- $149 for four i-Lipo treatments (a $1,200 value)
Laser Body Contouring: Shrinking Cells
Check out Groupon’s guide to blade-free laser body contouring.
A noninvasive alternative to traditional liposuction, laser body contouring relies on light rather than scalpels. During the procedure, a technician applies special pads to the body or moves a hand-piece over the skin. The device directs laser energy into the fat cells, causing them to rupture and release their liquid contents through a temporary pore in the cell membrane. The body then naturally disposes of the released matter—most likely through the lymphatic system, though scientists aren’t certain about the precise path the fat takes through the body’s system of trash compactors and back alleys. As the fat is burned by the body’s metabolism over the next few weeks, the treated area may appear more contoured, though results aren’t comparable to surgery and progress is measured in inches rather than pounds. (Since the cells are emptied, not entirely destroyed, they’re not immune to later weight gain, either.) All this takes place well below the surface of the skin, and no downtime is typically required.
The first low-level body-sculpting laser was actually used as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, traditional liposuction. Low-level laser therapy had been used for some years as a treatment for pain and inflammation when a team of Colombian plastic surgeons led by Dr. Rodrigo Neira decided to use it to make incision-based liposuction more comfortable. When they applied the laser before treatment, they discovered that it made the fat far softer and easier to drain, prompting Neira to develop a system for standalone body-sculpting use.