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 US for weight loss and aesthetic sculpting therapies and treatments. The brand has physical locations in most major cities, and claims "we can help you attain the body of your dreams."
But is Sono Bello proven to work in research studies? Is it superior to traditional lipo? Are there any risks or side effects? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Sono Bello?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we review clinical studies on liposuction (lipo) to determine if it's generally effective or not.
Then we'll review the specific type of lipo used by Sono Bello to share our thoughts on whether or not it's superior to traditional lipo.
Finally, we'll discuss the potential for side effects, feature unsponsored customer reviews and explain how much Sono Bello costs. We'll also compare Sono Bello to another popular fat loss treatment called CoolSculpting.
Does Lipo Even Work?
Since Sono Bello primarily focuses on liposuction (lipo) treatments, it seems useful to first review how much weight loss lipo can cause, before discussing whether or not Sono Bello is more effective than traditional lipo.
Liposuction is clinically shown to be effective for weight loss.
A meta-study published in the Obesity journal analyzed data from liposuction patients who removed large amounts of fat (10% or more). The researchers found that weight loss was maintained up to four years after treatment.
A 2019 clinical trial analyzed the quality of life in participants undergoing liposuction, and found that patients who underwent the procedure experienced improved quality of life not only in regard to their appearance, but also 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 consider lipo to be effective for both weight loss and aesthetic improvements.
Sono Bello vs. Regular Lipo
Sono Bello uses a liposuction prodcedure that the brand has trademarked called "TriSculpt."
This procedure combines traditional liposuction, which uses tubes to physically remove fat, with laser treatment for more targeted areas for fat removal like under the chin.
A medical review on 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 clinical studies suggesting that Sono Bello's "TriSculpt" procedure is more effective than any other laser-assisted liposuction procedure.
Based on the available research, we consider Sono Bello to be superior to traditional liposuction, but equivalent to laser-assisted liposuction from any other brand or provider.
Real People Try Sono Bello
A YouTube creator named "Ryssa Explains It All" has an update video one year after Sono Bello treatment that includes before-and-after images:
A YouTube creator named "DaRichFamily" has a vlog video from the day of Sono Bello surgery that may be of interest to individuals considering this treatment:
Does Sono Bello Cause 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 2021 meta-study on the safety of liposuction analyzed side effects from 3,583 patients who 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 only occurred in 0.18% of patients.
How Much 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 website at the time of updating this article, but reviews we’ve seen online seem to indicate a range from around $1,250 to $5,000 for Sono Bello liposuction treatments.
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.
Some medical procedures don’t have public price sheets, because the cost to the provider can vary significantly based on health insurance coverage, so we don’t have an issue with Sono Bello not publishing price ranges on their site.
Why Was Sono Bello Sued?
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 medical literature, which is why we don’t currently recommend this type of treatment.
Sono Bello vs. CoolSculpting
Many patients are curious about whether Sono Bello or CoolSculpting is a better option, given that both popular treatments are used for fat loss and body contouring.
CoolSculpting uses a process called cryolipolysis to reduce fat and improve body contouring through application of a physical device to the skin that applies cold temperatures.
While liposuction treatments like those offered by Sono Bello are likely to cause more substantial fat loss, 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 above-linked review, CoolSculpting has a minimal side effect profile and some studies have shown it to have a more mild side effect profile than liposuction.
We want to make clear that we don’t currently recommend either procedure overall, and only recommend lifestyle changes to reduce weight.
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 clinical 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 research-backed supplements approved by a medical professional. 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 heart health.
Our Clean Weight Loss Picks
There are food-based nutrients which have been shown in medical studies to be effective for weight loss.
Dietary fiber was shown in a medical review published in The Journal of Nutrition to cause 16 pounds of weight loss in 6 months when combined with moderate caloric restriction (750 calories per day below baseline).
MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.
MCT oil was shown in a meta-study to cause more than one pound of weight loss over 10 weeks. This equates to potential annualized weight loss of 6 pounds per year with less than one tablespoon's worth of MCT oil per day.
Bulletproof MCT Oil is our top MCT oil product, because the only ingredient is MCT oil derived from coconuts. and it currently costs only $15.50 for over a month's worth of product.
Ginger intake "significantly decreased body weight" according to a 2019 meta-study on ginger and weight loss that analyzed data from 14 clinical trials.
Pique La Ginger is our top ginger product, because it's an organic tea in convenient crystallized form, and all that's needed is to pour the powder into a glass and add hot water.
All three of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.
Pros and Cons of Sono Bello:
Here are the pros and cons of Sono Bello in our opinion:
- Effective for long-term weight loss
- Effective for aesthetic benefits
- May improve sense of wellbeing
- Lipo has been studied in many clinical trials
- Sono Bello may be superior to traditional lipo
- Low risk of major side effects
- Brand offers 0% APR financing for extended periods
- Company settled a lawsuit over a patient's death
- Lipo may not have same health effects as losing weight naturally
- TriSculpt doesn't appear to be clinically proven to work
- Inferior to CoolSculpting for aesthetic benefits
- May cause mild side effects in over 10% of patients