If you’ve ever wondered about how to get rid of stomach fat or how to reduce body fat overall, you’ve probably considered liposuction. But as any quick Google search will prove, it’s an immensely complex subject. There’s traditional liposuction, Smartlipo, and a host of noninvasive treatments that claim to burst fat cells with everything from lasers to sound waves. We’re here to help you sort through the noise.Surgery RequiredTraditional liposuction and Smartlipo involve surgery, doctors, and an anesthetic. You should expect some amount of downtime after either treatment.Traditional LiposuctionMany people who want to lose stomach fat fast or see other significant changes in their body turn to traditional liposuction. During the procedure, licensed physicians use incisions and suction to remove fat deposits from localized body areas. Of all liposuction-type procedures, surgical liposuction involves the most downtime and is typically performed under local or general anesthesia. Take note: if you’re wondering how to reduce cellulite, you might want to look elsewhere. Cellulite reduction is not a benefit of liposuction.Read more about liposuction on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.SmartlipoSmartlipo is a less invasive version of traditional liposuction. Doctors liquefy fat with a laser fiber, then suction it out or let it drain away naturally. It typically requires less downtime than traditional liposuction and is performed with a local anesthetic. Read our FAQ for more information.No Surgery RequiredThese treatments are billed as noninvasive. All of them use some kind of force, be it laser energy or ultrasonic waves, to penetrate the membranes of fat cells. Proponents of these procedures believe that once penetrated, the fat cells release their contents into the bloodstream. Then, by a process called lipolysis, the liberated fatty acids are processed through the lymphatic system. This may result in lost inches or a more contoured appearance, though proponents of all of these treatments advise multiple sessions for significant results.Because these treatments do not destroy fat cells but rather empty them of their contents, the fat cells are capable of storing fat again. A balanced diet and exercise are the only way to ensure lasting results. Those who take in more calories than they burn will see their improvement start to decrease over time.i-Lipo: Low-Level Lasersi-Lipo targets localized fat deposits with low-level laser therapy. A technician places pads equipped with laser diodes directly onto the skin, allowing the laser energy to penetrate the fat cells. Learn more about i-Lipo from the owner of Total Med Solutions, a Texas med spa, and check out our FAQ and video with Favin, Groupon’s resident beauty blogger.Ultrasonic Cavitation: Sound WavesUltrasonic cavitation is performed with machines that target localized fat deposits with low-frequency sound waves (they are what put the “ultrasonic” in “ultrasonic cavitation”) and, in some cases, light suction. The sound waves are what heat and vibrate the layer of fat cells below the skin’s surface. Favin did another video about this subject—view it here along with our FAQ.VelaShape: Full Technology ArsenalVelaShape combines four technologies—radio frequency, infrared light, vacuum suction, and mechanical massage—to contour fat and smooth cellulite. Once the device is placed against the skin, it goes to work, using vacuum technology to suction the skin and massage rollers to knead the treatment area. At the same time, the device emits radio-frequency energy and infrared light, which penetrate the fat cells. For more info, check out our FAQ.Zeltiq: Freeze Out the FatZeltiq’s CoolSculpting device uses targeted cooling panels that freeze and subsequently kill fat cells. The dead fat cells are flushed by the body's natural pathways over the course of a few months. Because fat cells are more vulnerable to cold than their surrounding tissue, the rest of the skin is unharmed. Do we have an FAQ about Zeltiq? We sure do.Zerona: Cold Laser LightDuring the procedure, clients lie beneath the Zerona device, whose four adjustable arms glide above and treat the waist, hips, and thighs. The arms send laser light into the treatment areas, perforating the fat cells. Read more about how Zerona works and see a video of our Favin undergoing the treatment.