February 2, 2021 8:50 pm

Laser is the trend that continues to attract attention and adoptees because it’s an attractive alternative to traditional plastic surgery for treating fat loss. There is a host of options for fat loss and weight loss, and non-invasive laser treatment can be a safer, faster, more effective way to treat fat reduction.

Read on to get to know more about laser treatments for weight loss and how some of the most common fat removal procedures compare to each other.

Common Fat Removal Procedures

There are several options for fat loss treatments. Learn how each works, benefits, side effects, cost, and what results you can expect.

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Also known as soft laser biostimulation, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) was initially used in conjunction with traditional liposuction to accelerate healing. It’s often used in physical therapy to assist with pain relief and muscle recovery. It’s now recognized for promoting fat loss on its own, and it gained FDA market clearance in 2010.

How It Works

LLLT is a non-invasive procedure that shrinks fat cells. When low-level light is applied to targeted areas, fat cell membranes develop temporary pores. This allows fatty acids, or lipids, to escape the cell into areas where it will naturally be eliminated from the body.


Once the lipids are expelled, the fat cells remain. This may seem troubling, but it’s actually preferable to destroying them, which can be harmful to surrounding tissue.

That’s why LLLT is called “cold” therapy — not because anything is actually cold, but because it uses less harsh, low-level light, which won’t damage cells. In contrast, surgical lasers that destroy tumors need to use a higher frequency. In laser fat loss, the frequency isn’t high enough to negatively affect body tissue: it stimulates cells rather than attacking them.

Comfort is another big reason that LLLT is many people’s preferred laser treatment for weight loss goals. You lay down for 30 minutes and the session is over!

Finally, LLLT is the only method cleared by the FDA to address fat reduction in individuals with a BMI over 30. It’s also cleared to treat the whole body — not just waist, hips, and back. It can also target smaller areas like ankles and calves.

Side Effects

Because there’s no heat, no incision, no anesthesia, and no tugging, there’s no recovery. Period. On top of that, no preparation is required beforehand.


Repeat that 30-minute session once a week for six sessions. By the end of those six sessions, results will be noticeable.


The full treatment starts around $1,500. As long as you follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen, your results will be long-lasting, and you won’t have to pay for any follow-up procedures.


Cryolipolysis is another “cold” fat loss technique that is often confused with LLLT. It’s a non-invasive, non-laser fat reduction technique that is actually cold! It uses the “fat freezing” method, cooling fat cells so much that they die.

How It Works

The administrator chooses the best size and shape of equipment for your chosen treatment area. Then that patch of skin is vacuumed so it comes into contact with cooling panels. Both the vacuum and cooling effects cause discomfort, although this should subside as the skin becomes numb.

The fat is cooled for up to an hour. Then you are free to go.


Like LLLT, cryolipolysis is non-invasive. You can achieve results without having to deal with incisions and recovery time.

However, unlike LLLT, there are more limitations on who can take advantage of cryolipolysis. While LLLT can treat patients with a BMI above 30, cryolipolysis is best for people who are close to their target weight and just need help with areas that are impervious to diet and exercise. Also, because cryolipolysis uses a vacuum, candidates with loose skin won’t benefit from the procedure.

Finally, if you have cold-related conditions, such as cryoglobulinemia or cold hemoglobinuria, cryolipolysis is not recommended for you.

Side Effects

There will likely be some soreness and bruising after the procedure, but it shouldn’t be bothersome after a few hours.

While side effects are mostly limited to discomfort during and immediately after the session, there is a risk of asymmetry. For example, if you are targeting your abdomen, the equipment will be placed equally on both the right and left sides of your body, but each side may react differently. The treatment can be repeated if you don’t get the results you want.


If you choose laser lipo, you’ll start to see fat-reduction results almost immediately. While you’ll see changes to the site within the first week, it could take up to six months to see the full benefits of the procedure. (tandfonline.com) Unlike with LLLT, results take time. The expulsion process is encouraged by exercise and drinking lots of water. Target areas will appear smaller only after the cells are eliminated.


