Liposuction vs CoolSculpting: Which is Right for You?
Are you struggling to shed fat from your problem areas even though you work out regularly and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet? Many individuals find that that no matter what they try there is no getting rid of stubborn fat in certain isolated areas (such as belly pouch or love handles). Often, cosmetic intervention is the only way to address these specific areas of the body.
This post will cover the differences between liposuction and CoolSculpting, two of today’s best surgical and non-surgical body contouring treatments.
Video: CoolSculpting vs. SmartLipo
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat through a hollow tube with the help of an aspirator (suction device) in order to contour the body. The procedure starts with a large amount of a dilute local anesthetic being injected into the area. Next, a small suction tube, called a cannula, is inserted through a tiny incision placed in an inconspicuous location on the skin. With a high-pressure vacuum, fat cells are extracted through the tube, sculpting bulges into more attractive contours.
Advantages of Liposuction
- Ability to remove large “pockets” of fat
- Immediate results (fat is removed in a single treatment session)
- Yields more dramatic results
- More aggressive fat reduction
- Can be performed simultaneously with other surgical procedures (i.e. mommy makeover)
Disadvantages of Liposuction
- Requires time to recover (typically a week before returning to normal daily activities)
- Possible surgical risks (although rare)
- Potential for post-procedure skin irregularities
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that uses specialized cooling technology to eliminate fat cells through the process of cryolipolysis, or destruction of fat cells through freezing. During the procedure, a non-invasive applicator is applied to the surface of the skin in order to precisely freeze adipose (fat) cells in a targeted area without damaging skin. After the treatment, fat cells are gradually eliminated from the body through normal metabolic processes. This results in a reduction of visible fat bulges in as little as 3 weeks.
Advantages of CoolSculpting
- Completely non-invasive procedure (no surgery required)
- No downtime
- Minimal risk of unwanted side effects
- Ideal for addressing small bulges
Disadvantages of CoolSculpting
- Requires multiple treatment sessions (takes longer to achieve desired result)
- Results are often less dramatic than liposuction
- Treatment area must be “pinchable” (there must be enough fat present to be able to be suctioned into applicator)
Cost is often a factor to consider for patients. The cost of liposuction or CoolSculpting, like many other cosmetic procedures, can differ from individual to individual based on unique body characteristics and desired outcome. Patients should keep in mind that CoolSculpting often requires multiple treatments which can be estimated by your provider. Thus, the “total procedure cost” of CoolSculpting is the aggregate of all estimated individual treatments sessions.
Sagging Skin Issues
One important note: both CoolSculpting and Liposuction are often unable to properly address issues stemming from loose skin or muscles. Patients with those concerns may require a surgical lifting procedures (such as abdominoplasty) or the concern may be addressed with a laser procedure (such as Thermage).