Clinical Results Of Application Of Low Level Laser Therapy In Body Contouring And Spot Fat Reduction
Date: August 8th, 2013
As published at: www.ChiroEco.com
By Daniel J. Bourassa, DC
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) has found increasing clinical acceptance in cosmetic body contouring and spot fat reduction. This study examined whether LLLT using 630-680 nm, 150 mW shower arrays and single 40 mW diode laser radiation sources produced significant clinical effect for this purpose. A review of clinical results was made of 311 patient records collected over a 26 month period that underwent LLLT for cosmetic purposes to the abdominal/torso area. Clinical results showing measured abdominal reduction are presented. Overall, 130 patients in 6 session and 12 session groups achieved average sustained losses of 6.55 cm and 11.04 cm corresponding to an average girth reduction of 0.48 -0.55 cm per session. With weight loss of a minimum of 0.68 kg per week, results averaged 9.0 cm for the 6 session group and 16.1 cm for the 12 session group corresponding to an average girth reduction 0.67-0.75 cm per session. Initial session losses of 253 patients averaged 2.79 cm or 1.4 cm in girth reduction. 75.2% were able to sustain at least 4 cm or more loss in 6 or more sessions. Effects of variations in protocol to include number treatments, session time, total laser time per treatment, weight loss effects, use of topical fat reduction creams as well as potential topics for further study are discussed. Based on the review of patient results, it would appear that LLLT can be an effective therapy for body contouring and spot fat reduction.
The use of low level laser radiation therapy (LLLT) in the 600-900 nm wavelength spectrums is in common usage in musculoskeletal therapy and wound healing. Karu has discussed the photo-biological action that occurs in the enhancement of cellular mechanisms through activation of the respiratory chain leading to physiological changes to the cell. (1)
The application of LLLT to cosmetic fat reduction is relatively new and began with low powered laser assisted lipoplasty. Neira, et al. demonstrated by magnetic resonance imaging that 635 nm LLLT induced changes in density and organization of the subcutaneous fatty layer after 4 and 6 minutes. (2) It was also demonstrated that 635 nm LLLT results in liquefaction of contained fat and its migration out of the fat cell in as little as 4 minutes (80%) and near total emptying of the fat cell (99%) in 6 minutes using tumesent technique. (3) These changes were consistent with an earlier study demonstrating changes by examination with electron microscope to include transient micropore formation in the fat cell walls. (2) (3)
It is known that LLLT is associated with stimulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate in cells. (4) (5) Neira, et al. points out that "The adipocyte membrane is activated by different concentrations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate that stimulate, in turn, cytoplasmic lipase that triggers conversion of triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol, both elements that can easily pass through cell membranes." (3) Results withouttumescent technique at six minutes laser exposure was comparable to four minutes with tumescent technique. They conclude that "The laser facilitates the releasing of fat and contributes to the disruption of fat pannicles, allowing the fat to go from inside to outside the cell and placing it in the interstitial space." (3) Other researchers found no consistent observations of adipocyte disruptions. (6)
Most available reports concerning the use of LLLT for body contouring and spot fat reduction are anecdotal. There are few available Western published clinical studies regarding use and effectiveness of LLLT as a primary therapy in this area. Caruso-Davis, et al. at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center/Louisiana State University System have researched the Lapex 2000 as a LLLT for body contouring and spot fat reduction and compared it to mesotherapy. They also found evidence that LLLT creates pores in adipocytes but concluded only free fatty acids are released and not glycerol. (7) They have earlier reported that LLLT using the Lapex 2000 "gives significant girth loss that is maintained over repeated treatments and is cumulative over 4 weeks of 8 treatments." (8)
The purpose of this study is to present a review of clinical results on body contouring and spot fat reduction of the abdominal area compiled from 311 patient records collected over a 26 month time frame beginning in 2007 using continuous LLLT in the 630nm~680nm wavelength from AlGalnP semi-conductor laser diodes. This review is primarily focused on results observed from 1st session treatment as well 6 and 12 treatment programs along with the effects of variations in protocol to include application time and number of applications per treatment session, total laser time per treatment session, and weight loss.
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