What Is The Best Method For Non-Surgical Belly Fat Reduction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am looking for a non-surgical way to reduce my belly fat. I have had two kids and as a result I have a little loose skin on my lower belly but it is really not too bad. I don’t have any stretch marks except a few fine ones. My problem is this little bulge below my belly button which just won’t go away no matter how much I exercise or do situps. I can’t justify in my mind to go through liposuction surgery to get rid of it and I know my husband would never permit it anyway. I have read about several non-surgical methods but what do you think is best and do they really work?

A:  Let us start with the premise that surgery, liposuction, is the most effective method of SPOT fat reduction that we know. And any non-surgical method is never going to be as good. Whatever result any non-surgical method can achieve can never compare to that of actual surgery. And thus by comparison it will be a have a poorer return on one’s economic investment.

Once one accepts that premise then the consideration of non-surgical fat reduction can begin. While there are many energy-based devices that currently exist to reduce fat without surgery, my current one of choice is Exilis. This is a deep radiofrequency device that targets fat below the skin but can also do a little skin tightening as well. (I said a little skin tightening, not to be confused with more than a small pinch) Treatments are fairly comfortable and a series of 4 to 6 sessions over 6 weeks can make a very visible reduction. The radiofrequency energy breaks down fat cells walls, causing them to spill their lipid contents which is then absorbed. In addition, there is no recovery or pain afterwards and one could go and work out immediately afterwards if they were so motivated. For the devout non-surgical person with some localized fat collections, this can be a good alternative to liposuction. You might also consider Smartlipo done under local anesthesia. While this is still surgery, small areas can be done without being put to sleep for the best result in the shortest period of time.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana