Cosmetic surgeons are now offering a new alternative to the traditional liposuction procedure, which enables consumers to be treated as outpatients.
The SmartLipo technology uses a laser to melt fat and can be performed under a local anaesthetic.
A tube measuring just 1mm is inserted through the skin and laser energy is applied to the fat cells via a tiny fibre, rupturing the cells and allowing them to drain away.
Bleeding and subsequent bruising is minimised thanks to the laser, which causes small blood vessels to coagulate.
Dr Ken Smart, a cosmetic surgeon at the Frisco Plastic Surgery clinic in the US, explained: "Traditional liposuction has been available for years and recovery from this type of invasive surgery is typically slow. Bruising is extensive.
"However, with the new laser-assisted SmartLipo, and the skills of a qualified and caring surgeon, patients are able to have the procedure one day and return to normal activities, such as work, the next day."