Sono Bello Review: Procedures, Costs, Results, Complaints, and More

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Jan 1, 2020

Losing weight is a multi-billion-dollar industry, but some people want faster results than exercise can deliver. Others are tired of dealing with excess skin and want a slimmer appearance. For these people, liposuction is an attractive prospect.

Sono Bello is a chain of body contouring clinics that claim to employ “America’s top cosmetic surgery specialists.” Over 125 board-certified surgeons work for Sono Bello, and the company states that they have performed more than 150,000 cosmetic procedures at 60-plus locations across the United States.

These procedures are targeted towards men and women who want a quick treatment that will give them a slimmer figure. The company promises to provide each customer with the most advanced micro-laser liposuction procedures possible for quicker results and less recovery time.

Should you consider Sono Bello for your cosmetic procedures? In this review, we’ll help you gain a better understanding of how Sono Bello works and the results you can expect so you can determine if it’s right for you.

Pros: Cons:
  • Effective treatment for fat removal
  • Minimal recovery time
  • 60+ locations around the US
  • May be more effective than CoolSculpting
  • Potentially long-lasting results with a healthy lifestyle
  • Results may be subtle
  • Customer complaints against Sono Bello sales tactics
  • Pricing information isn’t transparent
  • Small risk of serious complications

Available Sono Bello Procedures

Liposuction is considered an effective surgical procedure for slimming, reshaping, and removing excess fat deposits in the body to create desired proportions.

Most procedures are performed with general anesthesia or minimal oral sedation. The surgery requires doctors to create small incisions in body tissues and use microcannulas (thin needles) to extract fat cells from the body.

It’s important to note that liposuction treatments aren’t meant to be a solution for obesity or as a shortcut for weight loss. Rather, Sono Bello states that the procedure should be considered a way to get rid of stubborn fat deposits that are difficult to remove from diet or exercise alone.

Unlike dieting—which they state merely reduces the size of fat cells—liposuction removes the fat cells entirely.

Most Sono Bello centers offer three procedures that it considers less invasive than traditional liposuction:

  1. TriSculpt™ Laser Liposuction
  2. Venus Freeze™
  3. TriSculpt E/X™

These procedures are used to treat a wide variety of areas, including chest, chin, waist, abs, arms, back, and legs.

TriSculpt™ Laser Liposuction

As Sono Bello’s most popular procedure, this three-step fat removal procedure relies on “stay-awake localized anesthesia, power-assisted liposuction, and micro-laser assisted liposuction.”

Sono Bello reports that laser liposuction helps to restore the natural contours of your body and is ideal for removing fat pockets from your stomach, waist, arms, and legs.

You’ll stay awake through the procedure and get local anesthesia in the treatment areas. During treatment, a physician uses micro cannulas to suck out unwanted fat from large pockets and a separate micro cannula with a low-power laser to break down fat in smaller sections like your upper arms and under your chin.

Venus Freeze™

This non-surgical procedure is designed to reduce the appearance of cellulite by using a combination of radio frequency and magnetic pulses.

The Venus Freeze should be painless and will cause only a gentle massage feeling on your skin. Sono Bello states that you will experience a trimmer, smoother figure in as few as five sessions.

The treatment begins with a Sono Bello treatment provider applying a soft gel to the target area and gliding a Venus applicator over the gel in smooth motions to tighten the skin and reduce cellulite.

The treatment purportedly causes new collagen and elastin fibers to form to bring you more supple skin over time.

TriSculpt E/X™

This procedure is designed to remove excess skin, especially around the lower abdomen. It’s advertised as the ideal solution for toning up your appearance, especially when paired with liposuction to remove excess fat first.

Sono Bello Costs

Sono Bello states that their services are affordable, and they claim that TriSculpt and TriSculpt E/X prices start at $1,349 per area, with a minimum requirement of three areas treated ($4,047 total minimum). The starting price for Venus Freeze is $2,995.

However, the precise cost for your procedure will vary based on the clinic’s location, the area and amount of your body you want them to treat, whether you opt for financing or a onetime payment, and what your starting BMI is.

Note that the company website is vague about what constitutes an ‘area.’ I reached out to customer service for further details and was told this was a question that could only be discussed between my consultant and me during my ‘free, in-person consultation.’

Hitting a dead end with customer service, we looked at customer reviews of Sono Bello from around the web to learn what people were paying in reality. Some reported paying approximately $3,000 for an outer thigh procedure, $12,000 for two rounds of back and belly fat removal, $13,500 for a full body liposuction treatment, $4,000 for skin removal on their stomach, and $6,000 for back and midsection liposuction.

