There are several limited incision and minimally invasive liposuction alternatives on the market. Some of my patients have asked me if they are effective or not. The alternatives to surgical liposuction do work to remove fat, but in generally, they may not be for everyone, and will not result in as much fat loss as traditional liposuction.

Some alternatives to traditional liposuction include use of a laser. Generally, an incision still needs to be made, and a plastic catheter is placed underneath the skin and into the area of fat. The laser is then activated, which melts the fat. The fat still needs to be removed with traditional liposuction.

There is a different technique that uses cold to “freeze” the fat externally, and your body absorbs the fat and excretes it. This method relies on clamping the fat, and then applying the cryo-device. The problem with this technique is that the clamp can’t actually clamp all areas, the skin and fat under the clamps may have a dimple after the device is applied, and not much fat can actually be removed.

Liposuction requires a small incision to access the skin, and then either suction or ultrasound or both are needed to melt and/ or remove the fat. This can remove the most amount of fat and give you the best contour possible, but it may require general anesthesia, more swelling, and a longer recovery time. However, traditional liposuction still remains the gold standard of body contouring and fat loss.

There are other technologies on the horizon. The one I closely follow is use of an external ultrasound device that melts fat, and your body excretes the dissolved fat. This technology has the advantage of no incisions, true fat loss, even contour, and no down time. The problem with this technology is that it will still not remove as much fat as traditional liposuction. This device exists in Europe and Asia, but is not in the US, and is still awaiting FDA approval.

Should you desire more information about my available services, or want to schedule an appointment, please contact my Patient Care Coordinator at, or call our office at 415-362-1846.

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