Liposonix: Hype or Reality?

Liposonix is already available in Europe and is promoting results. That people see permanent results in 8 to 12 weeks, you can reduce your waistline by about 2.8 cm, or one dress or pant size, after a single 1-hour treatment. Is this hype? As a medical expert, are you skeptical or optimistic? Are you planning to offer Liposonix in your practice?

Doctor Answers 21

Nonsurgical body contouring - for real?

I don't have any doubt that within the next 5 years we will see technology that can predictably achieve fat reduction without surgery. Some important things to remember:  1. there are a paucity of studies evaluating the efficacy of these devices -  more research needs to be done; 2. remember if it sounds too good to be true  it probably is; 3. some devices may be uncomfortable during treatment while others may not; 4. make sure you have a good understanding and have established realistic expectations with your MD ( and you should be evaluated by an MD). nonsurgical technology won't give you surgical results!

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Yes, Liposonix works...and it was worth the wait.

I first used HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) while working in a laboratory in medical school. The results were fascinating and exciting. It's been over 25 years since then, and finally we now have Liposonix in the United States. In 2004, I began reading about the results of Liposonix in patients outside of the United States, and I have to say that I was a little annoyed that it took so long for it to become available here in the U.S. But I respect that our FDA wanted to be sure that such an effective therapy was safe. One can only imagine the patience, time, and money that was involved in bringing this technology to the U.S. The machine is expensive, and the treatment tips are expensive, but it is worth it. Regarding the "one hour" thing..not possible. I need to administer oral pain medication to each patient (the type of medication depends on the patient), then we wait an hour, then I need to design the treatment plan by drawing on the patient's body, and then we conduct the treatment. So, we are really talking about 3 hours. And you cannot drive yourself home, because you have pain medication in your body. The next day the treatment areas will be sore to the touch,and a little swollen, and some bruises may come up in the treatment areas... this can last for a couple of weeks. It takes your body about 2-3 months to move the dead fat cells away (a process called "mobilization"). It's a great technology. 

Christine Glavey, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Liposonix works for fat reduction

Liposonix is a new FDA approved non-surgical and non-invasive procedure for the removal of unwanted fat. It uses high intensity focused ultrasound to permanently remove fat. After the procedure, most patients will notice results in about 3 months. The procedure takes about 1 hour in the office. There is no downtime and you can go back to work the same day!

Liposonix is an alternative to liposuction. It is not a weight loss procedure or replacement for healthy diet and exercise. The new liposonix is much better than the older version. There is a huge difference.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 161 reviews

Liposonix noninvasive body contouring is effective

Liposonix is an FDA-approved technology that uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for permanent reduction of localized fat in a single treatment. The clinical development of the device took several years but it is now well-understood. For example, patients who were going to have a tummy tuck received Liposonix to the tissue that was later removed, in order to document the effects. Vaser Shape and other devices use unfocused ultrasound and does not destroy fat cells.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Liposonix definitely works!

Liposonix uses High Intensity Focused Ultrasound energy to noninvasively destroy fat cells. It can be done in the office with light sedation. Results are not immediate. It takes 3-4 months to obtain final results. During FDA trials, a quantitative analysis of patients was performed. The circumference of patients' abdomen was measured at the level of the belly button. One treatment of the lower abdomen and/or love handles was performed. Patients were instructed not to change their diet or exercise habits. After 3 months, the circumference of their abdomes was measured again. The average reduction was 1.5 inches. I have been using Liposonix in my office for one year and have done the same quantitative analysis with my patients. The average reduction in waistline is around 2 inches, but I have seen drops ranging from 1.5 - 4.5 inches with one treatment. Everyone is shrinking, and the satisfaction rate is very high.

Derek J. Shadid, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Liposonix works!!!

There are a bunch of technologies that theoretically will 'melt' fat.  What happens in the lab, and what is practical on a clinical level are two different things.  I have used and/or studied virtually every such device on the market.  I could buy any device I wanted and I chose Liposonix.  The concept of HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is very different from any other modality available- and the results are real.  More importantly the procedure fairly comfortable, fast, and reliable.  Patient selection is very important and it does not accomplish the same thing as liposuction.  Some patients are better candidates for liposuction- but if you are a candidate for Liposonix it will give you a noticeable result without the costs and other issues related to surgery and anesthesia.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposonix is not hype--the first real noninvasive fat melting device

As of Dec 2011, I'm one of the first U.S. centers to offer Liposonix and it really works.  It is the first FDA approved noninvasive fat melting device using high-intensity focused ultrasound.  There is no other device that can make this claim in the U.S.  It is  nonsurgical liposuction, a revolutionary technologic breakthrough.  It is not a replacement for liposuction because you cannot remove the high volumes of fat possible thru liposuction but you can get about an inch reduction (2.5 cm) in fat per treatment per area. 

M. Christine Lee, MD
Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Liposonix and external ultrasound for fat reduction

Having read reports from overseas practices that are studying external energies designed to reduce fat volume without surgery, there  does appear to be shrinkage of the volume but the studies need to continue to explore what the long term results are and the safety of liquifying fat from the adipose cells in which it is stored without removing these fatty oils (as liposuction is not performed in these procedures).

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Brand name liposuction

This is typical of claims made when new, branded equipment or modalities come out. The claims alone are specious because it depends on the size of the individual and their suitability for liposuction. 

So, yes, I think it's hype, I'm quite skeptical that it's an improvement over properly done traditional liposuction, and I'm not planning to offer it in my practice. I do, however, keep eyes open and don't reject everything out of hand just because it sounds like the same old hype. I'd need specifics on how it's an improvement over traditional liposuction and worth the expense of the equipment along with any other added risks.

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Liposonix: Hype or Reality?

We offer Liposonix in our practice and it is a wonderful tool to help people eliminate stubborn fat pockets which are resistant to diet and exercise.  Because it is a completely non-invasive treatment, we can not guarantee with 100% certainty how much improvement someone would see after one procedure but we do know that every one benefits from it.  The key to a successful treatment is proper patient selection.  Patients who have more then mild excess fat in the areas that need to be treated tend to see less improvement from one treatment, however, if a patient clearly understands that one treatment of Liposonix will not eliminate all of the unwanted fat and absolutely does not want to consider surgery, it becomes a great alternative.

Victoria Karlinsky, MD
Manhattan General Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.