Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to medical procedures.
Sono Bello, also described as Sonobello, is one of the most popular brands in the U.S. for fat removal surgeries and treatments. They have locations in most major cities, and a strong online presence.
In this article we’ll review medical studies on liposuction to give our take on whether this procedure is safe and effective for long-term weight loss and cosmetic benefit. We'll explain whether or not we recommend Sono Bello, and compare it to another popular medical treatment for fat reduction.
Does Sono Bello Work?
Before considering which brand of liposuction treatment to use, it seems logical to assess whether there is medical backing for liposuction generally. We're interested in whether the treatment causes long-term weight loss, and whether it causes aesthetic benefits.
In regard to weight loss, it appears that liposuction is effective. A thorough meta-study published in 2009 analyzed data from liposuction patients that removed large amounts of fat (10% or more). The researchers found that weight loss was maintained even up to 4 years after treatment. No average increase in weight was documented during that period.
A clinical trial published in 2019 analyzed the quality of life in participants undergoing liposuction and found that patients who underwent the procedure had improved quality of life not only in regard to their appearance but also to when considering how they felt physically.
An extensive medical review published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal tracked the results of 631 liposuction patients over 12 years. The study authors found that the “cosmetic results were good, with a 2-to-6-inch [waist circumference] drop from preoperative measurements”, indicating that the patients lost a significant amount of visible fat.
Based on the available research, we'll conclude that Sono Bello is likely to be effective for both long-term weight loss and cosmetic benefits.
Is Sono Bello Better Than Traditional Lipo?
Sono Bello uses a liposuction prodcedure that the brand has trademarked called "TriSculpt." It combines traditional liposuction which uses tubes to physically remove fat with laser treatment for more targeted areas like under the chin.
One medical review of liposuction for fat loss published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that laser-assisted liposuction (the type used by Sono Bello) was “more favorable” than traditional liposuction due to enhanced fat reduction combined with a skin-tightening effect.
However, we cannot identify any medical research suggesting that Sono Bello's "TriSculpt" procedure is more effective than any other laser-assisted liposuction procedure.
We will consider Sono Bello to be superior to traditional liposuction, but equivalent to laser-assisted liposuction from any other brand.
Sono Bello Side Effects
Liposuction does cause side effects in some patients, given that it’s an invasive surgical procedure. We don't believe there's anything unique about Sono Bello's treatment that causes side effects beyond what traditional liposuction may cause. This section is an overview of liposuction side effects generally.
A meta-study on the safety of liposuction analyzed side effects for 3,583 patients that underwent the surgery. The rate of minor surgical complications was 11.62%, and the rate of major surgical complications was 3.35%.
The most common major complication was blood loss that required a transfusion.
The second most common side effect was pulmonary embolism, which is more severe, but this only occurred in 0.18% of patients.
Our Take: Is Lipo Worth It?
While liposuction can provide aesthetic and quality-of-life benefits in the short-term that should persist if the patient eats at or below caloric maintenance, it does not provide similar health benefits to losing the weight naturally through caloric reduction or increased exercise or both.
This is because liposuction primarily removes subcutaneous fat (the visible type that causes a “belly” above your abs), but does not reduce visceral fat (the fat around organs which is considered more directly related to health outcomes).
In fact, one medical trial suggested that liposuction patients may suffer from an increase in visceral fat post-procedure due to metabolic changes. The researchers found that liposuction triggered “a compensatory increase in visceral fat”, but that this fat could be counteracted by physical activity.
This is why we only recommend losing weight naturally through diet and exercise, and safe supplements where needed. Losing weight through lifestyle modifications also has less risk than losing weight through a medical procedure.
Lipo appears to be healthier than doing nothing at all, so for patients who believe they are simply unable to lose weight through lifestyle modifications, it may be a good option.
A medical review published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery journal analyzed the results from 12 studies on liposuction’s health effects and found that liposuction tends to have positive effects overall on cholesterol, blood sugar and cardiovascular parameters.
What Does Sono Bello Cost?
The cost of Sono Bello will depend on how extensive the treatment is. A patient seeking multiple treatments for significant fat loss will likely pay more than a patient seeking one minor contouring treatment.