As this variance in prices shows, it’s difficult to predict what your treatment costs will be from looking at past procedures because they vary based on each person’s unique situation. The best way to get a price estimate is to contact your preferred treatment location for a phone estimate or to schedule a free consultation.

What Are Sono Bello Financing Options?

Sono Bello offers numerous financing options, including options where you won’t owe any interest if you pay off the full amount of your treatment in six or 12 months. They also claim to offer financing through Care Credit, a medical credit card that offers various financing options depending on the cost of the procedure and the time for repayment.

As with any medical procedure, you’ll want to be sure that you have a complete understanding of the costs associated with your treatment before you commit. Read the fine print and ask plenty of questions during your consultation so you know what you are signing up for.

How Does Sono Bello Pricing Compare to Other Cosmetic Procedures

Is Sono Bello pricing seem standard for the cosmetic surgery industry? The 2017 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists the average cost of liposuction as $3,374, though the price of the procedure varies based on location and surgeon. That’s likely lower on average than what you’ll pay at Sono Bello.

However, this pricing can be deceiving. In the words of plastic surgeon Dr. Samuel Lin, “the average fee referenced is only a portion of the cost. It does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses.”

For this reason, you need to make sure you understand the full financial picture before committing to a procedure.

Pay attention to any sales techniques and make sure you know precisely what is being treated, and what the expected results should be.

Are Sono Bello’s Liposuction Procedures a Permanent Solution?

According to New York-based plastic surgeon Dr. Charlie Chen, “the results [of liposuction] can be permanent. However, it is impossible to take out every single fat cell in the area. Therefore, if the person gains weight, the liposuctioned area may also increase in size.”

Specialist surgeon Dr. Bernard Beldholm clarifies that any fat you regain after liposuction will look a little different than before the procedure.

“If the person gains weight the remaining fat cells will grow but the patient will remain in proportion,” he told us. “For example, if liposuction has been done on the saddlebags ‘hip area’ and the person gains weight, then the legs and body will get bigger but the saddlebags will not return.”

Ideal Candidates and Recovery Times

Not everyone is a candidate for liposuction. Chen told us that prospective patients should be in good health, have a medical history free of significant problems, and be within 30 pounds of their ideal body weight.

It’s also best to be a nonsmoker and to have relatively elastic skin that will “bounce back” after the treatment.

Regarding recovery times, the company website states that most Sono Bello patients return to work within a week of treatment, and they are approved for vigorous exercise within four to six weeks.

» Recommended Reading: Liposuction: How It Works, Types, Risks, Side Effects, and More

Sono Bello Safety and Side Effects

As with all surgical procedures, there are some inherent risks from Sono Bello. The Mayo Clinic states that you might experience mild bleeding immediately after or develop infections at the site of the incision.

Noticeable scarring due to the treated skin pulling away from healthy skin is also possible with procedures that don’t heal correctly, and some people experience permanent or temporary numbness and tingling from nerve damage.

Past customer reviews show that some people experienced pain during the procedure because they weren’t given general anesthesia. Others reported painful, slow-healing infections because of incisions that went too deep.

One of the most common side effects is to end up with physical irregularities, such as bumpy, weathered skin or fat bulges due to uneven fat removal or poor healing.

Your risk of complications like this increases if your surgeon is working on a large area and if you don’t take the recommended precautions during the healing phases.

However, these negative experiences look to be the exception, not the norm. It seems to us that most people who undergo Sono Bello procedures don’t suffer from unexpected side effects.

How Does Sono Bello Compare to CoolSculpting?

Like Sono Bello treatments, CoolSculpting promises to get rid of extra fat through a safe, cost-effective procedure. The process relies on cryolipolysis, which is a technology designed to freeze fat cells so that they die, and your body can eliminate them.

This leads to targeted fat loss, though the process isn’t designed to help you shed weight as dramatically as liposuction. Instead, you’re likely to experience up to 20% fat reduction in the treatment area after one session, and it may take several months for your body to expel the fat cells so you can see your results.

When you compare CoolSculpting to Sono Bello, a few things are clear. First, CoolSculpting is considered a lower risk procedure because there’s no incision, you don’t need anesthesia, and there’s usually minimal recovery time after.

