Body sculpting and liposuction have one big thing in common: they are both methods of removing unwanted fat. Each of these procedures can permanently remove fat from targeted areas, but that’s where the similarities stop — they are very different procedures.
iCRYO offers a type of body sculpting called CoolSculpting. This specific procedure uses cold temperatures to attack and destroy fat cells.
So, let’s take a look at CoolSculpting vs liposuction to find out what the big differences are and help you decide which treatment may be best for you and your body goals.
CoolSculpting vs Liposuction: The Facts
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure invented in the 1980s. It is by far one of the most common aesthetic plastic surgery procedures that people use to get rid of stubborn fat deposits.
One of the big appeals of liposuction is that you generally only need to undergo one surgery to see very noticeable results. However, it is an invasive procedure, which is why people are increasingly looking for non-invasive alternatives.
How Liposuction Works
When you undergo liposuction surgery, a surgeon will give you local anesthesia, administer full general anesthesia, or sedate you, depending on the targeted area and how much fat you want to remove at one time.
Once you’re under the effects of anesthesia or sedation, the surgeon will make small slits in your skin and tissue to access the unwanted fatty deposits below. They then insert a small tube called a cannula and suck out the fat. Think of it as vacuuming out fat from underneath your tissue.
Advantages of Liposuction:
- Can get rid of a lot of fat with one surgery
- Permanently removes fat from your body
Disadvantages of Liposuction:
- Invasive (requires sedation or anesthesia and cuts are made)
- Can require an overnight stay at a clinic
- Bruising, swelling, and soreness can continue for weeks
- Typically requires a recovery period of one or two weeks
- Strenuous activity should be avoided for a month or more
What Is CoolSculpting?
Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting is a completely non-invasive, non-surgical method of removing fat. A CoolSculpting procedure requires no anesthesia or sedation.
A trained technician will simply operate a special machine and target the areas you want to slim, tone, or lift with cold temperatures. The machine uses suction cups to freeze and kill fat cells deep inside your tissue, then your body naturally flushes them out.
CoolSculpting is an ideal treatment for people who want to get rid of unwanted fat bulges in problem areas that they can’t get rid of with diet and exercise. An average patient can expect to see a 20-25 percent reduction of fat in the targeted areas within three months.
It takes your body a few months to fully process and dispose of the destroyed fat, which is why you don’t instantly see the full effects of each treatment.
How CoolSculpting Works
How exactly does a machine freeze fat cells to death and how do they get flushed out, you ask? Here’s the answer: when fat cells are targeted and frozen to temperatures as low as -11 degrees, they actually crystallize underneath your skin. Then, some of these crystallized fat cells simply leave your body in your urine each time you go to the bathroom.
You might also be wondering by not how safe this type of treatment is and what side effects there are. As far as side effects go, you may experience minor discomfort or numbness caused by the suction cups, but the machine is gentle enough that you shouldn’t notice any bruising or skin damage of any kind.
This procedure is safe for most people and can be used to target many different areas, such as your chin, arms, abs, love handles, and thighs. However, if you have a vascular condition that makes you very sensitive to cold temperatures (i.e. Raynaud’s syndrome), you should not use CoolSculpting.
Alternative Body Sculpting Procedures:
- Heat treatments
- Ultrasound treatments
- Radiofrequency treatments
If you do happen to be someone with a medical condition that means you aren’t a candidate for CoolSculpting, there are some other types of body sculpting treatments you can use if you still want a non-invasive alternative to liposuction.
For example, heat treatments use a laser to damage the structure of fat cells below your skin, and your body then flushes them out as it does with CoolSculpting. However, heat treatments are not as versatile as cool body sculpting because the applicator is flat, meaning that it works best for flatter areas like your stomach or thighs. They don’t work well on curvy areas.
Another option is ultrasound treatments. These body sculpting treatments use a vibrating machine to break down and destroy fat. Unfortunately, ultrasound treatments are only designed to work on the stomach. They also take longer than any other body sculpting procedure, requiring about one hour per session.
The third alternative body sculpting procedure you can use is radiofrequency treatments. These treatments target the water in fat cells and deliver energy to heat and destroy them. It’s effectiveness relies a lot on you being very well hydrated before each session.
Note that iCRYO does not offer any of these alternatives to CoolSculpting. We only offer CoolSculpting.
Which Is Better Liposuction or CoolSculpting?