One session of cryolipolysis costs about $1,300.

Radiofrequency Lipolysis

In contrast to its “cold” fat loss siblings, radiofrequency lipolysis uses heat. It too is a non-invasive procedure.

How It Works

The radiofrequency lipolysis method heats fat with radio frequency. No equipment comes in contact with your skin—it can target fat cells specifically, killing them off while preserving surrounding tissue.

Sessions last about 30 minutes each, once a week for three or four weeks.


Because radiofrequency lipolysis equipment doesn’t make any contact with your body, it’s an attractive alternative to invasive fat loss options. Treatment requires no preparation, no anesthesia, and no recovery time.

Side Effects

Some people experience mild erythema following radiofrequency lipolysis. Erythema is inflammation of blood capillaries, caused by increased blood flow. The capillaries dilate and show up as redness on your skin.


Some studies show radiofrequency lipolysis significantly reducing stomach fat in as little as four to six weeks. However, patients don’t always experience measurable success.

Like cryolipolysis, radiofrequency lipolysis is meant for people who are already close to their target weight and size.


Each session costs about $1,300. With four sessions, this comes to over $5,000 for a full radiofrequency lipolysis treatment package.

Ultrasonic Liposuction

There’s another laser weight loss method that uses light waves, but this one requires surgery. Also known as ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), it has a lot of similarities to traditional liposuction.

How It Works

First, a surgeon pricks a stick into your skin, which releases high-pitched sound waves that liquefy fat cells by destroying their membranes. The surgeon then sucks the liquefied fat out using a suction tool called a cannula.

If you are treating a large area, you will likely undergo surgery in a hospital. For a smaller area, the surgery will take place in a medical office and you may go home immediately after, assuming there are no side effects. In both cases, local or topical anesthesia is required.

Since UAL is a surgery, some preparation is required. For example, you’ll be asked to stop taking ibuprofen or any other blood-thinning medication starting many days prior. Additionally, you’ll want to schedule a few days off of work or school for recovery.


If you are interested in traditional liposuction, you may consider UAL as a complementary procedure. It often supports traditional liposuction because it’s more precise. After liposuction does most of the work, UAL addresses body contouring. Because of this, UAL doesn’t directly support weight loss.

Side Effects

UAL’s risks and recovery period are more significant than the laser fat loss and other fat reduction options previously discussed. Since it’s a surgery, there’s always risk of infection. And because the procedure uses high temperatures, burns or nerve damage are possible. There will likely be some bruising and swelling afterwards.

Your doctor will advise you on when to resume exercise so you can keep blood flowing and avoid clots. The whole recovery period can take up to two weeks.


Lifestyle counseling is recommended in conjunction with UAL. While 80 out of 609 people treated between 2002 and 2008 were happy with their results, over a third of them gained weight.


The cost of UAL is comparable to traditional liposuction — between $1,500 and $10,000, depending on the targeted area.

Injection Lipolysis

This fat removal method only targets the under-chin area.

How It Works

Injection lipolysis injects a strategic amount of deoxycholic acid into a pre-mapped grid under your chin to disintegrate and absorb fat cells. While it isn’t a surgery, it does involve needles. Your doctor will use local anesthesia.

Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, you will undergo one to six treatments.


Not all fat loss options can target small areas. Injection lipolysis is unique in that it specifically addresses fat under the chin.

Side Effects

While this fat reduction method requires no preparation, there is a recovery period between each session. Swelling, pain, redness, and bruising will take a few weeks to heal, so your sessions will be four to six weeks apart.


You’ll see results once the inflammation subsides. These results are long-lasting, as long as you don’t gain weight. While side effects are uncommon, nerve injury (and an uneven smile) is always possible.


Injection lipolysis typically costs a little over $1,000 a session. If you have the full six sessions, you can expect to pay around $6,000.