One drawback is that this often leads to subtle results. A primary CoolSculpting complaint is that it takes a long time for the procedure to work, and the results are usually subtle.

However, CoolSculpting tends to be cheaper than other forms of cosmetic weight loss, as you’ll likely pay closer to $1000 to $2000 for the treatment.

Key Takeaway

If you want to save money and subtle tone up a few problem areas, you’ll likely prefer CoolSculpting for its lower prices and quick recovery time.

If, however, you want a better chance of having a dramatic before and after, the higher price point and potential for pain might still make Sono Bello a better option.

An Analysis of Sono Bello Reviews and Complaints

More than 200 customers have left reviews for Sono Bello on our website, and overall the service averages 3.4 stars. Here’s a summary of the main comments these reviewers make:

Shady Sales Tactics

A significant number of Sono Bello customers weren’t happy with the sales tactics used to convince them to sign up for the service. Many people reported that they felt like they were part of a “bait and switch” where they were quoted one price during their initial consultation and then were charged more than four times that amount at the time of the procedure.

A few also reported that they felt like their treatment at the clinic was rushed and impersonal for the amount of money they were paying. One reviewer reported that she left in tears after the unprofessional treatment after her procedure was canceled unexpectedly due to overscheduling.

Positive Improvements Post Procedure

Many Sono Bello patients were thrilled with the results from their procedure. They noted that they dealt with short, painless recovery times and saw real progress right away.

Many wrote that friends and family noticed the change immediately and that the procedure improved places that they weren’t able to affect with exercise.

Helpful Sales Representatives

Contrary to some Sono Bello user’s experiences, others loved working with the company’s sales agents. They reported that the customer service team took lots of time to carefully explain their treatment options and ensure that they didn’t have any questions or concerns about the procedure before officially committing.

Unsatisfactory Results

A large percentage of Sono Bello users weren’t happy with the results from their procedure. We read reviews from people who felt that their skin looked deformed after treatment and that their bodies weren’t fully healed more than six months after their procedure.

One patient was told she would lose two dress sizes and was left disappointed to be the same size afterward.

Key Takeaway

Some Sono Bello patients had great experiences with the staff and loved their post-treatment results. Others were left unhappy with high-pressure sales tactics, higher price points than expected, and little to no physical change.

The Bottom Line: How to Decide If Sono Bello Is Right for You?

If you’re considering a procedure from Sono Bello, you need to be realistic about what your experience might be. Keep in mind that there are risks involved and that results can vary between patients.

Sono Bello’s lack of transparency about pricing is concerning. You will likely only be able to get an accurate price estimate by attending an in-person consultation, which will probably feel like a high-pressure sales talk.

Many potential customers thought that the company seemed more concerned with convincing them to put down a deposit than listening to their goals or helping them choose the right treatment.

All Sono Bello deposit money is non-refundable, so consider your options carefully before putting down money. We suggest that you leave the office and think about your options for 24 hours before proceeding.

Cosmetic surgery, even relatively non-invasive treatments like what Sono Bello offers, isn’t for everyone. We think you are most likely to benefit if the following describes you:

  • You understand that liposuction from Sono Bello isn’t designed for extreme weight loss, but rather to reduce the appearance of fat in hard-to-tone areas.

  • You are within 30 pounds of your goal weight and struggle to get the results you want from diet and exercise alone.

  • You are willing to commit to a healthy diet and exercise routine to maintain your results.

  • You understand that your treatment will likely cost $4,000 or more and that you will need to put down a non-refundable deposit.

  • You understand it might take six months or more for swelling to go down completely after treatment.

  • You understand that final results might be subtle and that any cosmetic procedure runs the risk of potentially permanent complications.

» Recommended Reading: How to Find the Best Plastic Surgeon for You

Customer Reviews

Start your review of Sono Bello:
  • 218 Customer Reviews
  • 60% Recommend This Company
3.4 out of 5
5 star: 52% 4 star: 6% 3 star: 2% 2 star: 4% 1 star: 33%

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  • Say No to Sono Bello

    • By S. Rudolph,
    • Scottsdale, AZ,
    • Jul 16, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    My experience with Sono Bello in Scottsdale, AZ was terrible. The sales consultant was great. However, during the procedure, I felt excruciating pain. When I let the Dr. know I was in pain, she replied with, "If you keep complaining, I will have to stop". I submitted a formal complaint and the investigation found that the Dr. did not administer Demerol. When the investigative staff from Sono Bello asked the Dr. why she did not administer Demerol, she said she felt Demerol slowed down the healing process. The results are still botched because I was too scared to allow Sono Bello to go back and fix my mid section. It was very painful, it was scary, and a terrible experience. Take the time to research, interview, and get referrals from a reputable plastic surgeon before having any cosmetic procedure.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Stay away, this is a Scam.