The answer to which treatment is better is a complicated one. There is no cutting involved in a CoolSculpting treatment, as there is in liposuction. However, you won’t usually get rid of as much fat with one body sculpting treatment as you can with a single session of liposuction.
A major advantage of body sculpting over liposuction is that there is no downtime or recovery period required. Most body sculpting sessions last less than an hour, and you can resume your day as usual after the treatment.
With liposuction, you will still be under the effects of anesthesia or sedatives immediately after the surgery. You will have to take it easy for a few days before you can resume normal activities. You usually can’t do any rigorous physical activities for up to a month after liposuction, either.
With CoolSculpting, you may experience minor discomfort or tenderness in the targeted area after a session, but these feelings shouldn’t require you to limit your activities.
Benefits of CoolSculpting:
- Non-invasive (no cuts are made and no sedation/anesthesia is used)
- Permanently destroys targeted fat cells
- Doesn’t generally hurt
- Usually no recovery period required
- Any discomfort is minor and typically goes away quickly
Choosing CoolSculpting vs Liposuction
How to Decide Between Liposuction and CoolSculpting
Both of these methods are effective ways of getting rid of unwanted fat, so which one is the best choice for you depends a lot on your personal goals.
Non-invasive body sculpting, such as CoolSculpting, is an excellent option if you want to avoid surgery because of personal preferences or medical reasons. CoolSculpting can also be very effective if you wish to target a few smaller areas of persistent fat. You can usually start to achieve results with just one or two body sculpting sessions.
On the other hand, if you want to get rid of unwanted fat in many areas, liposuction is a more aggressive treatment, meaning you’ll be able to get rid of more fat in a single surgery than you would in a single cool body sculpting treatment. Liposuction may also be the more practical option if you are planning to undergo other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.
Keep in mind that after a liposuction procedure, you will experience discomfort, including swelling, bruising, and soreness, that can sometimes endure for weeks. This means you’ll have limited ability to perform your usual activities and may even need to take some time off work to recover.
If you want a fat removal procedure that will interrupt your life as little as possible, CoolSculpting might be the better choice. For example, you could receive a 30-45 minute body sculpting treatment once a week for two or three weeks and see great results without the need to adjust your schedule or limit your activities.
If you just have a few small fatty deposits that you want to get rid of, such as love handles, stomach fat, a saggy chin, or sagging upper arms, CoolSculpting can be a very effective treatment. However, it is not a treatment designed for severely overweight individuals.
Factors to Consider When Debating CoolSculpting vs Liposuction:
- Invasiveness of the procedure
- Recovery time required
- Discomfort and pain experienced
- Convenience of treatment (e.g. time, number of sessions)
- How it will affect your routine (i.e. will you have to miss work or other activities?)
- How much fat you want to remove and from what areas
How Much Does Liposuction Cost Compared to CoolSculpting?
Of course, no comparison would be complete without discussing costs. If you’re wondering which procedure is cheaper in the CoolSculpting vs liposuction debate, there is no definitive answer.
The final price of either fat loss procedure will depend a lot on how many areas you want to target, how much fat you want to remove, and how many sessions are required to get the results you want to see.
If you are only targeting a couple of small fatty deposits that can be removed with one or two body sculpting treatments, CoolSculpting could be the cheaper choice. However, if you want to eliminate large areas of fat all over your body, tackling them all in a single liposuction session might end up being more cost-effective.
That being said, the average cost of liposuction is around $3,500, whereas the average cost for a CoolSculpting treatment program is in the range of $2,000-$4,000. We encourage you to choose a procedure based on your goals and the benefits of the procedure, as opposed to the cost.
Liposuction vs CoolSculpting: The Conclusion
Which Fat Removal Treatment Is Right for You?
Ultimately, the choice between liposuction vs CoolSculpting is up to you. Factors like how you feel about getting an invasive surgery vs a non-invasive treatment, how much fat you want to get rid of, how fast you want to get rid of it, and how much time you have to spend on recovery will influence your decision.
It’s important to note that liposuction and CoolSculpting are not substitutes for a healthy lifestyle, and should be used alongside a healthy diet and exercise. If you are extremely overweight, it’s important to address the underlying causes of the issue as well.
iCRYO offers state-of-the-art cool body sculpting treatments that can help you slim down, tone, and lift almost any area where you have unwanted fat or loose skin.
If you would like more information on iCRYO’s CoolSculpting procedures, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are always happy to discuss your questions, concerns, and body goals to help you decide on the best treatment option.