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Cryolipolysis VS Cavitation

Cryolipolysis VS Cavitation 

Cryolipolysis fat freezing VS ultrasound cavitation 

When seeking non-invasive methods for fat reduction you often come across two popular technologies: cryolipolysis and cavitation. Both approaches aim to sculpt the body without resorting to surgical procedures like liposuction. However, these treatments work very differently from one another, and have different outcomes.

The Basics: Cryolipolysis

Cryolipolysis, commonly known as "fat freezing," is a non-surgical fat reduction technique that uses controlled cooling to target and eliminate fat cells. The process is based on the principle that fat cells are more susceptible to cold temperatures than surrounding tissues. During a cryolipolysis session, a specialised device is applied to the targeted area, which then delivers controlled cooling to freeze the fat cells beneath the skin.

The frozen fat cells undergo apoptosis, a natural cell death process, and are gradually eliminated by the body's lymphatic system over several weeks. One of the key advantages of cryolipolysis is its precision – it selectively targets fat cells without causing damage to the surrounding tissues.

The Basics: Ultrasound Cavitation

Cavitation, on the other hand, relies on the use of ultrasound waves to disrupt and break down fat cells. The term "cavitation" refers to the formation of small bubbles or cavities in a liquid, and in the context of fat reduction, this process occurs within the targeted fat cells. During a cavitation treatment, a handheld device emits low-frequency ultrasound waves, creating tiny bubbles in the fat tissue.

The pressure from the expanding and collapsing bubbles generates a mechanical force that ruptures the fat cell membranes. Once the fat cells are damaged, the contents are released into the surrounding tissues. The body's lymphatic system then processes and eliminates the released fat over time.

Cryolipolysis and Ultrasound Cavitation

Effectiveness of Cryolipolysis VS Cavitation

When comparing the effectiveness of cryolipolysis and cavitation, it's crucial to consider the target areas and the nature of the fat being treated. Cryolipolysis is particularly effective for treating localized pockets of stubborn fat in areas such as the abdomen, love handles, thighs, and flanks. It is a versatile technology that can address specific areas with precision. 

Cavitation, on the other hand, is often used for larger areas, such as the entire stomach and flanks. Cavitation reduces fat stored in the fat cells and due to its immediate fat release it shows results much faster than with cryolipolysis. Ultrasound cavitation results can begin to show immediately or within the days and weeks following treatment.

Because cryolipolysis gets rid of fat cells permanently, and ultrasound cavitation does not, cryolipolysis is the more effective treatment for long term stubborn fat loss,  

How many Treatments do you Need

With cryolipolysis each treatment can lead to fat reduction in the target area which is permanent, as long as weight remains stable and no significant weight gain occurs. That means that some clients will be able to achieve their goals with just a singular session. However, for more significant results 2 to 3 treatments is generally advised. 

With ultrasound cavitation you are recommended to commit to a course of six treatments to reach significant fat reduction goals. Although individual treatments do have positive effects, significant and lasting change can only occur as a results of multiple treatments, spread between 1 and 2 weeks apart. 

Do these Treatments Help with Cellulite

Cellulite is caused by fat pressing outwards and the inflexibility of the fibrous bands pulling the skin too tight. Where fat is reduced cellulite naturally reduces also, which is why all fat reduction treatments will have some effect on the appearance of cellulite. 

However, fat reduction treatments do not also improve the structure and strength of the skin or the fibrous bands. As Cryolipolysis is purely a fat reduction treatment this treatment is less effective for excessive cellulite. 

Ultrasound cavitation reduces the pressure of the fat by reducing the size of the fat cells, and as cavitation is combined with radiofrequency (at our clinic) the structure, strength and flexibility of the skin and fibrous bands is also improved. 

Cellulite reduction with ultrasound or cryolipolysis

Safety Considerations

Both cryolipolysis and cavitation are generally considered safe when performed by qualified and experienced professionals. However, it is essential for individuals considering these treatments to be aware of potential side effects and contraindications.

Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive procedure, and patients typically experience minimal discomfort during the treatment. Common side effects may include temporary redness, bruising, or numbness in the treated area. Serious complications are very rare, but some do exist. These include blistering, nodules under the skin and PAH. Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, also known as PAH, could occur in 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 20,000 clients undergoing cryolipolysis and would cause an increase of fat cells in the treated area. 

Cavitation, while generally safe, may cause mild side effects such as temporary redness, swelling, or bruising. There are no serious side effects such as PAH or blistering known for cavitation treatment. 

Differences in Sensations and Treatment Experience

The experience of undergoing cryolipolysis and cavitation treatments can differ significantly.. Cryolipolysis treatment typically involve a feeling of intense pulling and pinching, followed by intense cold during the initial minutes, followed by numbness as the area becomes numbed due to the freezing temperatures. However, once applicators are placed it is possible to fully relax, read, spend time on your phone or even nap.

Post-cryolipolysis, you may experience temporary numbness, swelling, and soreness in the treated area, but these effects usually subside within a few hours to a few days. You can resume all your normal activities immediately after the session, including going to the gym, eating, drinking and showering.

Cavitation treatments, on the other hand, are generally painless. You may feel a gentle warming or tingling sensation as the ultrasound waves penetrate the skin. During the treatment the clinician moves the ultrasound headpiece over the treatment area and massages the area, which can be very relaxing and could be compared to a massage. Cavitation is followed by a radiofrequency skin treatment and vacuum therapy to get the most out of your cavitation treatment, which are both similarly relaxing. 


Since cavitation is a non-invasive procedure, you can return to your daily activities immediately after the treatment. However, due to the difference in how cavitation works there are more "rules" on what to do and not to do following treatment. It is highly advisable to workout directly following treatment to help burn released fats. You should avoid hot water,, sunbeds and sauna's for a few days after treatment and you are recommended to stay away from alcohol and caffeine, as well as high carb and high calorie foods on the days of treatment and ideally throughout the treatment course.

Book your next cryolipolysis or cavitation treatment

Whether you'd like to try cryolipolysis or cavitation fat reduction, appointments can be easily booked online. You can also buy ultrasound and radiofrequency full courses online or in-person at the clinic


You don't have to commit to a full course, you can book a single session of ultrasound cavitation to see whether it is right for you first.


If you are still unsure on what treatment is best for you, you can book in for an in-person or phone consultation, during which we can advice you what is possible for you. Consultations are fully optional..

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