Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Liposuction alternatives: Do fat-reduction devices work?

Are there alternatives to liposuction for getting rid of body fat? I've tried diet and exercise but still have love handles.

Updated: 05-24-2013

Answer

A number of body contouring and fat removal techniques are promoted as liposuction alternatives. Although these techniques don't involve surgery, they generally don't produce results as dramatic as those achieved with liposuction.

Most of the newer techniques target body fat using energy, typically delivered as heat or cold, to damage and shrink fat cells. The following are examples of nonsurgical methods to reduce body fat:

  • Exposure to cold (cryolipolysis)
  • Sound waves (ultrasound)
  • Light waves (low-level laser)
  • Radio waves (radiofrequency)

Liposuction alternatives are not intended for people who are obese, but rather for people who are normal weight and generally fit but still have some specific areas of fat that diet and exercise haven't eliminated. Results vary by individual and technique used, and multiple treatment sessions may be required.

If you're interested in nonsurgical alternatives to liposuction, talk with your doctor. In the meantime, don't abandon healthy eating and exercise. They're still the best way to eliminate excess body fat.

Site view: at a glance