Non-Surgical Fat Removal: Freezing vs Fat Dissolving Injections

Updated December 2022

Do you have areas of your body where you have excess fat that just won’t budge, no matter how much you diet and exercise? Fed up and not sure what to do next? Then our non-surgical fat removal treatments may be the solution you have been looking for.

Non-surgical fat loss treatments can be extremely effective for giving your body the shape you’ve strived for and contouring where you need it most. Science and technology have come a long way, and surgical options like liposuction are no longer the only way to get the body you want.

Two of our most popular non-surgical fat removal options are Aqualyx fat-dissolving injections and cryolipolysis (fat freezing) CoolSculpting treatments. Both are great if you have small pockets of fat you want to get rid of, such as “love handles”, a “muffin top,” or a double chin.

However, these non-surgical fat removal treatments are not recommended if you are over your recommended body mass index (BMI) weight. In such circumstances, we advise you to discuss lifestyle changes with your GP to help you lose weight. But if you have stubborn areas of fat that just won’t go away — even with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, you might want to consider CoolSculpting or Aqualyx injections.

Non-Surgical Fat Removal Options

Let’s discuss the differences between Aqualyx and CoolSculpting treatments, so you can decide which one is best for you.

CoolSculpting Treatments (Fat Freezing)

Fat freezing or cryolipolysis is a fat loss treatment that uses a special machine to freeze fat cells, which are then disposed of in urine by the lymphatic system. Fat freezing technology was invented by Dr Dieter Manstein and Dr Rox Anderson around 2008.

They created the device and technique called “CoolSculpting”, which chills targeted areas of fat to around -5ºC in a controlled, precise manner to kill fat cells without damaging important surrounding tissue structures.

Areas of the Body Best for Fat Freezing

Non-surgical fat removal with fat freezing is suitable for larger body areas. Popular treatment areas include:







Fat Freezing Side Effects and Complications

Side effects associated with fat freezing will usually dissipate within three to six days and include:







Rare complications that can be permanent include:

 Hyperpigmentation — change to skin colour.

First and second-degree freeze burns, which can cause skin necrosis (death of skin cells) and scarring.

Subcutaneous induration — a generalized hardness that develops under the skin in the treated area and can be painful.

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia — fat cells in the treatment area grow larger and liposuction is required to remove them.

How Many Fat Freezing Treatments Are Needed?

The number of CoolSculpting treatments you need will depend on the size of the area being treated and the volume of fat reduction required. You can have two areas treated at one time! Generally, two to three sessions are needed to get the desired results.

How Long Does It Take To See the Results of Fat Freezing?

You will notice results within a couple of weeks and they will continue to improve as your lymphatic system disposes of fat cells. Final results generally take around 12 weeks from your last session. This is why it is recommended to wait 12 weeks between treatments.

Aqualyx Injection Lipolysis (Fat Dissolving Injections)

Aqualyx injection lipolysis is an injection that can help dissolve stubborn fat in areas such as a double chin, upper arms, stomach and other small pockets of fat that won’t budge. Lipolysis fat-dissolving injections work by breaking down the fat cells, literally dissolving them.

The fat cells are then dispelled in your urine. As with any type of non-surgical fat removal, although the fat is removed permanently, you can still get new fat cells if you don’t maintain a healthy diet.

Areas of the Body Best for Aqualyx Fat Dissolving Injections

Fat removal injections are particularly good for the area under the chin, often called the “double chin”. Double chins affect people of all shapes and sizes, as, when you age, the skin under the chin and around the neck loses collagen and elasticity.

Aqualyx fat-dissolving injections are an extremely effective way to get rid of a double chin. Other smaller areas well suited for fat-dissolving injections include the knees and ankles.

Fat Dissolving Injections — Side Effects and Complications

Temporary side effects should disappear within three to six days and include:






You may also feel tired and have an upset stomach for a couple of days after Aqualyx lipolysis injections.

How Many Fat-Dissolving Injections Are Needed?

Generally, you will need three to five sessions spaced out every three to four weeks, although for small fat deposits, one injection may be sufficient. You can have multiple areas treated, but there is a limit on the number of fat-dissolving injections that can be administered at one time.

How Long Does it Take to See the Results of Fat Dissolving Injections?

Results take around four weeks to be noticeable, so if you have a big event or beach holiday you are preparing for, make sure you plan ahead.

Aqualyx vs CoolSculpting

Aqualyx fat-dissolving injections are best for small areas, such as a double chin, knees and ankles. They are fast but require needles, while fat freezing is a longer procedure but uses a machine. So this might be more appealing if you are afraid of needles. With fat freezing, there must be enough fatty tissue present for the machine to grab onto, so this method works well with larger areas.

When comparing treatment times, Aqualyx fat-dissolving injections produce results within around four weeks. However, they do involve injecting a substance into your skin. Fat freezing takes approximately 12 weeks for the results to be evident but is completely non-invasive.

Both treatments have associated risks and complications; this is why it is critical to ensure you go to a clinic registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and have all treatments performed by a medical professional.

If you are struggling with problematic deposits of fat, contact Harley Street MD today to book a free, no-obligation consultation. We can discuss your needs to figure out what would be the best course of action. Both options we discuss here generally require multiple treatments to get your desired effect.

Depending on the area(s) that need treating, one method of non-surgical fat removal may be a better option, or we may consider a mix of treatments to produce the best results. Get in touch today to arrange a free-of-charge consultation at our London aesthetic clinic for more information and advice about our fat loss treatments.

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