Lunchtime lipolysis

Lose the bulge in under an hour no sweat…literally. Lunchtime lipolysis procedures are all the rage right now and for good reason; they yield results.  Lunchtime lipo, Cool sculpt, EmSculpt, EmSculpt NEO, Kybella; they all provide you with a range of outcomes based on multiple factors.  Allow me to break them down for you and dispel the facts from fiction so you know what is appropriate for your personal goals.

Tumescent Liposuction

Lunchtime lipo, the most invasive and the most effective of the lunchtime debulking procedures, is done utilizing tumescent liposuction. This can be done safely in a clinical setting with a light sedation and monitoring of the patient’s vital signs.  A solution is injected into the local area of fatty collection, such as the saddlebags, allowed to sit in order to create vasoconstriction of the local vasculature, and then a cannula is inserted to aspirate and debulk the fat.  This is best done in this setting for small localized areas and not appropriate for larger cases of multiple and extensive areas, which need to be done under general anesthesia, closely monitored, and in an accredited outpatient ambulatory surgical facility. Risks can include fat embolus, bleeding, infection, and irregularities. Large cases should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Cool Sculpt

Cool sculpt uses paddles designed to fit over discrete areas which can freeze the fat cells causing them to die off.  This phenomenon was noted by an astute pediatrician who noted that kids that ate a lot of popsicles were losing the buccal fat in their faces, creating a slimming effect. In aesthetic medicine, we’ll take every opportunity to repurpose technology into innovation to enhance appearance. Hence the birth of Cool Sculpting. It typically requires about 3 sessions to yield an appreciable result.  It is relatively painless, patients love the ease of use and continue to treat multiple areas. The potential downside is that you can develop asymmetrical results when comparing one side to the other, such as the love handle area; you can develop some fibrosis in the area post-treatment and potential for some slight visible depression. Most patients are thrilled and feel the potential downside is well worth the risks and trade-off.

EmSculpt and EmSculpt NEO

An alternative method to fat reduction utilizes electromagnetic energy to create intense muscle contractions far beyond what one can do with traditional exercise. Pads are placed on target areas such as abs, glutes, triceps, etc. and the machine takes you through a series of intense contractions over the course of 30-45 minutes. The nice aspect unique to the EmSculpt technology is that it tones and enhances the underlying musculature in addition to creating a localized fat reduction. EmSculpt NEO, typically costs a bit more, however has the added benefit of localized skin tightening over the treatment area. Typically, 8 sessions are required to have an appreciable result.


I love using Kybella for the finesse and refinement of areas. While approved for use in the submentum, aka Turkey neck, double chin type situations; aesthetic providers utilize it almost everywhere a patient would like to create more contour via reduction of the localized fat.

Patients love their results with Kybella but getting there is a process, one has to be patient with the journey.

 What you can expect:

The injections themselves burn a bit. You will develop localized swelling and redness that typically lasts about 2 weeks then subsides.  It can cause a transient numbness or weakness in approx 4% of cases, reported when used in the jowls, jawline, and chin which is caused by temporary demyelination of the nerve, but it rebounds typically in about 8 weeks if it were to occur.  Multiple sessions may be required to achieve your desired level of contour.

All of these fat reducing procedures are effective and wonderful options for patients wanting to improve their aesthetic lines and contours. My one word of caution with them to keep in mind is that your fat is a potent source of stem cells that are essential to our health, vitality, and vibrancy. When you destroy or remove the fat utilizing one of these technologies, the local stem cell stores in that area are ablated permanently as well.  In moderation, they can be a powerful and effective tool but should not be used in place of a healthy diet and exercise program.

Last week’s winner of last weeks IG giveaway is: @fitfirstfam

This week’s IG giveaway is a Kybella treatment for one area. To enter: Be following  @J_Derme  and  @SoCalMoments, like the Instagram post, and comment “Kybella”. The winner will be announced in next week’s social IG post.

Author Bio: Heidi Lindner has been an aesthetics expert for over 17 years specializing in all aspects of non-surgical aesthetics and plastic surgery. She is sought out for her techniques that focus on a natural-looking approach to facial balancing, restoration, and beauty optimization. Follow her on Instagram @j_derme