Sono Bello doesn’t post prices on their site, but reviews we’ve seen online seem to range from around $1,250 to $5,000 for Sono Bello liposuction depending on treatment.
Sono Bello does offer a free consultation on their Pricing page, and their pricing structure seems pretty transparent with a 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) if the full treatment is paid within 12 months using their financing partner CareCredit credit card.
Most medical procedures don’t have listed prices online because the cost to the provider can vary so much based on patient and insurance, so we don’t have an issue with Sono Bello not publishing price ranges on their site.
Sono Bello Before-and-After Images
Individuals considering Sono Bello are often curious about before-and-after images from real patients, because many people consider liposuction primarily for aesthetic benefits.
One of the most popular YouTube videos reviewing Sono Bello comes from a channel called "Ryssa Explains It All" and appears unsponsored. The video has achieved over 100,000 views at the time of updating this article, and the creator shares her personal experience with the Sono Bello procedure along with before-and-after images:
Our Weight Loss Product Recommendations
There are several weight loss products that we recommend due to their research backing and lack of side effects. We're not suggesting that these weight loss supplements are as effective as liposuction for weight loss; just that they may have a superior safety profile.
Dietary fiber is a safe and effective weight loss supplement.
An extensive medical review published in The Journal of Nutrition found that dietary fiber intake directly predicts weight loss when consumed at a high enough dose. Fiber is zero-calorie plant matter that makes you feel full faster, and consume fewer calories overall.
The fiber supplement we recommend is SuperGut Fiber Mix. It contains a clean and effective formulation: a blend of three different types of unflavored dietary fiber and zero additive ingredients. It can be mixed into liquids or foods. Interested consumers can buy SuperGut fiber at this link.
We recommend using two fiber mixes per day, which provides 16 grams (g) of fiber. This is within the effective fiber dosing range associated with the greatest weight loss outcomes in the above-linked study.
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is another dietary supplement which has been shown in clinical trials to cause weight loss.
MCT oil is quickly absorbed by the body and increases metabolic rate, which causes fat loss. A meta-study on MCT oil documented weight loss of 1.12 pounds over 10 weeks. This equates to a potential annualized weight loss of 5.84 pounds with MCT oil supplementation.
We recommend Bulletproof MCT Oil as our top MCT oil product, because it has a clean and effective formulation. The only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts, and the product has no questionable additives. Interested consumers can buy Bulletproof MCT Oil at this link.
The effective dose range of MCT oil for weight loss (based on the medical review) is 1.7 g to 10 g per day. Bulletproof's MCT oil provides 14 g in one tablespoon, so around two-thirds of one tablespoon should be a maximally-effective dosage.
These two supplements cost a combined $64.50 and provide more than a month's worth of daily servings.
Sono Bello Vs. Coolsculpting
Many patients interested in fat loss procedures ask us about the differences between Sono Bello and Coolsculpting, the latter of which is a less invasive fat loss procedure that we reviewed in the linked article.
Coolsculpting uses a process called cryolipolysis to reduce fat and improve body contouring through application of a physical device to the skin.
While liposuction treatments like those offered by Sono Bello are likely to have more dramatic effects, they also come with more serious risks, so we would recommend Coolsculpting over Sono Bello for aesthetic weight loss.
As we discussed at length in the linked review, Coolsculpting has a minimal side effect profile and researchers have found that it has less side effect risk than liposuction.
We want to make clear that we don’t recommend either procedure overall and only recommend lifestyle changes to reduce weight; we’re simply highlighting how we would recommend Coolsculpting over liposuction when comparing the safety and efficacy of the two treatments, but patients should speak to their doctor prior to undergoing any medical procedure.
Sono Bello Lawsuit
Sono Bello settled at least one lawsuit for $1.8 million due to the death of a patient, as reported by a local news station.
In our opinion this doesn’t necessarily speak to any specific danger inherent to Sono Bello, but rather the danger inherent to the invasive medical procedure of liposuction generally. Death is a rare but established side effect of liposuction in the medical literature, which is why we don’t recommend this type of treatment.
Sono Bello Pros and Cons
Here's our take on the pros and cons of this medical procedure:
- Effective for long-term weight loss
- Effective for aesthetic benefits
- Established in medical research
- Better than traditional lipo
- Low risk of major side effects
- May cause side effects unlike natural weight loss