    • By B Colletti,
    • NYC,
    • Nov 18, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    Beware of Sono Bello, it is a complete scam. When you go back to them at their recommended time of nine months to show your unsuccessful results you get nothing but a runaround and excuses, and very unprofessional and insulting response from the doctor. At my original consultation, with my husband present, we were told that everything would be very much improved, lower and upper stomach. That is not true. Now, the doctor said I would need a tummy tuck, something that we were not told at the time of the interview. I strongly advise you not go to Sono Bello. We currently discussing this with our Attorney. I expect my money back - $12,000. BEWARE.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Nightmare I've been living for almost 2.5 years

    • By Lisa,
    • Boston,
    • Mar 11, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been severely injured by Sono Bello (SB). I've had to have 2 CT scans 2 Ultasounds and a colonoscopy. SB have never reached out to me. Only sent me apology flowers. I still suffer from extreme pain. I have waited for return calls from them, but nothing. I submitted my pre and post op pictures online and was contacted by not 1, but 2 plastic surgeons explaining more than likely what was done wrong. Now I'll be in court for the next 2 years trying to settle this. Thank you SB. I would love to post my videos and pictures. But this site doesn't allow. The night before my surgery my boyfriend videotaped me just to keep an eye on my progress. I'm so grateful he did this.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • One problem after another

    • By Virginia,
    • Houston,
    • Mar 29, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I met with a consultant because the advertising led me to believe their face procedure was non invasive, but after much talk I was explained a surgical procedure involving cutting and lifting and a week off from work. Felt I had wasted two hours of my day. My consultant was pleasant and understanding and suggested another option, and offering a good deal I signed.

    First appointment went ok, it was relaxing. I was not impressed because I really saw no difference. I was told by the second treatment I would notice, but the second treatment was 5 days late due to schedule issue. I went for my second treatment and again relaxing, my technician was very pleasant. But it was five days behind schedule and I was informed it was very important to do the treatments on time each week.

    The day before my third treatment I get a phone call that their machine is broken. Since I work for myself and am usually booked up a week ahead, I could not reschedule a different day that week so again I miss a week. I also now have to extend out another week to complete the process.

    I feel like this Venus face therapy is not effective as of now and I don't expect at this rate to even complete it, let alone to see results. I asked to pay for what I did have this far and return my money, but was told "you signed a contract that said no refunds". So I will finish these treatments and hope I did not waste the money. I hope to report in the next month that it was just some bad luck with scheduling and the Venus therapy is worth it. But time will tell.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Do nto waste your money!

    • By Toni Max,
    • Orlando, FL,
    • Apr 3, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Unless you are at your target weight, you are wasting your money and subjecting yourself to a very painful recovery!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • STOP. Don't use Sonobello! Awful experience.

    • By Nikki Goodwin ,
    • Salt Lake City, UT,
    • Jun 4, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Please let me save you the pain and agony of using Sonobello. I went in for outer thigh and banana roll. The worst experience and result ever. I have had 2 other major plastic surgeries and this is by far the worst. The doctor sucked out TOO MUCH on my left leg. I went back in AT NO CHARGE and had them do it again trying to fix the large indent. Didn't work.

    I told them I wanted my money back. They told me to come in again and get pictures done. When I went in they insisted I talk to another doctor. Dr. Miller came in and said, “Oh yes, it looks like you've been bitten by a shark.” He said he would like to try to fix it. Try is the keyword here.

    I have called and called the Salt Lake City office to speak to "Laurie" only to be pushed aside and never called back and now finally I'm told I have to speak with someone else. They ruined my leg. You would think they would want to solve the issue ASAP. My next step is legal action since I can not get anyone to help me. Please, save yourself the tears and time. DON'T USE SONOBELLO.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • My legs were destroyed

    • By Jennifer,
    • Pennsylvania,
    • Jun 29, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was given an appointment for lipo on my inner thighs before meeting with the doctor. I met with him the day before the procedure, he marked only the top portion of my thighs and the area by my knees, I explained that in 2 prior consultations with other doctors they wanted to do the entire inner thighs and feather to the outside to create a smooth outcome. He told me, “This is how I've done it for years and I know what I'm doing, I've never had a problem.”

