CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction: What’s the Difference?

Woman (MODEL) with a flat stomach wearing jeans that are too large for her.

Are you frustrated by stubborn pockets of fat that refuse to go away despite your best efforts to stay fit and eat right? You’re not alone. Fat removal and body contouring procedures continue to soar in popularity among active, healthy men and women who want to look and feel their best. But which treatment should you choose to achieve your desired results: CoolSculpting® Elite or Liposuction?

Let’s explore the CoolSculpting vs. liposuction pros and cons to help you determine which procedure best fits your needs and goals…

Infographic with an image of a woman and a man with text indications on where CoolSculpting® can sculpt contours and reduce fat. (MODELS)

Freezing Away Fat with CoolSculpting

Using the mechanism of cryolipolysis, this non-invasive treatment works wonders on your physique by freezing and destroying fat cells. The dead cells are gradually removed through the body’s natural metabolic process. CoolSculpting is a relatively short and painless procedure requiring no anesthesia or downtime. Results may take several weeks to a few months to fully appear—but they can be permanent as long as you maintain your weight.

Coolsculpting effectively treats the following areas:

  • Abdomen
  • Flanks
  • Hips
  • Upper arms
  • Bra and back fat
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Banana rolls

CoolSculpting Pros:

  • Non-invasive and low-risk
  • Targeted fat reduction that’s ideal for spot treatment
  • Minimal downtime
  • Long-lasting, natural-looking results

CoolSculpting Cons:

  • Only achieves limited fat removal
  • Does not accomplish skin-tightening
  • Multiple treatments are often required to achieve desired results
  • Less dramatic results than liposuction
  • Results are gradually revealed over time

Surgical Body Sculpting with Liposuction

One of the main differentiators in the “liposuction vs. CoolSculpting” debate is that liposuction uses a surgical approach. Patients are first given a local or general anesthetic. We make tiny incisions and use a cannula to suction away unwanted fat from targeted areas of the body.

We can remove larger volumes of fat during a single procedure, so patients achieve more significant (and immediate) results. However, this procedure often requires up to 2 weeks of downtime.

Liposuction targets the following areas:

  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Double chin
  • Upper arms
  • Bra and back fat

Liposuction Pros:

  • Achieves significant fat removal
  • Achieves transformative body sculpting
  • Immediate, long-lasting results

Liposuction Cons:

  • More invasive than nonsurgical body contouring
  • Potential for side-effects such as dimpling
  • Longer recovery and downtime
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is not a weight loss procedure

Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting Cost

Your cost for each procedure depends on factors including the amount of fat removal, your surgeon’s experience level, anesthesia and facility costs, and more. Liposuction pricing can range anywhere from $3,000 upwards, depending on the number of areas being treated.

CoolSculpting is typically less expensive than liposuction, but costs can vary depending on whether you have a single treatment or multiple sessions. The average cost of a CoolSculpting treatment is $2,748, according to data collected by RealSelf.

The Takeaway:

While CoolSculpting and liposuction are both effective body sculpting procedures, it’s important to focus on your preferences and goals. If your priorities are to target very specific areas of fat with minimal downtime, CoolSculpting may be your best bet. If you are looking for significant fat removal and immediate results—and you have some extra downtime to spare—liposuction may be the ideal choice.

During your consultation, we’ll thoroughly explore your needs and concerns before determining the best treatment plan that achieves your desired outcome. Ready to take the next step? Please request a consultation online or call us at (585) 272-0700 to schedule an appointment.

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