Why Laser Stomach Fat Removal Has a Clear Advantage Over Other Systems

It’s important to make a distinction between Emerald Laser and other laser stomach fat removal systems. Emerald Laser’s name is derived from the fact it uses green laser light. Green lasers have a shorter wavelength than red lasers. While the wavelength of red lasers is approximately 650 nanometers, the wavelength of green lasers is only 532 nanometers. The photons of a green laser have 20% more energy than red lasers, which means that the patient can achieve greater results in less time. This distinction is important when making comparisons. While we believe that all proven laser lipolysis systems have advantages over competing processes, Emerald Laser is in a class by itself.

Like many cool lasers, Emerald Laser treatments are non-invasive. However, many laser lipolysis devices kill fat cells during treatments. While destroying fat cells once and for all may seem advantageous, there are dangers in this approach. If the patient regains weight, there is a danger that new lipocytes will form in other areas. This has been a problem identified with cryolipolysis as well. While Emerald Laser will drain your fat cells through a process that was already described, it leaves the lipocytes intact, should they become necessary.

Emerald Laser may be among the most convenient fat-reduction solutions. For most body parts, it requires only six 30-minute sessions that are spaced about two weeks apart. Most patients notice results within the first week of the first session, but for full results, it requires approximately 12 weeks. There is no downtime after your sessions, so you can schedule them before work, on your lunch break, on your way home from work, or as a weekend errand.

Emerald Laser has been proven safe and effective. Emerald’s parent company, Erchonia, received the first FDA market approval for a fat-reduction laser. They were able to demonstrate significant circumference reduction in three double-blind studies. Additionally, Emerald Laser is the only device that is approved for patients with a BMI over 30. Finally, Emerald is painless, and there are no known side effects.

When compared to other systems, Emerald Laser is cost-effective. Financing options are available for six-session treatments.

Reasons to Choose Laser Treatments for Weight Loss

When you consider the balance of comfort, cost, and results, LLLT is an excellent laser treatment for weight loss goals. Think about it: the full treatment starts at $1,500 while In contrast, other treatments require several rounds of treatment for $1,000 or more a pop.

Even if cost isn’t an issue for you, the fact that LLLT is non-invasive can make all the difference. With no preparation and no recovery required, you don’t have to disrupt your life to undergo a confidence-boosting treatment that you’ve been looking forward to. And on top of that, consider the extra financial cost of prescriptions or surgeon’s fees.

Can It Really Help You Lose Fat?

After the lasers cause fat cells to expel their lipids, the only thing your body has to do is get those acids out. Because the lymphatic system does an amazing job of processing fatty acids, you really will lose that fat. Once fat comes out of a cell, it has to leave the body.

Are You a Good Candidate?

Low-level laser therapy is the only laser weight loss technique that doesn’t require you to already be in tip-top shape. Because it’s approved for treating patients with a BMI over 30 (as well as super-fit patients), it’s an incredibly inclusive laser treatment for weight loss goals.

Who Shouldn’t Get Laser Lipolysis?

Laser lipolysis is not recommended for pregnant women and children under the age of 18. Additionally, while Emerald Laser is approved for patients with BMIs up to 40, other systems are only approved for BMIs up to 30. It’s important you know the difference when choosing a laser lipolysis provider.

How Can I Prevent Weight Gain After My Treatments?

We recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods, maintaining a calorie intake that’s consistent with your daily calorie expenditure, and regular exercise. If you find it difficult to maintain your weight despite leading a healthy lifestyle, you should consult your physician.

What Kind of Results Can You Expect?

One study at Harvard saw an average loss of 3.51 inches in the waist, hips and thighs in two weeks. Emerald Laser saw 5.91 inches lost in four weeks.

Find an Emerald Laser Treatment Provider Near You

With long-lasting results, you can live your laser weight loss dreams. Ready to experience the magic of science and long-lasting fat loss for yourself? Find an Emerald Laser treatment provider near you.