    I continued to voice my concerns and was made to feel that I didn't know what I was talking about. As a result, my legs were left lumpy with bulges, the areas by my knees had no change except the area on my left knee looks like its has more fat around it and my right leg looks smaller compared to the left one. When I went back, the doctor's response was “well we talked about how this could happen because this is how I do inner thighs and I won't do the entire area because the skin will collapse .”

    No we did not have that conversation, I would not have had it done. He said he would go back and do a little on the bulges but he would not do the area in between that was not done. This just made things more uneven and I now have lumpy, uneven legs with bulges.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Venus legacy and venus freeze

    • By Emma,
    • Boston, CA,
    • Jul 12, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    DO NOT get Venus Legacy or Freeze done at Sono Bello.

    IT does NOT work and is very expensive.

    They lost my chart conveniently so I could not get my before and after pictures. Gee, I wonder why. Maybe because there was NO difference after 8 seasons! Also do NOT get liposuction done there either, you don't even see the surgeon until the day you are getting the procedure done.

    You just meet with some sales person who's job it is to get you to do the most so she makes a bigger commission. IT is a SCAM. If you want this done go to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon's office.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Inaccurate information given on phone

    • By Shari,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Jul 14, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    I contacted the Atlanta Sono Belo for a possible facial procedure via an online form that asked fairly comprehensive health questions. I answered all questions honestly and fully, including the fact that I was on oxygen and CPAP at night and occasionally used oxygen during the day.

    The office contacted me and scheduled a consultation, at the time of the scheduling, I again mentioned that I used oxygen and was assured that with the local anesthetic they use, it would be fine. I was very excited thinking I would be able to have a facelift or at least some work done, but after traveling almost 300 miles (from upstate South Carolina), then waiting almost two hours past my scheduled appointment time, I was told that “No, it wouldn't be safe”.

    I could have saved a lot of aggravation if the online application had been reviewed by a physician and NOT a sales person! Be aware that the doctors leave a lot of the preliminaries to their staff who are not always well educated on the procedures they are pushing!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Not what they say

    This is a very nice facility and the staff are really nice, including the surgeon. However, I feel like it was a waste of my money. I did not have results similar to the after pictures they showed during my consultation or that are posted on the website, and yes I know that results will vary by person. At my 6 month post procedure appointment, only when looking at the pictures before the procedure and up until that point, could I see a little improvement and my extra fat thinning out. I knew going into the procedure that I would have excess skin, being that I have had three c-sections, but I am not satisfied with the overall results of this procedure. I had my upper and lower abdominals and waist worked on. I eat fairly healthy and I do some working out but yet I am still trying to get rid of some of the same fat prior to the procedure. If I could get 3/4 of my money back I would not feel like I was ripped off. Very disappointed customer.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Scam Don't Do It!

    I was greeted by a very professional staff member and nurse who informed me that the procedure was simple and easy to do. I was informed that I would be able to walk out of there and go about my normal business day and only feel slight discomfort after the surgery. I was told my body would look fabulous afterwards. My cost was $8000. I didn't get to meet the Dr. Until just before the surgery. I got out of procedure hurting every where. I was told go home and rest. I went home all wrapped up and sore. The next day I could barely move. So I was lying in bed comatose and hurting. My husband and daughter looked after my bandages. I had big gaping wholes in my side (which weren't suppose to be there) and stuff poring out of them. I called Sono Bello and told them.

    The Dr. And nurse informed me it was normal and that after a week it would be fine. It wasn't! My holes were still one when I went to see the doctor. He informed me it was because I had thick skin and that I was too old for the procedure, and that is the reason I hadn't healed yet. I informed the doctor that I have not lost any weight. He said that it's normal, and that it would take up to three months to begin noticing the result.

    Short story: Three months passed by and I still have not lost weight and had been talked into purchasing their body contour suits that would tighten me up as part of the procedure! I bought a 2x and a Large one right up front. I never lost any weight.

    On my last visit as I quit going afterwards, I was told by the doctor that he knew it wasn't going to work as I was too fat and too old. So there. He said to me, “What do you want me to do about it? If you must know I'm a tummy tuck doctor in another office.” He gave me his card and said to come and see him. I left hurting and in pain. This company preys off of desperate woman's weak points and charges money knowing their procedures do not work for plus size women! It's a SCAM. They should be sued, Soon as I get enough money I'm going to sue them!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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