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Internal temperature monitoring for laser lipolysis

Article-Internal temperature monitoring for laser lipolysis

Key iconKey Points

  • TempASSURE and ProLipo PLUS allow laser lipolysis users to achieve skin tightening and fat removal without possibility of lipolysis-related burns
  • Temperature settings advise when at optimal temperature or below unsafe level
  • Two wavelength levels can be used individually or combined

If fear of complications prevents a cosmetic surgeon from pushing the outcomes envelope, is the patient really getting the best possible result from an aesthetic procedure? Avoiding complications is paramount for top-notch results, but when this concern compromises the physician's imperative to strive for optimal outcomes, it presents a classic Catch-22.

Dr. Le
A solution to this conundrum is the foundation of TempASSURE (Sciton), an integrated temperature monitoring device designed to work in conjunction with Sciton's ProLipo PLUS laser-assisted lipolysis system. TempASSURE's role in the process is to enable laser lipolysis users to attain the best skin tightening and desired amount of fat removal while simultaneously avoiding the dreaded possibility of lipolysis-related burns. San Francisco cosmetic surgeon and ProLipo PLUS/TempASSURE user Hop Le, M.D., says, "If you don't have complications because you are being conservative and avoid optimal heating, you have to ask yourself if you are really getting the best results."

Dr. White
MAXIMIZING OUTCOMES "People assume that the primary feature of this system is its ability to help physicians avoid complications, but it's just as good at maximizing outcomes," says Joe Russell, Sciton's Lipolysis Product Development manager. Mr. Russell describes the development of TempASSURE as an evolutionary solution to an unmet need. Early laser lipolysis systems were universally underpowered, Mr. Russell says. When wattage increased and additional wavelengths were made available, along with the greater power and greater efficacy came the potential for complications, such as burns. "Physicians were uncomfortable using the power because they didn't know the temperature of the tissue under the skin. Many surgeons were using external noncontact thermometers, but they really didn't know what the temperature was under the skin. As power increased, the need for a solution became obvious. We listened to some of our luminary physicians, and the result was TempASSURE," Mr. Russell explains.

Before (left ) and two months after LAL of posterior flanks; 1.0 L aspirant. (All photos credit: Hop Le, M.D.)
TEMPERATURE SETTINGS Two levels of notification can be programmed on TempASSURE. The first level of notification is when the tissue has reached an optimal temperature, generally 45 to 47 degrees. The second level is to alert when the temperature is just below an unsafe level.

"The temperature is monitored every second from the cannula, and verbal feedback is provided by the TempASSURE," explains Myrtle Beach cosmetic surgeon and ProLipo PLUS/TempASSURE user Steven White, M.D. "Optimal settings vary, depending on the area you're treating and what you're treating. My settings generally range from 42 degrees to 48 degrees, but the settings vary, depending on a three-dimensional estimate of how many square centimeters of fat I'm treating; the location of the area, such as abdomen vs. ankles; and if I am performing skin tightening or not," Dr. White explains.

Dr. White says he usually sets the alert temperature from 48 degrees to 52 degrees, once again depending on what and how much is being treated. "I am slightly more aggressive in some areas when I am trying to get the optimal skin tightening, such as in patients with significant stretch marks or loose skin. Setting the alert temperature gives me an added parameter of safety," he says.

While an alert temperature can be set, the system is not designed to shut off automatically, because, as Sciton's Joe Russell explains, "We don't want to interfere with the physician's decision-making process."

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