Body Contouring

Liposuction vs Non-Surgical Body Contouring: Which Should You Choose?

body contouring Dorset

Struggling with stubborn fat? You’re not alone. Genetics can make certain areas of your body hold onto weight that even diet and exercise can’t budge. It’s totally normal, and you’re beautiful regardless!

But if those extra curves are bringing you down, you might be wondering if there’s a solution to boost your confidence. The good news? There are plenty of options out there, from budget-friendly to more intensive treatments.

Two of the most popular choices are liposuction and non-surgical body contouring. Both aim to slim you down and sculpt your figure, but they work in completely different ways. Knowing the key differences between the two can help you find the perfect fit.

At Illusion, our goal is to make you feel amazing inside and out. Read on for our comparison of liposuction and body contouring, including cost, downtime, results, and more!


Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that uses suction to remove fat from specific areas of the body, like the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck, and face. Its roots go all the way back to the 1920s, but it only became commercially available in the early 1980s.

cosmetic surgical procedure

1. How liposuction works

Liposuction is typically performed in a hospital or outpatient facility. Whether you need to stay overnight depends on the amount of fat removed, the type of anaesthesia used, and any underlying health conditions you may have.

Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. You’ll first have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals, medical history, and risks of the procedure. The surgeon will also examine the areas you want treated and take photos.
  2. Liposuction can be performed under general anaesthesia, local anaesthesia with sedation, or tumescent anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia used will depend on the amount of fat being removed and the surgeon’s preference.
  3. There are a few different techniques used, but the most common is tumescent liposuction. In this technique, a sterile solution of lidocaine (anaesthetic), epinephrine (to minimise bleeding), and saline is injected into the treatment area. This solution numbs the area, reduces blood loss, and makes it easier to remove fat.
  4. Once the area is numb, the surgeon will make small incisions in the skin. They’ll then insert a thin tube called a cannula through the incisions. The cannula is connected to a vacuum machine that suctions out the fat cells. There are different techniques for fat removal, such as:
    – Suction-assisted liposuction (SAL): This is the most common type of liposuction. It uses a cannula to suction out the fat cells.
    Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): This type of liposuction uses ultrasound waves to liquefy fat cells before they’re suctioned out.
    – Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL): This type of liposuction uses a laser to liquefy fat cells before they’re suctioned out.
  5. After the fat is removed, the surgeon will close the incisions with stitches or sutures. The area may then be wrapped in bandages or a compression garment to help reduce swelling and bruising.

Liposuction can permanently slim down specific areas by sucking out fat cells, reshaping your body. However, it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss and it won’t get rid of cellulite, dimples, or stretch marks.

2. Cost

Because of the complexity and extent of the procedure, liposuction typically falls on the higher end of the cosmetic surgery cost spectrum. Prices range from £3,000 to £8,500, depending on whether you’re targeting a single area or multiple areas, as well as the facility fees and the surgeon’s experience.

3. Pain and recovery

As a surgical procedure, liposuction comes with moderate-to-high pain and discomfort. You’ll likely feel sore, bruised, and swollen for a few weeks afterward. To help with healing and minimise swelling, your doctor might recommend wearing a special compression garment.

Recovery time depends on how much liposuction you had and how many areas were treated. It usually takes a few weeks to a month to get back to your normal routine.

4. Results

Liposuction can be a powerful tool for sculpting your body. It works by directly sucking out unwanted fat deposits, leading to a more dramatic improvement in your contours. This is especially helpful for people who have stubborn areas of fat that haven’t responded to diet and exercise.

The results tend to become visible within a few months as the swelling goes down, with the final sculpted form taking up to six months to fully reveal itself.

However, maintaining a healthy weight is still important. While new fat cells won’t grow in the treated areas, existing ones elsewhere in your body can get bigger if you gain weight, potentially affecting your overall shape and making you look slightly lopsided. Liposuction also isn’t the best option for very loose or sagging skin. In those cases, other procedures might be needed.

Non-Surgical Body Contouring

Now, let’s take a look at non-surgical body contouring!

Unlike liposuction, non-surgical body contouring utilises various technologies to target fat cells or tighten skin without going under the knife. It’s a relatively new advancement compared to liposuction, only gaining popularity in the last decade or so.

LPD Light Diode Poration

1. How Body Contouring works

Body contouring is typically done in an aesthetic clinic or dermatologist’s office, with each session lasting around 20 minutes to an hour. You can go home right after your treatment.

Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. First, you’ll have a consultation with a qualified practitioner to discuss your goals, preferences, and medical history. Since non-surgical body contouring uses various techniques to slim and reshape specific areas of your body, they may recommend one or more of the following approaches:
    – Freezing fat cells: Techniques like cryolipolysis (e.g. CoolSculpting) use controlled cooling to target and destroy fat cells. The fat cells are gradually eliminated through your body’s lymphatic system, leading to a reduction in fat bulge over time.
    – Heating fat cells: Other methods use lasers, radiofrequency, or ultrasound energy to heat the targeted fat cells. This heat damages the fat cells, which are then broken down and disposed of by your body. Examples of this approach include laser lipolysis (e.g. SculpSure) and radiofrequency lipolysis.
    – Combined approach: Instead of relying on just one technique, some machines like EXIMA combine various body contouring technologies for a more customised treatment. Read through our guide to learn more about how this works.
  2. After discussing your options and deciding on an approach, you’ll come back on a later date for the treatment itself. The technician will prepare the area by trimming any excess hair and applying either a cooling or warming gel, depending on the chosen technology, so the device can glide smoothly across the area.
  3. The technician will position an applicator, paddles, or another specialised tool on the targeted fat deposit and gently move it over the area.
  4. Depending on the method, you might experience a cooling feeling (like a cold pack), a warming sensation (like a gentle sunburn), or a slight tingling/pinching during the treatment.

2. Cost

Non-surgical body contouring is much less expensive than liposuction since it doesn’t require surgery. Prices typically range from £80 to £120 per session, depending on the size of the area treated and the specific technique used. Many clinics also offer package deals for multiple sessions, which can bring the cost down even more.

3. Pain and recovery

Non-surgical body contouring is generally considered to be much less painful than surgical options. In fact, many people describe the experience as more like a massage than a medical procedure! You might feel the coolness, warmth, or tingling mentioned above, but it’s usually very manageable.

4. Results

While the results might be subtler than liposuction, you can expect noticeable improvements in your shape after just a few sessions of non-surgical body contouring – sometimes even one! There’s also no scars or downtime to worry about. Just like liposuction though, maintaining a healthy weight is key to maintaining those sculpted results.

Achieve a more defined you with Illusion Laser Clinic’s Body Contouring treatments

Looking for a way to sculpt your body without going under the knife (or breaking the bank)? Our expert body contouring treatments might be the perfect solution.

Our experienced practitioners use cutting-edge EXIMIA technology to deliver amazing results, often noticeable after just one session. From trimming your tummy to refining your jawline, we’ll work closely with you to achieve your goals in a comfortable and luxurious environment.

Unsure if body contouring is right for you? No problem! We offer free consultations where we’ll answer all your questions and explain the procedure in detail. There’s absolutely no pressure to book a treatment – our goal is always to help you find the right option for you.

We’re conveniently located in the centre of Verwood. Book your free consultation online or call us on 01202 124214 to get started!