Does Noninvasive Lipo Work?

I have some stubborn fat around my waist, stomach, love handles, and chin. I am at a great weight (5'7" and 135 pounds) but the stubborn fat really does bother me. I'm interested in noninvasive lipo, but I'm skeptical. Could I get good results from noninvasive lipo?

Doctor Answers 10

Non-Invasive fat removal - Does it work?

Nonvinvasive lipo removal technologies do work, but do not expect to get as significant a result as with some type of surgical liposuction. The two technologies that appear to be most effective are Liposonix (focused ultrasound) and Zeltiq (Coolsculpting or cryotreatment). They are both FDA approved and there is good data to support their effectiveness. There likely will be some new technologies coming down the road, but again, don't expect them to be as effective as surgical liposuction procedures.

Smart Lipo, or laser liposuction, would be a reasonable surgical liposuction techique, and it does provide the additional benefit of some skin tightening, but it should not be considered minimally invasive if you were to treat all your problem areas. And there is definitely some downtime. I have been doing Smart Lipo for several years, and I think it is a disservice to patients to make it sound like it is little more than a tiny mole removal. Smart Lipo is an effective technology that offers some real benefits, but it is not a miracle device.

If you want noticeable results then don't bother with Noninvasive lipo gimmicks.

Liposuction under local anesthesia with the small canulas give such great results and is as easy as can be to undergo with dramatic results.Why would you waste money on gimmicks that you have to imagine you see a difference after 3-4 months of waiting?  I have not seen any significant results with any of the noninvasive lipo procedures. In the end you wind up spending as much on the gimmicky procedures with almost no results as if you would have had real liposuction which only has 2 days downtime. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD 

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Non invasive lipo?

Some noninvasive techniques can provide measurable improvement.  Probably the most effective technique is cryolipolysis.  It is important to realize, however, before you start spending money, that results will be substantially less than real surgical liposuction can provide.  

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Does Noninvasive Liposuction Work

   Noninvasive liposuction may produce results, but they will not produce the results of conventional liposuction.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Options for noninvasive lipo: Liposonix or Zeltiq

Noninvasive methods for reduction of localized fat are effective to a degree but don't do as much as surgical liposuction, so it depends a lot on your goals. Liposonix uses intense focused ultrasound to destroy fat cells within a specific layer, so it can be targeted with precision. Zeltiq or coolsculpting uses cryotherapy, which destroys fat cells by freezing. Both of these technologies are FDA-cleared.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Liposuction Versus Non-Invasive Methods

This is a very common question.  There have been many studies that suggest that patients can expect to see a reasonable fat reduction with non-invasive methods such as CoolSculpting or Zeltiq.  Patients can expect to see up to a 20-25% reduction of fat in the areas treated by these non-invasive methods but it is important to note that these non-invasive methods rely heavily on your bodys immunological responses to break down and rid itself of these 'frozen' fat cells and generally takes months and several treatments to see any real improvement.  

It has been my experience that for most patients, the most effective method for stubborn localized fat reduction is liposuction, however, I do recognize that not every patient is able or ready to undergo a surgical procedure.  If you are interested in safe and permanent localized fat reduction of specific body areas, I would recommend consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and determine which option would be best for you.  With the right candidate, both liposuction and non-invasive methods, such as CoolSculpting, can prove to be quite effective.  I hope you find this helpful.

Liposuction is the way to go

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Noninvasive liposuction is very limited.  Real liposuction is safe, predictable, and very effective.

Noninvasive lipo

Noninvasive liposuction devices like coolsculpting, is reported to give about 20% improvement, but definitely not the same as standard invasive liposuction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Does non-invasive Liposuction work?

Without and exam or seeing pictures it is hard to tell if you would be a candidate. But with the information you gave, SmartLipo would really be a great choice.  This is an minimally invasive procedure that is done with a local anesthetic in our office. There is no down time and the procedure is extremely effective for removal of those stubborn pockets of fat that cannot be treated with exercise.  In addition to the fat removal, SmartLipo also tighten the skin up to 54%.  This is very helpful in the abdominal area.   

James E. Murphy, MD, FACS
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Non-invasive fat removal

There are currently 3 devices with FDA approval for non-invasive fat removal - Zeltiq (coolsculpting), Liposonix and Zerona. There are very good studies showing the efficacy of all the devices and there are some differences in results that should be evaluated by a  potential patient. Other devices that help remove fat that dont have a specific FDA fat clearance are the radiofrequency devices such as Velashape, Exilis, Apollo, Trusculpt etc. Keep an eye out for things that may be approved in the future such as Ultrashape and injectable agents from Kythera and Lithera.

Jason Pozner, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 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.