What is I-Lipo? How many will treatments will be needed and at what intervals?

Doctor Answers 4

I-Lipo will definitely reduce your wallet's size, but probably not your body!

i-Lipo is a device produced by a UK company called Chromogenex. It is a low-level laser device that is said to cause fat cell breakdown without surgery, anesthesia, needles, pain, or downtime. Multiple treatments are "needed" for maximum benefit, and oh, by the way, "A period of exercise post treatment will ensure the complete metabolism and thus elimination from the body of the freed fatty acids." (copied from company website)

Actually, here is more direct copy from the website describing how this device reportedly works:

"The i-Lipo emits low levels of laser energy, which creates a chemical signal in the fat cells, breaking down the stored triglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol and releasing them though channels in the cell membranes.  The fatty acids and glycerol are then transported around the body to the tissues that will use them during metabolism to create energy.  This process of fatty acid release is a natural response of the body when the body needs to used stored energy reserves, thus i-Lipo is not creating any unnatural reaction in the body nor does it affect or damage any surrounding structures such as skin, blood vessels and peripheral nerves.  A period of exercise post treatment will ensure the complete metabolism and thus elimination from the body of the freed fatty acids."

Chromogenex recommends 2 treatments per week for 4 weeks, and claims a 2-4cm loss (1%) in abdominal circumference per each treatment session. Each session lasts 20 minutes (10 minutes per side of the abdomen), followed by a recommended 30-minute exercise session to "metabolise the fatty acids freed from the adipose cells during treatment."

These 650nm laser array treatments are not yet available in the US (that I am aware of) and have not been reported in the peer-reviewed scientific or medical literature. While I am skeptical of this device in particular, and this company in general (they produced the N-lite pulsed dye laser for wrinkle treatment years ago--this seemed scientifically reasonable, yet proved to be of minimal clinically-visible benefit in real patients in my hands), the potential effectiveness of this device remains to be proven in actual patients.

If you were to be offered "free" or very-low-cost treatments as part of a study protocol or surgeon's evaluation for consideration of purchase or lease, I see no potential side effects from low-level non-ionizing 650nm red laser light. But my advice at this point is to pay little or nothing, expect little to no response, and be prepared to waste your time (except for the exercise part). Best wishes.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Laser Liposuction

Please take a minute and look at the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

I am not personally aware of a prospective random double blind major peer reviewed article that demonstrates laser liposuction to be superior to conventional wet technique like Power Assisted Liposuction.

Buyer beware.

Richard Sadove, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


This is a newly touted device that is "supposed" to dissolve fat by external treatments with low intensity laser light. Here is a saying to remember. "if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is". There is not  much peer reviewed research to determine how efective this treatment is. For now, the most reliable way to get rid of unwanted fat is through conventional liposuction (this can mean laser assisted, ultrasound assisted or regular liposuction). The common denominator for all of them is that a cannula needs to be inserted under the skin and the fat aspirated out via suction.I hope this helps.


Daniel Medalie, MD

Daniel A. Medalie, MD
Beachwood Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Another marketing term for fat removal!

Another marketing term for fat removal!  True liposuction requires one treatment and minimal recovery (usually one day). Nothing else even comes close to producing the same results.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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