Noninvasive Body Contouring: Literature Review and Summary of Objective Data

Main Article Content

Daniel Bernstein
Aaron S. Farberg
Hooman Khorasani
David Kriegel


noninvasive, body contouring, lipolysis, radiofrequency, laser, cryolipolysis, ultrasound


Background: There is increasing demand for noninvasive body contouring but objective data is difficult to compare between modalities.  Currently, the most accepted forms of noninvasive body contouring are cryolipolyisis (Cryo), focused ultrasound (FUS), radiofrequency (RF), and low level laser therapy (LLLT).

Objective: To summarize the objective data on noninvasive body contouring.

Methods: In October 2016, a pubmed search was performed with terms “noninvasive body contouring” or “non-invasive body contouring.”  The search was limited to human studies in English on the four major modalities. 

Results: 55 articles yielded data from 3649 patients.  The most well studied modality was Cryo and the least was RF.  Decreased abdominal/flank localized adiposity was most the most common endpoint reported.  Both the minimum and maximum reported decreases in abdominal girth were from studies using RF (1.4cm and 7.4cm, respectively).  Side effects were most common and significant with Cryo and absent with LLLT.

Conclusions: Noninvasive body contouring has a significant amount of objective data available in the literature to date.  Reductions of localized adiposity are clinically and statistically significant but modest.  To date, the best reported positive results have been obtained with RF and the lowest risk of side effects is with LLLT.


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