If you have been following a balanced diet and exercise routine and still struggling to drop those pesky extra pounds, then you may be considering a procedure to help with your goals. But which one to choose? CoolSculpting® and liposuction are by far the most popular and most effective procedures when it comes to the elimination of undesirable fat deposits and re-sculpting your figure. While liposuction and CoolSculpting® both reduce fat, the techniques are drastically different. So therein lies the big question: is CoolSculpting® as effective as liposuction? Let’s take a look.
CoolSculpting® vs Liposuction
Liposuction has been around since the 1980s and has been a mainstay for many wanting to reduce their measurements. Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that uses a long, narrow suction device to vacuum out fat from specific areas of the body. This procedure requires small incisions, sutures, and anesthesia or sedation and can cause minimal scarring. Liposuction is considered a one-time procedure; however, initial results take a few weeks. There is recovery time involved that usually lasts a few days. Bruising and swelling are the most common side effects reported.
CoolSculpting® is the newest procedure for fat reduction and is a non-invasive procedure which doesn’t require any anesthesia or incisions. The procedure uses a cooling head placed over a gel pad and uses suction to target problem areas. It essentially freezes the fat. Each session usually only takes a half hour followed by a 2-minute massage. There is some discomfort initially but becomes numb once the cooling begins. Initial results can be seen in a few weeks. CoolSculpting® fat reduction can provide similar results to liposuction with less trauma to your body and less downtime.
CoolSculpting® Results Are Comparable
Doctors have reported that after one or two treatments, individuals experienced comparable results to liposuction. For CoolSculpting®, there is a greater fat reduction when the applicators are applied to multiple sites in the area that is being treated. Of the two procedures, liposuction is the more vigorous treatment. It removes more fat in just one session. CoolSculpting® on the other hand, is much less invasive meaning less downtime. In order for individuals to see similar results to liposuction, it is recommended that they receive multiple CoolSculpting® sessions.
CoolSculpting® removes less fat per treatment, so you may need more treatments than the one-time liposuction, but liposuction has its limits. Liposuction can only healthily remove at max 11 pounds of fat. Many believe that liposuction will be the quick and easy way to go, but often don’t realize that initial results still take a few weeks. In addition, liposuction costs 3 to 4 times more than CoolSculpting® and also may leave a patient with loose skin, which does not occur after CoolScultping® treatments. Despite the differences in methods and length of time, both procedures require 2-3 months to see final results.
CoolSculpting® vs Liposuction: The Verdict
In the big debate of CoolSculpting® vs liposuction, the answer is clear: CoolSculpting® can work just as well as liposuction depending on your ultimate goals.
If you are close to your ideal body weight and want a moderate improvement of a stubborn area of fat such as the hips, abdomen, and thighs then CoolSculpting® may be as effective if not the more sensible route to go. It’s less invasive and requires less downtime, meaning less of a disruption to your daily life. Liposuction can remove much more fat and the results are immediate. It is surgery and there is some downtime.
Dr. Martin E. Everhard, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., enjoyed a distinguished career in general surgery at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, Westchester County, New York. After settling in Savannah, Georgia, he retired from general surgery to work with weight loss patients. This new focus on health and body contouring led to him opening CoolBodyContouring in October of 2014, home to Savannah’s premier CoolSculpting® specialists.