Comparing Non Surgical Treatments?


Non Surgical Treatments have been growing in popularity in US, Canada and now UK markets.

But all are promising the same results, how do you know which one to choose?

The growth in these technologies comes from promises of reducing fat cells - within 30 minutes to 1 hour treatments without bruising, scarring or pain. You walk in and walk out of clinic without anyone knowing you had anything done.

Non-surgical liposuction techniques use laser energy, radio-frequency, ultrasound or cold (cryolipolysis) to reduce fat cells and help clients ‘sculpt’ their body. In simpler terms damage fat cells and your own body expels them using laser, heat or via freezing cells.

However with so many new treatments coming out, it becomes a challenge to follow and choose, which one to go with to get the best results. We decided to do a quick overview on a few popular treatments to help you compare these side by side.

On average you should be prepared to spend between £1,500-£3,000 for the course of treatments which is roughly half the price of liposuction but it is still a sizeable investment and you want to make sure your


Laser Techniques

These have so many different names, we were losing track -  Laser lipo, i-lipo, Strawberry laser lipo, Ultrasound Cavitation. This is the method of using laser to convert fat deposits into energy that you will then need to expel. Cardio is strongly encouraged right after. This is probably our least favourite on the market only because treatments are expensive and results range dramatically from patient to patient. Plus we don't love cardio machines at gym! It is all about strength training at Ideal U.


  • FDA Approved

  • Best results a course of 8-12 is recommended


  • Cost between £2,000 - £6,000 for a course between 8-12 treatments

  • Older technology

  • Feedback for this treatment ranges dramatically

  • For best results, repeated treatments are encouraged



This is probably one of our favourite stories of how the effects were discovered, possibly because this reminded us of childhood or popsickles. You see “years ago scientists at Harvard observed that children who ate popsicles got dimples in their cheeks. The scientists—Dieter Manstein, MD and R. Rox Anderson, MD—realised that the popsicles were freezing and eliminating small pockets of fat cells. The idea that cold can target fat cells—without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue—was the insight behind Cryolipolysis, the proven science on which the CoolSculpting procedure is based.” The frozen ‘damaged’ fat cells are now dead and as dead fat cells cannot be used by your own body, so your body expels them over time. Thus you can reduce stubborn fat pockets. CoolSculpting freezes fat cells with Cryolipolysis or Cryo. 


  • FDA approved, clinical studies prove that CoolSculpting does make a difference
  • Results show to be around 20-25% fat reduction depending on individual body
  • Starting from £700 per area, per cycle and going up to £1500 per cycle (bear in mind you will usually have at least 2 cycles) this is still a fraction of the cost of liposuction treatments and competitive to other non surgical treatments on the market


By now if you read the above, you are becoming familiar with the idea behind the treatments. Damage fat cells without piercing the skin, or damaging the skin via laser, ultrasound, radio-frequency or cryo and since your body can’t use dead cells, it expels them naturally which on average takes about 3 months time. 


BTL Exilis, Vanquish & 3D Lipo

Slightly controversial perhaps to put these two together as they are the main competitors in this industry. But we thought you should have all the information and understand the difference.

Both are considered as 'latest technology' and use a very similar approach with radio frequency, ultrasound and cryo as a treatment. This ensures that patients get the best results as some bodies react differently to each method of 'damaging' fat cells.

BTL is a slightly newer technology as it is the first non-invasive aesthetic device to simultaneously transmit radio frequency and ultrasound energy in one probe, with cooling technology to protect surface layer of the skin.

3D Lipo uses the 3 separately with 30 minutes each, using less power as it does not have controlled cooling for the surface of the skin, if the power was similar to BTL - patients would end up with burn scars. This will affect the end result.


  • FDA approved
  • Clinical Studies for BTL show effective results of 4.1 cm reduction on average
  • BTL had various clinical studies carried out, showing reduction between 40 up to 60% of fat cells in treated area 
  • 3D Lipo clinical study in combination with diet, exercise and motivational support shows an average of 12.2% % loss or 12kg over a 4 months’ time scale
  • BTL and 3D Lipo are also popular treatments to tighten skin (can act as an alternative for botox and face lifts)
  • 3D Lipo is on average a cheaper option ranging from £1,000 - £1,500 per cycle


  • Best results usually seen after 3 months with BTL and 2-6months with 3D Lipo
  • Side effects are rare but can include redness or irritation

  • Cost ranges between £400 per treatment up to £750, with 4-6 treatments advisable (£1,600 - £4,500) for BTL



Non Surgical Treatments have overall been extremely successful at deferring patients from going under the knife plus on average they are around half price in comparison to lipo.

Laser treatments such as I-Lipo and CoolSculpting claim to damage between 20-25% fat cells in a given area while 3D-Lipo and BTL Exilis showing more significant results by utilising radiofrequency, ultrasound and cryo technology. 3D Lipo however is less powerful and uses 3 different probes, which affects the results even though technology is also very similar to BTL Exilis. 

In terms of proven results BTL Exilis promises 40-60% fat reduction in the treated area (3D Lipo should not be far behind, although finding data on exact % is very difficult). 3D Lipo on average is cheaper than BTL Exilis however depending on the clinic and treatments both are not far behind on price and cheaper alternatives to an average laser lipo treatment course.

Whichever one you pick in the end make sure you know what a good consultation should be like and you have done your basic research. (read our next article to prepare). We have also included a short guide below for 'good patient' criteria so make sure this fits your description. There are so many clinicians eager to book you in and promise results without putting your objectives first. Whatever treatment you choose it is still a sizeable investment as much as there are no guarantees or exact numbers in what result you will get - there is a criteria for what kind of clients get the best results.

Is this right for you?

Who are these treatments helping? Mainly for those with stubborn body fat; if you have a good diet and healthy lifestyle but those last 10-20 pounds just won’t shift. Or you are making life changes and using the treatment as a boost. For those with loose skin, or cellulite – tightening skin can help smooth the surface of the skin or if you have a special event such as holidays, wedding, competitions, photo shoots – well you get the idea.

We hope you found this article useful. We know there are plenty of treatments we haven't covered and you may have a lot more questions. Please get in touch - we will try and answer all of them. 

Victoria TattumComment