Liposuction and CoolSculpting® are exceptional options for body contouring, offering both women and men the chance to finally get rid of those stubborn pockets of excess fat that simply won’t respond to diet and exercise. The most important distinction between these two fat reduction procedures is that liposuction requires surgery, while CoolSculpting® is a non-surgical treatment. With this in mind, the option that is more ideal for your particular concerns will ultimately depend on the following factors:
Size, Location, and Extent of Fat Removal Desired
Liposuction and CoolSculpting® can be effective on a variety of body areas. For individuals who experience larger or more severe volumes of fat in certain regions, liposuction is often the better option. Liposuction can remove up to 80 percent of excess fat in an isolated body region, and it can be utilized in particular areas of the body for which CoolSculpting® may not be as effective. However, if the level of excess fat is generally mild to moderate, and the targeted area is compatible with CoolSculpting’s abilities, the desired results may be achievable with CoolSculpting®. This option is capable of reducing excess fat in the treatment area by approximately 20 to 25 percent. More than one treatment might be needed if further reduction is desired in the same area.
Expectations for Results
Patients who are looking for immediate results may find liposuction to be the better option. While the final outcome from liposuction will not be fully visible until any residual swelling has gone down, the initial results are often noticeable shortly after the fat has been surgically extracted from the treatment area. On the other hand, CoolSculpting® uses a controlled-cooling technique to break down targeted fat cells and stimulate a process by which the body expels them naturally and gradually over several months following the treatment. While it takes at least two months for the effects of CoolSculpting® to become noticeable, for some individuals this gradual progression can be a desirable effect since it does not lead to a sudden change in body contour.
How the Excess Fat is Distributed in the Targeted Area
The balance of fat in a particular area will play a part in determining whether liposuction or CoolSculpting® is the better solution. If fat distribution is uneven in the targeted region, liposuction may be recommended since this treatment is completely controlled by the surgeon, which can increase the chances of achieving the proper balance and the most natural-looking result possible.
Surgical procedures like liposuction require a recovery period. The extent of downtime will ultimately depend on the number of areas treated, their location(s), and the volume of fat removed; however, even patients who have relatively minor liposuction procedures will need some time to heal and recover. By contrast, one of the biggest advantages of CoolSculpting® is that downtime is typically not necessary. After a CoolSculpting® procedure, many patients are able to resume normal daily activities right away.
A consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Semira Bayati is often the best way to determine whether your needs and goals can be accomplished most successfully with liposuction or CoolSculpting®. If you have additional questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.