Body Contouring Battle: UltraShape vs. CoolSculpting vs. SmartLipo

By Gregory Nikolaidis, MD September 3, 2014 14 Comments

ultrashape vs. smartlipo vs. coolsculpting

With the advancements in body contouring technologies available today it can be difficult for a patient to determine which procedure best suits their needs. Three popular procedures that we offer include CoolSculpting, SmartLipo, and UltraShape. While each of these procedures can each provide great results they are vastly different.

There are four key variables to consider when deciding between these procedures:

1. Amount of fat

The amount of fat you are wanting to eliminate is a primary determining factor for which procedure you should choose. In general, CoolSculpting and UltraShape are both great options for targeting smaller bulges while SmartLipo is more effective on larger pockets.

It is important to note that none of the three procedures will effectively address issues with loose or excess abdominal skin. Patients with these concerns will most likely require a tummy tuck.

2. Invasiveness of procedure

Another significant point of differentiation between these procedures is the degree of invasiveness and length of recovery period. Both UltraShape and CoolSclupting are non-invasive (non-surgical) and require no downtime. In fact, many patients can come in for treatments on their lunch break and return immediately to work. In contrast, SmartLipo is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, with patients typically requiring 3-4 days to recover before returning to regular activities.

3. Number of treatments

SmartLipo is the best choice if your focus is on achieving the final result as quickly as possible. The SmartLipo procedure is a single treatment while both CoolSculpting and UltraShape typically require a series of treatments spaced out over several weeks in order to obtain optimal results.

4. Budget

Cost is often a factor to consider for patients. Procedure costs can vary depending upon the individual and what is required for optimal results. We highly recommend that patients schedule a consultation with their physician’s office to determine the total cost (including pre and post procedure fees) of each procedure. It is important to consider the total cost as both CoolSculpting and UltraShape are done over a series of treatments.

Which procedure is best for you?

While we encourage our patients to do some self-learning on each procedure it is very important to consult with an experienced physician or consultant before making up your mind.

Select a physician with experience in providing a variety of treatment solutions, as they will be in the best position to know how each treatment will affect your individual body. A knowledgeable provider will be able to recommend the best procedure given your preferences, body type, and goals.


Gregory Nikolaidis, MD

Gregory A. Nikolaidis, MD is a Board Certified Dermatologist. Dr. Nikolaidis serves as a Botox® Cosmetic Black Diamond Level National Education Faculty Member, and he has additionally trained numerous physicians on Sculptra Aesthetic, Radiesse, Restylane, and other non-invasive procedure techniques. He was among the first cosmetic surgeons in the United States to offer Smartlipo laser body contouring.


14 Responses to “Body Contouring Battle: UltraShape vs. CoolSculpting vs. SmartLipo”

  1. Erma says:

    I am looking to reduce my inner and outter thigh area and my back. I would like to know how much this will cost and the down time, because I currently work over seas and I’m home every three months.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Erma, thanks for your interest and for reading our post! To determine which form of treatment is best for you (and it’s cost) we would need to have you come in for an assessment. To setup a consultation next time you’re in town please give us a call at 512.328.3376.

  2. Dion says:

    My wife is currently researching lipo so this is very helpful. I was wondering if you could explain the difference between liposuction and smartlipo? I’ve looked at both pages on your site but still didnt understand the difference 🙁

  3. sara says:

    I just had cool sculpting and was wondering if I could do some I lipo treatments …I don’t want the I lipo to interfere with the cool sculptig

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Sara, Thank you for submitting your question. Undergoing liposuction after CoolSculpting is definitely possible, however most providers would want to allow some length of time in between the treatments. Please feel free to give us a call at 512.328.3376. If we can get more information on exactly how long its been since your CoolSculpting we can give you a more exact answer!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  4. Carolyn says:

    I had traditional lipo approximately 10 years ago. I now have fat pockets with cellulite on both the front and back of my thighs. Will Smartlipo help to smooth out my skin once the fat is removed?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Carolyn, it sounds like SmartLipo may be a good treatment option; it has the ability to remove isolated fat with the added (but limited) benefit of tightening the skin. If needed, SmartLipo can also be combined with Cellulaze or a subcision treatment.

      We would encourage you to come in for an in-person consultation, that is the only way to tell if SmartLipo alone is a good treatment option.

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  5. Elli says:

    So which of these categories does Sonobello fall into?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Elli, Sono Bello is a national chain that performs both SmartLipo and CoolSculpting procedures. I’m not sure if they do UltraShape, so you would have to give them a call about that.

      However, if you are in the Austin-area we think you should give us a call!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  6. Kirk says:

    I am a 63 year old male and having a difficult time getting rid of abdominal fat. Weight is not an issue it just seems to be settling around the waist and stomach areas. What do you think the best option, if any, would be for this issue. Exercise does not help.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Kirk,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question! It sounds like you are having issues with isolated pockets of fat accumulation, which is an ideal issue treated by each of these treatments. Unfortunately it’s really hard to recommend a best course of treatment without assessing you in person. The best course of treatment would depend on your body’s characteristics, specific desires in terms of end result, previous health history, preference toward surgical vs. non-surgical, etc.

      So we would highly recommend getting a consultation from a skilled plastic surgeon. Many providers offer free consultations. If you’re in the Austin area please give us a call to set one up!.

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  7. Rose says:

    What’s the difference between cool sculpting and sculpt sure?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Rose,

      Thanks for reading our post and for submitting your excellent question! SculpSure and CoolSculpting are both non-surgical body contouring treatments. SculpSure uses heat to damage fat cells while CoolSculpting uses cold.

      The biggest difference, however, is results. We’ve tried both systems and decided to go with CoolSculpting as clients were getting better results in less treatments. Also many patients said they preferred the feeling of CoolSculpting over SculpSure. Overall CoolSculpting was the preferred method in our experience!

      We hop that helps!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

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