Liposuction vs. Non-Surgical Fat Reduction: Pros & Cons

Weight loss is possible through diet and exercise. If that doesn’t work then you’ve liposuction and non-surgical fat reduction. Know the pros and cons of both.
Female body with areas marked for liposuction surgery

When you’ve been working hard on your health, you want to see results; but if you’re struggling to remove the last remnants of unwanted fat through diet and exercise, the following methods might be for you. ~ Ed.

Love handles marked for liposuction surgery

Whether you’ve been working on a weight-loss plan for months, you are trying to get rid of a few extra kilos, or you can’t seem to walk away the baby belly as much as you try – there’s nothing more disheartening when you’re trying to lose weight than stubborn fat that won’t budge.

If you’ve tried everything else, it could be that those fat deposits are here to stay – unless you want to take it a step further.

Below, we delve into two of the most common types of fat removal procedures – liposuction and non-surgical fat reduction – to discuss what they are, the pros and cons, and whether it’s right for you.

Let’s start with liposuction.

What is Liposuction

A surgical procedure, liposuction is designed to remove stubborn fat from the body. It can be completed on your hips, stomach, thighs, buttocks, arms, back and, under the chin. Also called lipoplasty or shortened to lipo, this procedure is completed under anaesthesia and starts with incisions made into the trouble area. From there, a thin, hollow tube cannula is inserted into those incisions and the unwanted fat is then sucked out via the cannula.

There are a few different types of lipo, but they generally all use the same cannula process. Tumescent lipo is the most common type in Australia and is where a sterile solution is injected into the area, making it easier to suck out the fat. The solution usually includes lidocaine and epinephrine, which change the physical properties of the fat, making it easier to suck out.

Ultrasound-assisted uses sound wave energy to liquefy the fat for easy removal, while laser-assisted uses lasers to melt the fat. They each have the same result, and they all require a similar procedure, though some methods may have less bruising or bleeding afterwards.

Who Can Get Lipo

Before you can get liposuction, you need to meet certain criteria. First, you must be within 30% of your ideal body weight. For example, by using an ideal body weight calculator, you can determine where you currently stand. Say you are 170cm, female, and 30 years old, your ideal body weight is between 60.5kg and 63kg. In order to qualify for liposuction, you must be between 60kg and 80kg.

To qualify for liposuction, you must also have firm, elastic skin – this prevents you from ending up with sagging skin. You must not smoke and you mustn’t have any chronic illness that could impact the healing process.

The Process

Before you get liposuction, you will first need to have a consultation with the surgeon to discuss your goals, any pros and cons, and the cost of the procedure. You will also need to mention any allergies, supplements you are taking or medications. If you decide to go through with the process, you will discuss how to prepare, including any dietary requirements.

On the day, you’ll attend the surgery or office where the surgeon will mark the particular problem areas for the incisions. You may also have photos taken for comparisons afterwards. You’ll either receive general or local anesthesia (general knocks you out, while local keeps you awake but without pain).

You’ll usually be able to go home on the same day as your treatment, but it will be tender for a few weeks. You might need a compression garment to help with swelling and some patients require antibiotics.

Pros & Cons

As with any medical procedure, there are pros and cons in liposuction.

Pros:

  • It’s safe
  • Improved health
  • Prevention of health-related issues due to excess weight
  • Easy way to target areas diet and exercise don’t
  • Boosts confidence
  • Results are long-lasting
  • Results are fast

Cons:

  • Small scars are likely where the incisions were
  • Side effects include pain, swelling and bruising
  • Healthy lifestyle must be maintained for the procedure to last
  • Doesn’t fix cellulite or stretch marks
  • Less common side effects include blog clots and delayed healing

What Is Non-Surgical Fat Reduction

Non-surgical fat reduction is designed for people who want the benefits of liposuction but without the surgical procedure. It’s a minimally invasive option that includes technology that generally either heat, cool, or inject medication – all of which are designed to reduce fat cells.

Often referred to as non-surgical liposuction, it’s not actually liposuction at all as there is no “suction” involved. Types of non-surgical fat reduction include low-level laser therapy, cryolipolysis, and radiofrequency. They generally work to reduce fat down into liquid, which is then passed through your metabolic system; these methods freeze the fat, so it disappears.

Who Can Get Non-Surgical Fat Reduction

If you have concerns about your stubborn fat, but you’re not ready for liposuction, there’s good news. Non-surgical fat reduction is good for almost anyone. As it’s non-invasive, there are no risks involved, but if you have any concerns or queries, your surgeon or service provider can assist.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not have any of these procedures.

The Process

The process of non-surgical fat reduction is simple. Tell them what you want to be done and why, show them your target areas, and let the procedure work its magic. There is often no need to prep, you can generally walk straight out and go about your usual day, and it’s recommended you stay hydrated afterwards, regardless of which method you choose.

Pros & Cons

As with liposuction, there are pros and cons of this type of fat removal, as follows:

Pros:

  • No surgery
  • Very safe
  • No anaesthetic
  • No scarring
  • Great for small, stubborn areas of fat
  • Can reduce up to 25% body fat per session
  • Mild discomfort for some methods
  • No pre-procedure preparation

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on larger areas
  • Multiple treatments may be required
  • May cause temporary swelling, redness or tingling
  • Not as effective on patients who have a lot of scar tissue

Wrapping Up

Whether you choose to go with liposuction or non-surgical fat removal, the result is going to be amazing. You’ll feel more confident, your self-esteem will get a boost, and you’re going to look incredible.

The type of procedure you choose, if any, is completely dependent on the results you want, the timing and the impact on your body. It’s a personal choice, so make the right one that’s for you.

Over To You

Do you have a preferred weight-loss method that’s worked for you? Tell us your tips and thoughts on the above measures in the comments.

1 comment
  1. Hi Daniel,
    These are some very informative tips I can see currently I am on weight loss journey and following the diet as per my dietician. Few of my friends are following diet and this article is really going to help them. Thanks!!

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