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Changes in fat removal techniques mean you have more choices


What do you call a surgical procedure for stubborn fat removal? These days, almost everyone can answer that question. But the world was probably not aware of liposuction until about 1982 when a French surgeon demonstrated a suction-assisted method for removing fat cells.

Over the next 20 years, many developments led to improvements in the liposuction technique that allowed the surgery to be performed with few complications, making it a safe, effective and popular procedure. And while the methods changed and expanded somewhat, the method for surgically aspirating fat through a hollow tube inserted under the skin continued to be just about the only option for eliminating stubborn fat pockets.

Then in the 2000s came alternative, non-invasive methods that allow the body to eliminate fat on its own over a period of time. One such technology is Liposonix, which uses high-intensity focused ultrasonic (HIFU) energy to target the layer of fat just under the skin. Liposonix has become a popular non-surgical fat reduction treatment, especially for those who don’t want to go under the knife.

So what’s the difference? And which method might be right for you?
Here’s a brief comparison.


  • Non-invasive
  • Treatment takes place in office in about one hour
  • Some pain, cold, prickling, tingling, and warming during the procedure
  • Mild soreness, bruising, redness and/or swelling afterward
  • Compression garment is not necessary post-treatment
  • Better for smaller isolated areas of stubborn fat in individuals who are close to their ideal body weight.
  • Results take several weeks to become noticeable, and are not as dramatic as liposuction
  • Less expensive
  • Reduction of just over an inch (one pants size) off waist at around 8-12 weeks post-treatment
  • Little or no downtime; resume normal activities within a day or two


  • Surgical procedure requiring anesthesia and small incisions
  • Treatment takes place in surgicenter or hospital
  • Requires IV sedation or general anesthesia
  • Moderate pain and swelling; possibility for more bruising
  • Small scars at the cannula sites
  • Able to treat larger and multiple body areas at one procedure
  • Compression garments must be worn for a few weeks
  • Able to treat larger and multiple body areas at one procedure
  • Some improvement in body contour can be noticeable right after surgery
  • More Expensive
  • Reduction in size can be quite significant depending upon the patient
  • Recovery will take several days to a few weeks

Neither method is considered a weight loss technique, but both can help rid you of some of those stubborn areas of fat that diet and exercise just can’t reach.

If you are interested in learning more about these procedures, call our office today: 414.443.0033

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