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Would you like to look like you've had liposuction without actually going under the knife and facing the risks surgery can bring? Non-surgical fat reduction techniques may be an option for you.

Do you have an important event, like a wedding, coming up and would you like to look your best? Have you tried dieting, exercise and even weight loss pills to get rid of stubborn areas of fat, only to find yourself unsuccessful time and again? 

You may find yourself fantasizing about liposuction — and you wouldn't be alone: one study indicated that 33 percent of women and 15 percent of men of all ages do exactly that. Would you actually go ahead and undergo an expensive and potentially risky surgery just to remove fat, though? The fact is that most people never move beyond toying with the idea of liposuction, and even those who do usually don't consider this procedure very seriously. People who have indeed undergone liposuction may be thrilled with the results, but they know all too well that surgery is no easy way out.

And yet... yet you would still like to look your best. Would non-surgical liposuction make it happen for you? What is non-surgical liposuction, actually? Is it safe, and are you a candidate?

What On Earth Is Non-Surgical Liposuction?

The word "liposuction" means "suck the fat out". This, as you know, is exactly what surgical liposuction does. Non-surgical liposuction doesn't  do that so it shouldn't be referred to as liposuction at all, but people do. What we're actually talking about is a range of "body contouring", "body sculping" or "non-surgical fat reduction" procedures. There is such a thing as fat reduction injections, but we're not tackling this, as it is banned in many places.

Here, we'll talk about laser light, radiofrequency, and cryolypolysis, all techniques that are quickly becoming more well-known and popular as alternatives to surgical liposuction.

Cryolipolysis: Freezing Your Fat Cells

Cryolipolysis involves freezing fat cells in order to kill them. The method was discovered by accident as doctors found out that infants "injured" by ice lollies lost fat in the affected areas, a process that later became known as "popsicle panniculitis". When the fact that cold temperatures can destroy fat cells became known, it was only a matter of time before someone would start experimenting with freezing fat cells for cosmetic purposes. Various cryolipolysis systems are currently in use around the world, but Zeltiq's CoolSculpting is the most notable of these. This system is FDA approved for use as a topical pain reduction device, but is commonly used as a fat reducer off-label.

During treatments, you can expect the agreed upon fatty areas to be pinched by the system's applicator and then frozen. No anesthesia is required for the treatment, which lasts an hour. Mild discomfort can be expected, but nothing too hardcore.

Cryolipolysis appears to be safe thus far, with minimal topical side effects, most commonly a skin rash. One study suggested that superficial fat tissue was reduced by 33 percent after treatment with a cryolipolysis device. The results take a while to show themselves, providers say. So, does CoolSculpting work? It seems that it has some potential in people who have stubborn pockets of fat but are of a healthy weight, but we have to note that clinical data is still limited and that it's not clear how long the effects of the treatment last. 

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