US experts are trialling a new technique that may one day provide an alternative to liposuction.
Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, with a recent survey by Opera North revealing that many men wish their wives would have liposuction on their tummies and legs.
The new technique, called Cryolipolysis, would provide a non-invasive alternative by freezing parts of the body with excess fat under the skin.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, research at Harvard University has shown that the upper few millimetres of fatty tissue experience a rapid loss of fat cells after exposure to extreme localised cold, and the technique is now being trialled on more than 200 patients in the US.
Dr Dieter Manstein, who led the research at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, told the newspaper: "Cryolipolysis has the most effect in thick, fat areas, with less effect in leaner areas."
The researchers noted that the technique does not appear to cause any damage to nearby skin.