Liposuction is a surgical procedure where small incisions are made in a target area, and then excess fat is removed through a small, hollow tube known as a cannula. Suction is applied as your surgeon moves the cannula through the excess fat. Liposuction is particularly effective at removing fat in the abdomen, thighs, back, and arms. While it may take a few months to see the final results, you will see improved body contours immediately following surgery. There is some necessary recovery time following this surgical procedure, and you should expect that there will be some degree of swelling and pain. Liposuction is considered the most effective and precise technique when it comes to fat reduction and body contouring.

If you are someone who cannot afford the downtime that traditional surgical techniques require, non-surgical fat reduction may be the correct choice for you. Non-surgical fat reduction consists of various techniques such as exposure to cold (cryolipolysis), sound waves (high-intensity focused ultrasound), light waves (low-level laser), or radio waves (radiofrequency). These methods damage and “destroy” fat cells, which will then be removed from the body as metabolic products. While you can expect to feel sore following these procedures, the benefit to non-surgical fat reduction is that there are no scars, less swelling, and little-to-no recovery time. The downside to non-surgical fat reduction is that it takes place over a longer time period of times –weeks or months. In order to be fully effective, multiple treatments may be required, and it is helpful to limit the therapy to small areas on the body rather than large sections of fat.

While both liposuction and non-surgical fat reduction are both useful methods of removing excess fat from the body, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It is important to consider what elements of each procedure will help you achieve your cosmetic body goals. Liposuction may be the better option for reducing larger deposits of excess fat, while nonsurgical reduction is often better suited for smaller trouble spots. Dr. Kim, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, can assist you in talking through your options and choosing the procedure that is right for you. Come into Northwestern Plastic Surgery Clinic for your free consult with Dr. Kim!