Which To Choose: CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction?

Christie Auyeung Plastic Surgery Leave a Comment

If you’re looking to get rid of stubborn, unwanted fat that won’t respond to diet and exercise, you might consider CoolSculpting or liposuction. Both procedures, while not substitutes for weight loss treatment, can be aids to help you reach your weight loss goals and improve your self-confidence.

It’s important to note, however, that there are some key differences between the two.

So, how do you choose?

Let’s break down some basics:

  Liposuction CoolSculpting
Summary • Surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia • Non-invasive cooling technique called “cryolipolysis”
• Vacuums excess fat from under the skin • Targets and freezes fat cells, which the body gets rid of over ~6 weeks
Good Candidates • Are in good general health, and fat deposits that won’t respond to diet and exercise • Are in good general health, are close to their weight goal, with small areas of fat pockets that won’t respond to diet and exercise
Risks • Swelling and bruising lasting up to a few weeks • Numbness and/or redness lasting a few hours
Results • Dramatic improvement in body shape and contour takes several months to see. Lasting results require maintaining a healthy lifestyle. • Eliminates 20-25% of fat cells in treated areas. Takes multiple treatments and ~6 weeks to see results.
Limitations • Is not a weight loss treatment or replacement for diet and exercise • Is not a weight loss treatment or replacement for diet and exercise
• Does not treat cellulite or loose skin. • Does not treat cellulite or loose, saggy skin or improve stretch marks. 

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

1) How comfortable are you with surgery?

  • Liposuction requires general anesthesia and is considered a surgery. CoolSculpting is a non-invasive alternative.

2) How much time do you have?

  • If you want a single, intense treatment with faster results and can allow several days for recovery, liposuction may be a good option. If you have more time on your hands and are looking for a less invasive option with no recovery time, CoolSculpting may be a better option. It will take ~6 weeks to show results and requires multiple smaller treatments.

3) What is your budget?

  • Depending on how many sessions of CoolSculpting you have, the cost could be comparable to liposuction. However, on a per session basis, you pay lower fees per CoolSculpting treatment. Liposuction requires larger surgery fees.

Overall, liposuction is more aggressive and provides immediate results, whereas CoolSculpting is non-invasive, takes longer to see results, requires less downtime, has fewer risks, and may be less expensive than liposuction.

Remember, both of these procedures are cosmetic. They are aimed at improving your appearance by removing fat deposits that don’t respond to diet and exercise. If you are overweight or struggling with obesity, you may require weight loss treatment. And if you’re looking to get rid of loose, saggy skin, a tummy tuck will be a better fit.

Got more questions about CoolSculpting, liposuction or weight loss treatment? Contact one of our world-class doctors today!

Christie is a UChicago grad currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys tap dancing, learning to windsurf, and trying new foods.