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EMSculpt vs. Liposuction

Christopher Chung, M.D.
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Chief Medical Officer
Sono Bello

There are many ways to treat undesired fat. While many medical solutions “promise the moon”, it is important to understand the limitations of each. In this article, we will compare two popular treatment options — EMSculpt and liposuction — to help you understand their differences and setbacks. 

In short, EMSculpt works by delivering Hi Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) to tissues. This results in fat cell death and muscle hypertrophy. Studies demonstrate reduction in 19% of fat while increasing muscle mass by 16%. To achieve these results, multiple sessions (4-6) are required, with a maintenance treatment recommended every 6 months. In addition, EMSculpt is most ideal for patients with minimal fat (BMI: 20-25). While fat loss is permanent, muscle gain is temporary.     

In contrast, liposuction at Sono Bello achieves 70-80% (vs. 16%) permanent fat reduction in a single (vs. 4) session. Furthermore, liposuction can be safely, effectively, and in comfort performed across a great range of BMI: 20-40 (vs. 20-25) and therefore, can accommodate and benefit many more people and not only those with minimal fat.  

Unlike EMSculpt, which results in a temporary increase in muscle mass, liposuction does not bring about any change in the muscle. But liposuction does result in skin contraction (varied by condition of the skin), unlike EMSculpt, which has no effect on skin.  

Finally, in terms of cost, both fat loss treatment options are comparable (given multiple sessions of EMSculpt are required). Given the anticipated outcome of each modality, most would consider liposuction to be of much better value. In the debate of EMSculpt vs. liposuction, it appears the latter could be a more effective choice.