Currently, there are various technologies available that aim to reduce fat deposits and achieve non-surgical body contouring. All these technologies are designed to damage fat cells beneath the skin surface (this is called subcutaneous fat). They aim to destroy subcutaneous fat without harming the surface of the skin. Examples include CoolSculpting® which freezes the fat through cryolipolisis; ZERONA® which uses low-level laser energy; UltraShape® and Liposonix® which use ultrasound energy; and TriLipo® Maximus which uses tripolar radiofrequency.* Multiple treatments may be required with certain technologies.
There are injectable treatments such as Aqualyx (deoxycholate), Kybella (deoxycholate) which aim to destroy subcutaneous fat cells by means of an enzyme that damages the cell wall of the fat cell.
The damaged cells release their contents into the circulation (bloodstream and lymphatics) and are processed and excreted by the body like any other waste product.
All non-surgical options for localised fat reduction are intended for people who have an overall healthy body, but struggle to get rid of a few stubborn fat deposits that refuse to budge with diet and exercise. On the other hand, some may have fat distributed all over, not just subcutaneous, and also have a high BMI making them overweight. Procedures like liposuction will be better suited for precise body contouring and removing larger volumes of fat.
Liraglutide (Saxenda®) produced by Novo Nordisk is approved by the MHRA for the reduction of body weight in patients who are obese (BMI >30) or have a BMI in excess of 28 and are at risk of weight related disease conditions like Type 2 diabetes.