Non-surgical fat reduction is a popular option for those looking to reduce fat without the risks associated with surgery. However, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with this procedure before undergoing it. Cryolipolysis, or CoolSculpting, is a common non-surgical fat reduction technique that can cause mild side effects such as redness, bruising, swelling, tenderness, cramps, itching, tingling, and numbness at the treatment site. In rare cases, fat cells may grow larger in response instead of getting smaller.
To reduce this risk, it is best to have the fat removed non-invasively by a dermatologist who can determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Another non-surgical fat reduction technique is gentle heating. This is different from body contouring surgeries such as tummy tuck and liposuction in which excess skin or fat is removed. Heating is thought to damage fat cells and cause some shrinkage of the short strands of connective tissue that connect the skin to the fat and deeper tissues underneath. Cellulite appears as large dimples between small mounds of soft fat. The number of independent clinical research studies supporting CoolSculpting remains relatively small, but Zeltiq Aesthetics states that it reduces the number of fat cells in the treatment area by 20 to 25 percent.
Pressure and vibration are thought to work like lymphatic massage, removing excess fluid between fat cells and improving the irregular appearance of cellulite. Low-intensity phototherapy (LLLT) procedures use extremely low doses of visible light that do not heat skin or oil. Within a few weeks of treatment, the body breaks down these dead fat cells and expels them through the liver. With a vacuum applicator, a specific area of pinchable fat is inserted and cooled for up to one hour. Body contouring can help eliminate fat and shape areas of the body when diet and exercise don't work.
Some non-invasive body contouring devices are designed to achieve the desired effect by reducing small amounts of excess fat in the treated body area. Non-surgical procedures carry a very low risk, so complications are rare. Existing research suggests that it's a low-risk option for eliminating small amounts of fat that are difficult to eliminate with diet and exercise. It is important to understand all potential risks before undergoing any type of non-surgical fat reduction procedure.