The Different Approaches to Fat Removal

The Different Approaches to Fat Removal banner

Have you been working hard to lose weight, but there are still some stubborn fat deposits that won’t go away? Do you need just a little bit of help to reach your goal of achieving a perfect body?

Plastic surgery has opened the door for allowing people to finally look how they desire, and fat reduction surgeries are popular cosmetic procedures that can get you one step closer. There are many different methods of fat removal, so you have the freedom to pick an option that works best for you.

There are two main categories of fat removal surgeries: surgical and non-surgical. While the route you go is entirely a personal preference, surgical procedures are generally more common when larger amounts of fat need to be removed.

Let’s take a look at the different approaches to removing fat, as well as some of the benefits you’ll be able to enjoy when you’re all set and done.

Surgical Fat Removal

The main surgical procedure that is used to remove, or reduce, fat deposits in the body is liposuction. You’ve probably heard of it referred to as just “lipo” by gossip magazines or celebrities.

Liposuction often gets a bad rap, but it’s a great way to remove fat from specific areas of the body to increase your contour and enhance the firmness of your skin.

It’s important to note that liposuction is not considered an overall weight-loss method when compared to something like a gastric bypass surgery. Instead, liposuction is meant to remove stubborn deposits from individuals who are at a stable weight already.

The Liposuction Procedure

While liposuction is considered a surgical procedure, it is actually minimally invasive and doesn’t require large incisions. Liposuction can be done on many different areas of your body, like the abdomen, hips, arms, thighs, chin, and more.

There are different types of liposuction, but the most common is called tumescent liposuction. Essentially, small incisions are made in areas where you’re looking to reduce fat content. Then, a thin tube called a cannula is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat.

Once dislodged, the fat is suctioned out of the body with a syringe or vacuum. The small incisions are then sutured and dressed with bandages.

The liposuction procedure stops here, but some surgeries such as butt lifts may use this in conjunction with fat grafting. In these scenarios, the removed fat is cleaned and processed before being transferred to another area of the body.

Non-Surgical Fat Removal

Liposuction is minimally invasive, but there are many non-invasive procedures that can be used to reduce fat as well. These are normally geared at people who are looking to remove smaller, more stubborn areas without wanting to undergo a surgical procedure.

Also Read: How top get rid of underarm fat without liposuction?

Radiofrequency Lipolysis

Radiofrequency lipolysis uses radio frequency to heat fat cells. Physical instruments never actually make contact with your skin, which is what makes them non-invasive.

There are many different types of radiofrequency lipolysis, but a fairly new and innovative one is called Thermi. This works by heating the subdermal fat to a point beyond repair. Then, the body’s lymphatic system will naturally remove damaged cells from the treated area.

The end result is tightened skin and removal of small amounts of fat. It’s commonly used to address sagging arms, but it can be used on the neck, abdomen, chin, or other parts of the body as well.

Thermi requires basically no recovery time. There may be slight redness or inflammation at the treatment site, but most people can return to normal activities the next day.

PH-1 Miami is proud to offer Thermi treatments to our patients. If you think that this non-invasive procedure sounds like something you’re interested in, fill out our inquiry form.


Commonly referred to as CoolSculpting, cryolipolysis uses cold temperatures to break down fat cells. This is in contrast to radiofrequency techniques which heat fat cells to eliminate them.

Fat cells are particularly susceptible to cold, unlike many other types of cells. During this treatment, fat cells freeze while the skin and other structures remain intact.

Essentially, a roll of fat is placed between two panels, then exposed to freezing temperatures. It’s used on the thighs, lower back, stomach, or sides and doesn’t take more than an hour from start to finish.

This is another effective way to reduce the appearance of stubborn fat throughout the body without undergoing a surgical procedure. CoolSculpting is becoming increasingly popular as well.

Injection Lipolysis

While this is technically an invasive way to lose fat, injection lipolysis requires nothing more than a few injections in problem areas. A popular one known as Kybella, which is aimed at decreasing the appearance of “double chins.”

The process exposes fat to deoxycholic acid, which breaks down cells in fatty tissue. Recovery and downtime is minimal, with most patients able to resume normal activities the next day.

Laser Lipolysis

As the name implies, this form of fat removal uses laser energy to heat and disrupt fat cells without impacting the skin or other structures. A common type of laser lipolysis is SculpSure.

SculpSure uses a laser belt that utilizes wavelengths that heat and eliminate fat cells. It specifically targets the upper and lower abdominal area.

Which Approach is Right For You?

You and your plastic surgeon will be able to discuss the best course of treatment based on your goals and lifestyle. The type of procedure that is right for you is typically reliant on the following factors:

  • The amount of fat you want to lose.

  • The area(s) in which you want to lose fat.

  • Medical history and allergies to certain medications.

  • Your personal preferences.


There is really no technique that is better than another. With that said, surgical liposuction is generally able to produce more pronounced results when compared to non-surgical procedures. This is why it is meant for individuals with higher amounts of fat that they wish to remove.

However, keep in mind that liposuction has a longer recovery process compared to non-invasive treatments. It can take anywhere from four to six weeks before you can get back to normal activities, such as exercise. You’ll also need to take care of bandages and dressings during the healing process.

What Makes a Good Candidate for Fat Removal?

At PH-1 Miami, we are always looking to grow our book of clients and get people closer to achieving their best body. 

A good candidate for a fat removal procedure is someone who:

  • Has clear, realistic goals.

  • Is uncomfortable with fat deposits in certain areas.

  • Is at a stable weight.

  • Is within 30% of their ideal body weight.

  • Is generally in good health.

  • Has a positive outlook in general.

If you think a fat reduction procedure is something that sounds right for you, we hope to see you in our sunny Miami office soon!

Benefits of Fat Removal

Any fat reduction procedure can have some amazing effects on your body and mind. There are good reasons why these types of surgeries are among the most common plastic surgery techniques in the country.

Improved Self-Esteem

One of the best things about any cosmetic procedure is that it can give you a brand new perspective on yourself and the world around you. Getting rid of some stubborn body fat can improve your confidence and make you feel more positive now that your body is closer to its best.

More Comfortable Clothing

Is your favorite summer top just a little too tight? Fat removal procedures can widen your wardrobe options and let you wear some clothes that you haven’t been able to for quite some time. Not to mention, it can make you feel more comfortable when wearing certain types of clothing like swimsuits.

Permanent Results

As long as you continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet following your procedure, the removed fat won’t just mysteriously grow back. It means that you can potentially enjoy your results for the rest of your life.

In Conclusion

Fat removal is a great method for people with stubborn fat deposits who are within a small percentage of their ideal weight. There are two main types: surgical and non-surgical.

Surgical procedures such as liposuction only require small incisions, physically removing the fat from the body. Non-surgical procedures, like Thermi or CoolSculpting use temperature techniques to burn or freeze away fat cells without compromising the skin or surrounding tissue.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach that is better than another. You can talk with your plastic surgeon to figure out which option is right for you.

When you’re ready, contact us at PH-1 Miami to utilize any of our advanced body contouring methods to make your body the best body possible.



Gastric Bypass Surgery | UCLA Health

Fat grafting history and applications | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Deoxycholic Acid Injection | MedlinePlus

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