Fat Reduction FAQs

Laser Liposuction (Fat Reduction Surgery) FAQs


What is fat reduction surgery?

Fat reduction surgery is a broad term that may encompass several different procedures. It could be a small “laser liposuction” office-based procedure, or, a larger volume liposuction (in an operating room), often followed by a removal of skin, such as an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”.) Some people might also consider weight loss surgery “fat reduction surgery” (because these procedures are designed to make people loose fat). However, no actual fat is removed during weight loss procedures (like the lap band, or gastric bypass.) Conversely, surgeries that are designed to remove fat (like liposuction), are NOT weight loss procedures (the amount of fat removed isn’t generally enough to see much change on the scale.) It may LOOK like you lost weight (because all of the fat is removed from one area), but, fat reduction procedures are not for overall weight loss… just localized fat loss!*

What is laser liposuction (or laser lipo)?

This is a term that has become more broad, as more devices become available that use lasers to reduce fat. Generally, the term is used to describe a process where a laser is used during the process of surgical liposuction to help melt the fat and tighten the skin. In our office (as in many others), we refer to this as “laser assisted liposuction” (since the laser is simply assisting in the liposuction procedure itself.) The term “laser lipo” became very popular, and many starting using it to describe other procedures, such as non-invasive lasers used to reduce fat. So, as you’re reading about or consider “laser lipo”, just make sure you know what the term is referring to!*

Non-Invasive Fat Reduction FAQ:


What is non-surgical (or noninvasive) fat removal?

Non-surgical (or noninvasive) fat removal is a term used to describe any system that reduces fat without surgery. There are many currently available methods, including noninvasive laser fat reduction, radio frequency fat reduction, ultrasound fat reduction, and more! 

What is the cost for non surgical fat reduction?

Since there are many options for nonsurgical fat reduction, the price in any given office generally depends on which method is used. In our office, we intentionally make all of our noninvasive fat reduction options cost the same. That accomplishes two things: 1) People can choose a treatment based on what’s best for their specific area and goals, rather than basing the decision on price. 2) People can purchase a package of treamtents, if they choose, and then “mix and match” their treatments according to their needs. So, if clients want to do a few iLipo treatments for immediate “larger area” improvement and then a few CoolSculpting treatments for permanent and significant fat reduction in select areas, we can easily do this!*

What fat reduction treatments are available?

  • Minimally invasive fat reduction surgery (ex, office-based laser liposuction / laser lipo)
  • Aggressive fat removal surgery (operating room liposuction, often with tummy tuck or similar procedure)
  • Zeltiq Coolsculpting – Cryolipolysis fat reduction procedure
  • iLipo XCell – noninvasive “laser lipo”
  • Vanquish – Radio Frequency (RF) fat reduction procedure
  • VASERShape/QuantaShape – Ultrasound fat cavitation / fat reduction procedure
  • Zerona – noninvasive laser fat reduction

What noninvasive (non-surgical) procedures are available?

  • Zeltiq Coolsculpting – Cryolipolysis fat reduction procedure
  • iLipo XCell – noninvasive laser lipo
  • Vanquish – Radio Frequency (RF) fat reduction procedure
  • VASERShape/QuantaShape – Ultrasound fat cavitation / fat reduction procedure
  • Zerona – noninvasive laser lipo

How does Coolsculpting work for fat removal / body contouring?

The Coolsculpting procedure freezes the fat cells, which causes them to permanently die. Your body then removes the fat, naturally, through your lymphatic system. The fat reduction is permanent. Additional Coolsculpting questions are answered on our Coolsculpting FAQ page. 

How does iLipo XCell work for fat removal / body contouring?

The iLipo XCell uses lasers to make the cell membrane of the fat cells “leaky”. Within 6 minutes of treatment, the fat cells is almost completely empty (almost like a grape with all the “juice” out so that the only thing left is the grapeskin.) This allows an immediate reduction in size (we will measure you after the treatment, and you will almost always be smaller  – average is about 1/2” – in only 10 minutes!) However, the free fatty acids (the “juice” that comes out of the fat cell) are still there – they are just outside of the fat cell. Therefore, you need to work out for about 20 min after each treatment (optimal time frame to workout is 1-2 hrs after the treatment) to burn away these free fatty acids. Without weight gain, the results should be maintained. However, with weight gain, the fat cells can fill back up with fat.

How does Vanquish work for fat removal / body contouring?

Vanquish is a radio frequency (RF) fat reduction device designed to treat the abdomen and flanks (“love handles” / “muffin tops”) at the same time. It also provides skin tightening while reducing fat.

How does VASERshape work for fat removal / body contouring?

VASERshape uses focused ultrasound to cause “cavitation” of the fat cell. However, VASERshapes main benefit is providing excellent skin tightening and toning of the skin. 

How does Zerona work for fat removal / body contouring?

Zerona uses low level laser technology, like the iLipo, but the iLipo is far more effective. Therefore, although we own the device, we don’t generally recommend Zerona treatments.

If  you have any specific Fat Reduction questions or for more information, please email Dr. Chavez directly at: drchavez@clearwaves.com or call or text her directly at 505-888-3733.

If you would like to schedule an appointment click here.

*Individual results may vary.

Clearwaves Medical Laser Group | 1120 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112 | 505-888-3733