Are the new body-sculpting technologies the answer to liposuction?

October 22, 2012

CoolSculpting and Liposonix are to liposuction like Botox is to a brow lift
CoolSculpting and Liposonix are to liposuction like Botox is to a brow lift

The October 2012 issue of Vogue reports on a new rash of body-altering treatments to deal with all your pet peeves…from muffin top to back fat.

Two leaders of the pack in innovative technology are CoolSculpting, which freezes unwanted fat cells, and Liposonix, an ultrasound device that heats fat so that it melts away. These technologies take about an hour of treatment and have very little or no recovery time. You can literally hop off the table and go back to work.

However, and listen closely, according to Vogue, “None of them (these technologies) produce the dramatic results achieved with liposuction.” In other words, liposuction is not only alive and well but Vogue says new technologies like CoolSculpting and Liposonix are to liposuction like Botox is to a brow lift. (Last year liposuction was the number one most performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States.)

With CoolSculpting, fat is literally sucked into a rectangular hand piece. An hour or so later, when the hand piece is removed, the fat freezes into a rectangular shape, like a stick of butter, and is then massaged back to its natural shape. The crystallized cells slowly die and are metabolized over a two to three month period. A Toronto plastic surgeon says that new attachments designed to treat smaller curved areas like the knees, inner thigh and arm wattle are coming soon.

Liposonix, on the other hand, has a smaller hand piece, which can be manipulated to treat previously marked bodily areas. This ultrasound experience, however, may be uncomfortable, but every patient responds differently and the heat can be dialed down.

The key to success with these new technologies is to know their limitations. The best patients are those who exercise regularly and eat well to begin with but can’t seem to lose the last few inches. These treatments are not good for people who are fat. A board certified doctor in an appropriate specialty can give you more information and evaluate whether these treatments will be effective for you.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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