How do Non Surgical Treatments compare to Liposuction in reducing Fat Cells?


We thought a quick Q&A can help break down the information and added links where you can read more and watch videos.

What is Liposuction?

Most of us at least have heard about liposuction via celebrity gossip – from A list actress Jaime Lee Curtis to sit com stars like Heidi Montag. The treatment promises to reduce the unwanted fat, most common areas being stomach, buttocks, hips and thighs. Nowadays the surgery is a lot more common among the mortals with estimated 300,000 treatments carried out in UK and US. So how does it work? 


How does Liposuction work?

Well the fat is reduced by being sucked out through a hollow instrument ‘cannula’ acting as a high pressured vacuum. A small cut is made on the targeted area, the cannula enters and literally sucks the fat cells from the area, reducing the surface are. Those that struggle to picture have a look at the animated video (not as gross as some out there, promise). Link to Youtube Video - How to Perform Liposuction Procedure? | Liposuction in Hyderabad.


Who is the best candidate for Liposuction?

Patients with ‘stubborn fat deposits’ who have struggled to get rid of it with diet and exercise. Most patients are near normal weight, but desire to contour their body. Obesity, cellulite and loose skin could become worse post liposuction. Liposuction is only able to influence inches, not pounds of fat which is why ideal candidates already have a good diet and training programme and are just looking for contour and definition. Ideally candidates will also have good skin elasticity, with age skin elasticity is lost, liposuction however can leave loose skin if a candidate is not properly advised.


What results can I expect?

Results will vary depending on the patient. There will be a reduction in stubborn fat and results will be visible as soon as numbness and swelling goes down usually around 1-3 months time. 


Do the results last?

The fat cells taken out do not come back, if you are making lifestyle changes – eating a balanced diet and training the fat removed will not come back. However on most websites there is a warning that if you gain fat again, the existing fat cells can expand and the distribution of fat may change. For example if you had liposuction done on your stomach and you gain fat, you can find the problem moving towards your buttocks or thighs.


Are there any side effectsNHS Link to Side Effects

You need to know what you are getting and what you might get, before you do the procedure. So without stalling: 

  • bruising and swelling, which may last up to six months
  • numbness, which should go away in six to eight weeks
  • scars
  • inflammation of the treated area, or the veins underneath
  • fluid coming from the cuts
  • swollen ankles (if the legs or ankles are treated)

What can go wrong?

Liposuction can occasionally result in:

  • lumpy and uneven results

  • bleeding under the skin (haematoma)
  • persistent numbness that lasts for months
  • changes in skin colour in the treated area
  • a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary oedema) from the fluid injected into the body
  • a blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • damage to internal organs during the procedure


How much does liposuction cost?

Ranging from £3,500 to £4,500 per area (stomach, buttocks, thighs)


How do I choose if I have decided to go for Liposuction?

Harley street clinics are the most expensive on that price range, but they usually have the top surgeons operating. This is not a ‘let me get a 10% discount’ type situation as we are talking about long-term effects of the procedure. Think of this as an investment, but make sure you go to a consultation and you feel comfortable with the doctor.


What are Non Surgical Treatments?

Non Surgical Treatments have been increasing in popularity and demand. Kim Kardashian has openly talked about a non-surgical tummy tuck she had done after her pregnancy. Her favourite doctor Dr Simon Ourian uses a variety of treatments in his Beverly Hills clinic “Epione”. One of his non surgical treatments is BTL Vanquish however other popular non-surgical treatments in US and UK also include CoolSculpting, 3DLipo, I-Lipo etc (read pros and cons in next article).


Who is the best candidate?

This will slightly vary depending on the treatment you choose. On average you would be close to your ideal weight – no more than 20 pounds heavier. You would have stubborn pockets of fat or cellulite or struggle from double chin. In terms of habits you are fairly healthy and you have or will have good diet and training program. You are considering non surgical treatments because you want to shift stubborn fat and make life long changes, or contour your body.


What results can I expect?

The fat treatment can damage up to 60% of fat cells in the area that is treated.  The damaged fat cells are expelled and do not come back however the warning is given that if you do not improve your daily habits remaining fat cells can expand or the fat can relocate to another area of your body. So if you have previously had liposuction or non surgical lipo carried out on your stomach. You may find an issue with fat gain around buttocks or thigh area.


Are there any side effects?

Yes, it is rare to have side effects, but you can get redness and swelling and if the beautician is not properly trained, mild burn marks that should disappear within a few weeks. Please walk out if you come to a clinic offering a non-surgical treatments and they tell you it is absolutely safe and you won't get no side effects.  


How much does the procedure cost?

In UK the prices range from £100 to £400 per area. Stomach is usually split into 4 areas so you are looking at £400 - £1,600 per area plus with 4-6 sessions recommended prices are between £1,600 - £6,400. 


There are so many choices, how do I decide?

This is an important thing – there are tons of beauty / health clinics in and out of London that promise roughly the same results. First work out what treatment you are interested in, if you are still not sure after reading pros and cons article, then narrow down and call a few clinics. Ask to speak to a professional and book your consultation. One way to see if your clinic is safe and trustworthy is the consultation should always be free. Why? Because until the clinician sees you and does an assessment of your body, they can’t talk to you about results and expectations. There are no guarantees with results as people’s bodies are different, but they need to check you are a good candidate (read up about good candidate criteria). If they don’t care and just book you for treatment, chances are you will be left disappointed.


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