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 15

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

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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 


Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Non-Invasive fat removal - Does it work?

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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.

Non invasive lipo?

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Options for noninvasive lipo: Liposonix or Zeltiq

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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 59 reviews

Liposuction Versus Non-Invasive Methods

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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.

Does Noninvasive Lipo Work

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Although there are non-invasive and non-surgical options, they may not provide the most lasting results depending on the amount of fat in the areas you desire improvement. Hence, you may want to consider learning more about Vaser Liposuction. 

Vaser liposuction, also known as Vaser #lipo, LipoSelection or Liposuction, is an advanced body #contouring procedure that selectively removes unwanted body fat. An alternative to the harsh techniques of traditional liposuction, #Vaser lipo uses state-of-the-art ultrasound technology designed to gently #reshape your body.
What distinguishes the Vaser lipo procedure is its ability to differentiate targeted #fat from other important tissues; such as nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. Innovative VASER #technology breaks up fat while preserving these other important tissues to promote smooth #results and rapid healing.
Some studies show that there is less injury to the body with Vaser than with traditional #liposuction. Recovery from Vaser Liposuction is based on the level of soreness and bruising experienced by the patient. But, it can vary among patients. As with traditional liposuction, there are no large incisions  or effect on the muscle and other underlying tissue. Therefore, #healing time may be less than anticipated by most. Therefore, Vaser patients may experience less #pain or discomfort, #swelling (#edema) and bruising post procedure due to the nature of the technique.  

It's best to begin consulting with a board certified plastic surgery to learn if you are a candidate for vaser liposuction. An ideal  #candidate for Vaser Liposuction is a person in good health who seeks a minimally invasive way to remove stubborn fat with less downtime than traditional #liposuction.  Vaser is ideal for those seeking improved definition of muscles and contouring. Those who seek increased sculpting of are ideal vaser lipo candidates

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Non Surgical & Non Invasive Liposuction

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Non surgical fat reduction and skin tightening ( both of this happens with liposuction) can be achieved with many machines. Each of these may use a different technology. Cool sculpting ( cryolipolysis) , Ultrashape power (Ultrasound), Exillis Ultra ( USG and Radio frequency), Sculp sure( laser ), Vellashape (RF)

The results delivered by them cannot be compared to liposuction. Not all of them are without downtime or discomfort. You must understand that once the fat lysis is achieved by these machines the body has to remove the fat cells by the process of " APOPTOSIS". 

This may take weeks to months depending on the area treated. You will need multiple sessions and each area need to be treated separately. Any inch loss or tightening  that you experience immediately is only because of dehydration of cells and would return to normal measurements within a couple of days. For best results you may require a combination of two or more of these procedures.

Non invasive liposuction

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Traditional liposuction performed in surgery is still the most effective way of reducing fat.  Other methods that are less invasive do work to an extent.  They many times require multiple treatments and the result is never as dramatic.  If expense is a concern, traditional liposuction in one surgery may be more beneficial than multiple less invasive treatments. 

Michael S. Birndorf, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction is the Most Reliable Way to Remove Stubborn Pads of Fat

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Thank you for your question. Treatments like CoolSculpting and different Ultrasound techniques seem to be able to eliminate some fat in some people some of the time. None of these techniques are as powerful or reliable as liposuction, meaning tumescent liposuction.

Noninvasive Lipo

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A nonsurgical fat reduction such as coolsculpting can produce good results, and is FDA approved for areas including the abdomen, love handles, and chin. However, for patients with loose skin or patients with a BMI between 20 to 30, liposuction would be a better alternative.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 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.