Liposonix: Lose fat, get thin without surgery and without losing weight?

New fat-melting procedure at CU Med School

AURORA, Colo. - Want to get thin fast? What if you could you could lose an inch or more in less than an hour with no surgery?

A new procedure, just approved by the FDA this year, claims to do just that.

It’s called Liposonix.

The University of Colorado School of Medicine is one of the few places in the country now offering the procedure that uses ultrasound to melt away belly fat.

“Traditionally it was just liposuction. There were lots of devices, and still are lots of devices out there that tout to reduce fat but many of those devices are marginal and really not up to snuff,” said Dr. Theresa Pacheco, associate professor of dermatology at The University of Colorado.

However, Pacheco said this one really works.

There is no surgery, meaning no downtime, Pacheco said. Instead, Liposonix uses a transducer to deliver a high-energy microwave current down through the top layers of skin, ultimately targeting the subcutaneous fat in the stomach area.

“It generates heat and causes destruction of the fat,” Pacheco explained. "The body then reabsorbs that tissue, so to speak, over 8 to 12 weeks."

So where does the fat go?

"It doesn't go to areas of concern. It doesn't increase your lipid level. It doesn't go to organs and deposit there. It's eliminated from the body through its normal defense mechanisms and it's safe," said Pacheco.

7NEWS put it to the test.

Mom Tina Voss allowed us to accompany her as she underwent the procedure.

“I have been working out for years and there's just that little bit of belly fat I cannot get rid of no matter how hard I diet, exercise,” said Voss. “I would like to go down about a size. So maybe (lose) two to two and a half inches.”

7NEWS discovered Liposonix does not result in weight loss, just inches. The procedure is not designed for people who are obese. It’s for people, like Voss, who have a normal body mass index (BMI), but have at least an extra inch of fat around the belly area.

While there is no cutting, Liposonix is not pain-free. Voss described the discomfort as, “a bunch of needles… that tingly, needle feeling. And you can feel the heat," she said.

The entire procedure took about an hour.

Dr. Pacheco said it is common for patients to experience soreness and bruising for several days following the procedure.

Voss told 7NEWS she did not see any bruising, but she did experience some swelling in the abdomen area.

“I felt like I was a couple of months pregnant because I had so much swelling,” said Voss.

7NEWS was there for Voss’ 4-week follow-up appointment. She measured 73 cm around her waist, which was a 4 cm reduction from before the procedure.

A week later, Voss said she had lost another one and a half centimeters. The change was visible.

It can take up to 12 weeks for the full result, according to Pacheco.

The procedure is considered cosmetic, so it is not covered by insurance. Pacheco said it can cost between $1,000 and $4,000 depending on the size of the person and area treated. Right now Liposonix is only approved to use on the belly and flank (love-handle) areas.

For more information contact CU Cosmetic Services at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at 303-724-9030.