Is Non-surgical Liposuction Effective?

non-surgical liposuction infographic

There is no such thing as non-surgical liposuction really as the procedure doesn’t include liposuction. However, instead of surgery, the treatments available are intended to effectively copy the effects of liposuction by reducing the fat cells in a patient’s body but without the need for surgery.

The benefits of such treatments are that there is no or little recovery time due to the lack of surgery. There are also fewer side effects due to there being no anesthesia and therefore the patient is free to drive home straight after the procedure and resume their daily lives as normal.

What types of non-surgical liposuction are there?

All the treatments have the same aim. That is to reduce the amount of body fat in a patient’s body by reducing the number of fat cells. The ways these techniques work vary but the methods will include; lasers, the application of heat, the application of freezing fat cells, or ultrasound technology.

There are many brand names for these treatments. You may have heard of CoolSculpting which is known scientifically as cryolipolysis. Obviously, it is a lot easier to say CoolSculpting. Other names include Elixis, i-Lipo, and Liposonix and they treat the fat cells in different ways.

How effective is cryolipolysis?

Cryolipolysis is an FDA approved non-invasive method of reducing fat cells in specific areas of the body. It is ideal for treating problem areas and stubborn bulges. It is effective at removing up to 25% of fat cells in a treated area.

How does cryolipolysis work?

This non-surgical method works through the use of a vacuum applicator that is pressed onto the patient’s skin. This then cools the area giving a similar effect as that of anesthesia. The treatment will last for between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the area treated. The during this treatment and will then die off. Over time the cells will be eliminated and destroyed by the body naturally and the patient is left with a more toned appearance.

How effective are other non-surgical treatments for removing fat?

As mentioned above there are other non-surgical methods for removing fat. They each have their own benefits but work in different ways.

Fat freezing works best for problems areas such as bulges, hips, cellulite and love handles.

Laser fat removal uses heat to permanently destroy fat cells and is good for love handles, thighs and the stomach.

Radiofrequency treatments use magnetic waves to heat and melt the cells without burning the skin. Good for treating larger areas than other methods but it make take more sessions to achieve the desired results such as UltraShape and Liposonix

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Ultrasound uses sonic waves to destroy fat cells in the abdomen. There is no damage to tissue so no bruising or swelling occurs afterward.

Red light therapy is used to shrink fat cells and also helps to tighten and smooth the skin. It is good for the abdomen, hips, and thighs.

Choosing your treatments

Deciding on what treatment you wish to use will depend on a few factors. Firstly your budget is likely going to determine which methods and how many sessions you use. Also, your goals will also help to decide which treatment suits you the best. You may choose to have more than one type of treatment over a period of time. Visiting a local clinic in or wherever you live will let you discuss your needs with a professional.

What is the difference between liposuction and non-surgical fat removal?

Liposuction is a surgical fat removal procedure and with that comes risks. You will need to be within around 30% of your ideal weight before you have the surgery. Have firm, elastic skin, and not smoke. You will need to manage your expectations too. Liposuction cannot remove cellulite for example. You will be given a general anesthetic and the recovery time after surgery will take up to a couple of months. You should expect soreness, swelling, and bruising for a few weeks and will possibly have to wear compression garments for up to 2 months to stop any swelling. You will probably also have to take antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

By contrast non-surgical techniques have little or no recovery time, no anesthetic, no need for antibiotics and very few side effects. Less than 1% of CoolSculpting patients have reported any problems. Of these reported they involved slight redness, temporary loss of sensitivity, numbness and slight swelling in the treated areas.

How many treatments would you need with non-surgical fat removal?

This would depend on your own goals and body. Most people opting to use cryolipolysis would only need one session. If they were around 15% of their ideal weight then one or two sessions will likely fix the problems.

Is non-surgical fat removal permanent?

Yes. These treatments destroy the fat cells and the body then metabolizes the cells. Results sometimes take weeks to fully show which leads some people to believe the treatment hasn’t worked and to then seek out alternatives. It is important to remember that although there is no real recovery time your body still needs to adjust. With cryolipolysis it may take 6-12 weeks for the fat cells to be eliminated from the body.

Although the treatment is permanent it is also important to remember that the patient will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle also. If you had cryolipolysis for example and removed fat from a problem area there is nothing to stop your body developing new fat cells if you eat poorly and lead an inactive lifestyle. For the treatments to be fully effective the patient must also be active and eat a balanced and healthy diet.


Non-surgical treatments are effective ways to remove fat from the body. They should not be seen as ways to get rid of weight but as a way to improve the appearance of the body and look more toned. They are ideal for getting rid of problem areas without the need to go under the knife and all the risks that surgery can bring. There is no need for time off work to recover and the effects are permanent. It seems this area of the beauty industry is only growing as people turn to more non-invasive methods to improve their appearances.

This post was last modified on November 13, 2022 12:17 am

Piya C: Piya C is internet savvy health and lifestyle blogger. She covers beauty, relationship, diet and many more topics. #blogger #author Want to connect with me? Follow me. I reply my every DM & tweet.
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