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 radiofrequency lipolysis?

Radiofrequency lipolysis is a procedure which uses a radio frequency to heat the fat without an instrument making physical contact with the patient. The applicator heats from a distance of one centimeter from the skin. Fat cells are preferentially heated without impacting other types of cells in the skin or other structures. A common type of radiofrequency lipolysis is Vanquish.

Reasons patients want radiofrequency lipolysis

Patients who wish to reduce a localized fat bulge that has persisted despite diet and exercise may be interested in radiofrequency lipolysis. Risks are minimal.

Who is not a candidate for radiofrequency lipolysis?

Patients with loose skin or poor tone may not be suitable candidates for the procedure.

What does radiofrequency lipolysis do?

The goal of radiofrequency lipolysis is to reduce the volume of fat in a fatty bulge. Some patients may opt to have more than one area treated or to retreat an area more than once.

Does radiofrequency lipolysis require anesthesia?

This procedure is done without anesthesia.

Radiofrequency lipolysis procedure

The treatment takes approximately thirty minutes and is repeated once a week for four weeks or as determined during the assessment.

What are the risks of radiofrequency lipolysis?

Mild erythema has been reported.

Recovering from radiofrequency lipolysis

There are no activity restrictions and no downtime.

What are the results of radiofrequency lipolysis?

Patients with treatment to the abdomen have averaged a reduction of just under two inches, though not all patients have a measurable, perceptible reduction.


Patient Care Center