GPSLipo® or LipoControl is a form of laser-assisted lipolysis that features a magnetic tracking system that can detect the position and movement of a metal cannula equipped with a laser fiber. This device displays the location and amount of energy delivered to the treatment area in real time. Patients who are candidates for laser liposuction are also candidates for this treatment, as LipoControl is simply an assistive imaging tool for the surgeon.

How Does GPSLipo Work?

When the laser, fiber-equipped cannula is introduced under the skin, a line appears on an electronic screen, following the path of the metal tube. As the cannula continues to be inserted and withdrawn from the treatment area in the classic back and forth movement to disrupt and remove fat, the initial line builds up into a pattern of overlapping lines that form a latticework design on the screen. The amount of energy released into the fatty tissue by the laser cannula is indicated by the color of the line, ranging from blue through purple and red all the way up to yellow and white as the area heats up more and more.

Using this setup, a plastic surgeon can see:

  • What areas have received the ideal amount of laser energy
  • What areas need more treatment (additional passes with the cannula)
  • What areas are at risk for developing burns from overexposure

The equipment can automatically adjust the amount of laser power emitted based on how fast or slow the surgeon is moving the cannula. The laser fiber tip shuts off if the cannula stops moving.

Misconceptions About GPSLipo

This device does not feature any kind of actual GPS (global positioning system). The acronym GPS refers to a satellite-based navigation system that can pinpoint the location and track the movement of objects on the surface of planet Earth. This liposuction tracking device simply uses a magnetic sensor system to locate the position of the cannula within a predefined treatment area. The term “GPS” used for this device is just a marketing brand name. It does not indicate that the equipment is more precise or less precise than actual GPS technology.

The “GPS” device is not used to actually locate fatty deposits under the skin. The treatment area is determined using traditional methods (visually and by feel). The desired treatment area is outlined on the patient’s skin with a marker as usual. After this, a special electronic pen is used to outline the same area so the size, shape and location of the treatment site are uploaded to the LipoControl device positioned over the patient. On the monitor, the tracking system only displays this selected treatment area, the path of the cannula and the amount of energy delivered. It does not differentiate between types of tissue.

Comparing GPSLipo to Alternative Lipo Treatments

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