American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Nonsurgical or minimally invasive options for fat reduction include technology that uses heat, cooling or an injected medication to reduce fat cells.

What is laser lipolysis?

Laser lipolysis uses laser energy delivered through an applicator. The fat cells are preferentially heated and disrupted without impacting other types of cells in the skin or other structures. A common type of laser lipolysis is SculpSure.

Reasons patients want laser lipolysis

Patients who wish to reduce a localized fat bulge of the abdomen and flanks.

Who is not a candidate for laser lipolysis?

Patients with loose skin or fat inside the abdomen, deep to the muscles.

What does laser lipolysis do?

The goal of laser lipolysis is to reduce the volume of fat in a fatty bulge.

Does laser lipolysis require anesthesia?

This procedure is done without anesthesia.

Laser lipolysis procedure

After an assessment of the dimensions and shape of the abdominal or flank fatty bulge to be treated, the area is marked to identify the site for applicator placement. The applicator is applied, and the patient feels a cooling sensation. During the 25-minute treatment, the patient may feel intermittent warmth and/or tingling.

What are the risks of laser lipolysis?

The complication rate is low, with reports of temporary redness, tenderness and swelling.

Recovering from laser lipolysis

There are no activity restrictions or downtime. Patients sometimes feel tender or notice redness or swelling.

What are the results of laser lipolysis?

Results may first be visible at six weeks and are apparent by three months.


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