Does Fat Reduction Really Work?

Non-surgical liposuction is one of several procedures that use lasers, heat, cooling or sound waves to destroy fat cells that will then be eliminated from the body as metabolic products. Learn more about non-invasive fat removal.

Does Fat Reduction Really Work?

Non-surgical liposuction can be one of several procedures that use lasers, heat, cooling, or sound waves to destroy fat cells that will then be eliminated from the body as metabolic products. Generally, non-surgical liposuction has a shorter or no recovery time than surgical liposuction, but it is not effective on large areas of fat. Its use should be limited to small, persistent areas that remain after a proper diet and exercise program or to patients who cannot undergo surgery. For it to be fully effective, multiple treatments may be required.

Non-invasive fat removal can be used in almost any area of the body, including the abdomen, flanks (love handles), thighs, chin, neck, back, upper arms, and knees. When performing non-invasive fat extraction, the dermatologist uses a portable device or injections to destroy fat cells. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several portable devices for this purpose. All devices are placed on or just above the skin and work by sending cold, heat, or sound waves directly to fat cells without harming skin, nerves, and other parts of the body.

The injections contain an acid similar to bile acid which dissolves fat cells. The FDA has approved these injections to treat double chins. Because these treatments destroy or dissolve fat cells, the results are permanent. When fat cells are killed off, they disappear forever.

However, you will still have some fat cells in the treated area. If you gain weight, these cells will expand but you'll see less fat in the treated area. With non-invasive fat removal, results appear gradually. If you are treated with a device, you may notice some changes after 3 weeks and most people see the full effect 3 to 6 months after the last treatment.

For injections used to treat excess chin fat, you may see the full effects approximately 3 to 4 months after the last treatment. Non-invasive fat removal can provide subtle results; your pants will feel a little looser or your belly a little flatter. Most people find that they can return to their daily activities right after treatment although some swelling, bruising, or discomfort may occur afterward. After receiving injections to treat excess fat on the chin, some people will be extremely swollen for up to 2 weeks but can still return to their normal activities.

The table below shows how many treatment sessions a person usually needs and after treatment most people have some swelling, bruising, or discomfort. After receiving injections to dissolve excess fat on the chin, the skin on the chin may feel firm or bumpy and you may also feel burning or stinging in the treated area. Rarely freezing fat can cause long-term pain or increase the amount of fat in the treated area but you can reduce this risk if a dermatologist performs a non-invasive fat extraction as they understand the skin and what's underneath. A board-certified dermatologist can tell you if you're a good candidate for this treatment; good candidates have a small lump of fat that remains despite diet and exercise and their weight is within the normal range for their height.

You can find a dermatologist with training in non-invasive fat removal by going to Find a Dermatologist and choosing Aesthetic Dermatology as your specialty. When you call the office ask if they offer non-invasive fat extraction. Laser fat reduction works by dismantling subcutaneous fat using controlled heat; a specific laser wavelength is applied across the skin heating fatty tissues to the point where fat cells begin to break down and a constant cooling mechanism ensures that...

Della Kerfoot
Della Kerfoot

Zombie guru. Infuriatingly humble coffee enthusiast. Amateur twitter maven. Hardcore web junkie. Passionate twitter fan. Incurable internet geek.

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