For men and women who want to get rid of excess fat, there are many options available today. CoolSculpting and liposuction are two of the most popular choices. It can be difficult to choose which procedure to try when you’re new to body contouring. This article will help you make sense of which may be the better option to remove extra fat on your body. There are some important similarities and differences between the two.
Lipo vs CoolSculpting similarities
Liposuction and CoolSculpting are both cosmetic procedures that refine the body contours by removing pockets of unwanted fat. Neither is meant for substantial weight loss, however they are good for mild to moderate fat removal. These procedures are great for stubborn treatment areas that don’t respond to diet and exercise.
Both are permanent fat removal methods. They work for men and women alike who wish to remove small amounts of fat for a slimmer, more attractive figure. It is important to note that health insurance does not cover either since they are elective cosmetic procedures.
How each one works
CoolSculpting works by freezing fat in a process called cryolipolysis. A roll of fat is placed between two pads that conduct extreme cold to the fat cells. This causes the fat cells to die off over the next few months. Then the fat is excreted by your liver. CoolSculpting is non invasive. That means it happens over the surface of your skin using technology that allows the cold temperatures to reach the fat cells below.
Liposuction is the manual extraction of fat through a cannula with suction. Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure. A small incision is needed to reach the fat layer.
Which gets rid of more fat?
CoolSculpting sessions remove up to 25 percent of fat cells per treatment. Liposuction removes quite a bit more, up to 10 kgs. Another difference is that liposuction only needs one treatment. With CoolSculpting, you might need repeat treatments since it removes 1/4 of the fat cells in the target area each time. CoolSculpting is better for removing small amounts of fat. It is the right choice if you want to refine small fat pockets since it costs less and has less risks. Unsure how much fat you need removed? A plastic surgeon can help you decide.
Cost of CoolSculpting and liposuction
If saving money is your priority, CoolSculpting is more affordable. Liposuction costs more because there are surgical fees. Anesthesia can be costly. It also takes a little longer to perform lipo than CoolSculpting, depending on how much fat you want removed. You are paying for the plastic surgeon’s time, expertise, and operating room expenses.
Fat freezing is more affordable since it is a non-invasive outpatient procedure. CoolSculpting is a “one man” job, while lipo requires that the surgeon, nurse(s), and aesthetician are paid for their time and training.
Safety and side effects
Both are considered safe procedures when performed by a qualified doctor. However, liposuction carries more risk because it is invasive. Common side effects of lipo include swelling, pain, bruising, and discomfort. Serious but rare side effects include blood clots, infection, bad reaction to anesthesia, and other risks related to surgery. Skin rippling is also possible.
CoolSculpting is not without side effects, but they tend to be purely aesthetic. There are no known dangerous medical risks linked to it. Redness, tingling, stinging, and bruising are common but mild. Plus, the side effects usually go away in just three to eleven days for most people. PAH, a hardening expansion of the fat pocket, can occur in very rare cases. That is a cosmetic issue that is not dangerous to your health.
Pain: Which hurts more?
Liposuction is the more aggressive treatment. It must be performed under general anesthesia so that you don’t experience unwanted pain during the procedure. Local anesthetic and prescription medication may be used to reduce discomfort on the first day. Meanwhile, CoolSculpting sessions are relatively pain free by comparison. You do not have to be sedated to get CoolSculpting. Patients tend to describe CoolSculpting as more uncomfortable than painful, if anything. You will not need prescription pain medication afterwards.
Convenience and recovery time
CoolSculpting is the more convenient and quick option for fat removal. It has no downtime, whereas liposuction has a few days of downtime. You can get CoolSculpting done in as little as an hour, then return to work straight after with little more than mild discomfort.
Another big difference is that liposuction requires time off work, at least a few days. You can resume most normal activities about two weeks afterwards. Patients should avoid driving after liposuction for at least 24 hours. After that, it is up to your pain tolerance for when you feel ready to drive. None of this applies to CoolSculpting. You can just get up and go when it is done.
Time you have to wait to see results
With liposuction, it can take three to six months. There will be swelling after the surgery which can obscure results. It takes time for the swelling to go down. Most of the swelling subsides in four weeks, but it often takes longer to completely go away. (Compression garments can help reduce swelling.) CoolSculpting results can happen in as little as four to six weeks, although it can take three to six months for final results.
Choosing a winner between liposuction vs. CoolSculpting
Liposuction is a more extensive procedure. It is designed to get out a larger amount of fat at one time than CoolSculpting. It gives more dramatic results, but it has a higher cost and more risks. If you are looking to remove body contouring in a single session, liposuction could be the right choice. On the other hand, if you are hoping to save money, lower your risk of serious side effects, and you are willing to repeat treatments, CoolSculpting may be the way to go. A qualified cosmetic surgeon can help you decide which option is right for you.