthet Surg Q. 1996;16:123-128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Adamo C, Mazzocchi M, Rossi A, et al. Ultrasonic liposculpturing: extrapolations from the analysis of in vivo sonicated adipose tissue. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997;100:220-226.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kenkel J, Robinson JB, Beran SJ, et al. The tissue effects of ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;102:213-220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Igra H, Satur NM. Tumescent liposuction versus internal ultrasonic-assisted tumescent liposuction. Dermatol Surg. 1997;23(12):1213-1218.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rohrich RJ, Beran SJ, Kenkel JM, et al. Extending the role of liposuction in body contouring with ultrasound-assisted liposuction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;101:1090-1102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cedidi CC, Berger A. Severe abdominal wall necrosis after ultrasound-assisted liposuction. Aesthet Plast Surg. 2002;26:20-22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Scheflan M, Tazi H. Ultrasonically assisted body contouring. Aesthet Surg Q. 1996;16:117-122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Gupta SC, Khiabani KT, Stephenson LL, et al. Effect of liposuction on skin perfusion. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002;110:1748-1751.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Ablaza VJ, Gingrass MK, Perry LC, et al. Tissue temperatures during ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;102:534-542.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Trott SA, Rohrich RJ, Beran SJ, et al. Sensory changes after traditional and ultrasound-assisted liposuction using computer-assisted analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;103:2016-2025.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Howard BK, Beran SJ, Kenkel JM, et al. The effects of ultrasonic energy on peripheral nerves: implications for ultrasound-assisted liposuction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;103:984-989.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Avram MM. Cellulite: a review of its physiology and treatment. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2004;7:181-185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Curri SB. Cellulite and fatty tissue microcirculation. Cosmet Toiletries. 1993;108:51-58.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    van Vliet M, Ortiz A, Avram MM, et al. An assessment of traditional and novel therapies for cellulite. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2005;7(1):7-10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Draelos ZD. The disease of cellulite. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2005;4:221-222.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Nurnberger F, Muller G. So called cellulite: an invented disease. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1978;4:221-229.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Rossi ABR, Vergnanini AL. Cellulite: a review. JEADV. 2000;14:251-262.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kligman AM. Cellulite: facts and fiction. J Geriatr Dermatol. 1997;5:136-139.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Iyer S, Carranza D, Kolodney M, et al. Evaluation of procollagen I deposition after intense pulsed light treatments at varying parameters in a porcine model. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2007;9:75-78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Goldberg DJ. New collagen formation after dermal remodeling with an intense pulsed light source. J Cutan Laser Ther. 2000;2:59-61.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Fink JS, Mermelstein H, Thomas A, et al. Use of intense pulsed light and a retinyl-based cream as a potential treatment for cellulite: a pilot study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2006;5:254-262.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Sasaki GH, Oberg K, Tucker B, et al. The effectiveness and safety of topical PhotoActif phosphatidylcholine based anti-cellulite gel and LED (red and near-infrared) light on Grade II–III high cellulite: a randomized, double-blinded study. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2007;9:87-96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Rosenbaum M, Prieto V, Hellmer J, et al. An exploratory investigation of the morphology and biochemistry of cellulite. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998;101:1934-1939.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Pierard G, Nizet JL, Pierard-Franchimont C. Cellulite: from standing fat herniation to hypodermal stretch marks. Am J Dermatopathol. 2000;22:34-37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Curri SB, Bombardelli E. Proposed etiology and therapeutic management of local lipodystrophy and districtual microcirculation. Cosmet Toiletries. 1994;109:51-65.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Boyce S, Pabby A, Chuchaltkaren P, et al. Clinical evaluation of a device for the treatment of cellulite: triactive. Am J Cosmet Surg. 2005;22:233-237.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Nootheti PK, Magpantay A, Yosowitz G, et al. A single center, randomized, comparative, prospective clinical study to determine efficacy of the Velasmooth system versus the Triactive system for the treatment of cellulite. Lasers Surg Med. 2006;38:908-912.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Sadick NS, Mulholland RS. A prospective clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cellulite treatment using the combination of optical and RF energies for subcutaneous tissue heating. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2004;6(4):187-190.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Sadick NS, Magro C. A study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the Velasmooth™ system in the treatment of cellulite. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2007;9:15-20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Alster TS, Tanzi EL. Cellulite treatment using a novel combination radiofrequency, infrared light, and mechanical tissue manipulation device. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2005;7:81-85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Kulick M. Evaluation of the combination of radio frequency, infrared energy and mechanical rollers with suction to improve skin surface irregularities (cellulite) in a limited treatment area. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2006;8:185-190.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Waniphakdeedecha R, Manuskiatti W. Treatment of cellulite with a bipolar radiofrequency, infrared heat, and pulsatile suction device. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2006;5:284-288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Pino ME, Rosado RH, Azuela A, et al. Effect of controlled volumetric tissue heating with radiofrequency on cellulite and the ­subcutaneous tissue of the buttocks and thighs. J Drugs Dermatol. 2006;5:714-722.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Lach E. Reduction of subcutaneous fat and improvement in cellulite appearance by dual-wavelength, low-level laser energy combined with vacuum and massage. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2008;10: 202-209.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Kulick MI. Evaluation of a noninvasive, dual-wavelength laser-suction and massage device for the regional treatment of cellulite. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010;125: 1788-1796.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations