Liposuction vs CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting and liposuction are two treatments that remove fat directly from the body – but they do so in very different ways. Both provide remarkably slimming results, but one may suit your ideal results and your daily schedule better. If you would like to experience the differences between these fat-targeting procedures, the first step is to schedule a personal consultation at our Denver offices. Here, we will explain the difference between these two advanced treatments and help you discern which one is right for you. Fill out this online contact form to secure a consultation. To speak with a Denver Lipo representative directly, call us at (720) 372-2155.

Losing Stubborn Fat

How do you lose stubborn fat? Well, that depends on who you ask. Diet and fitness gurus will point you to the gym and prescribe arduous nutrition plans to chisel out your natural curves. If you’ve been down this road before, you already know that the results from diet and exercise only go so far. Studies have shown that abdominal exercises only strengthen muscle fibers and don’t reduce the density of fatty areas.[1] So, you are left with strong muscles hidden behind a blanket of fat. Why doesn’t diet and exercise target those fatty-specific areas like love handles, a stomach pouch, or a double chin? There are two reasons. 

The first is that there is no way to spot-reduce fatty areas. When your body goes into a caloric deficit (diet) and increases its activity levels (exercise), it burns adipose tissue to make up the difference in energy intake and output. But it pulls this fat unevenly from different parts of the body, so its overall fat percentage drops but trouble spots like love handles remain

The second reason is that the body doesn’t use the two types of fat in the same way. Visceral fat, the fat centered around our organs, is used predominantly as fuel to keep the body energized and nourished. Subcutaneous fat, as the name implies, rests under the skin and protects the body against heat loss, dermal infections, and external pressures. Because it serves a protective purpose, the body reluctantly burns subcutaneous fat when we enter a caloric deficit. So, fatty areas linger well after we’ve reached our goal weight.

What Is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting uses the power of cryo-energy to drop fat cells to freezing temperatures and keep them there for around 30 minutes. Fat cells are unique in that they are the only physiological structure that cryo-energy affects. That means that during a CoolSculpting treatment surrounding tissue is left unaffected.[2] At this temperature, the fat cells become fatally damaged, and the lymphatic system processes these fat cells out of the body. 

Non-Invasive

CoolSculpting is a wearable device that we secure to your target areas. This non-invasive procedure doesn’t include anesthesia. You are free to resume your daily activities right away. CoolSculpting is ideal for patients who need a fat loss procedure that they can seamlessly squeeze into their busy schedules. 

Proven Results

With the growing popularity of CoolSculpting, scientists and researchers are analyzing the long-term effects of this advanced treatment. One study followed 1445 CoolSculpting patients and found that patients lost almost 20% of subcutaneous fat in the treated areas. They saw these final results after around 4 months.[3] 

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that suctions away fat cells from their connective tissue, providing slimming results almost instantly. With our advanced liposuction technologies, such as VASER and SmartLipo, we achieve better results in less time. These liposculpture technologies allow for optimal fat extraction, minimal surgical trauma, and quicker recoveries. 

Immediate Results

Fat cells stop multiplying around adolescence. Contrary to popular belief, when we gain weight, these fat cells expand in size rather than increase in numbers. When we lose weight, these cells shrink. With liposuction, we remove these cells from the body entirely. After a liposuction procedure, the fat cells are gone, and can’t return. This procedure is ideal for those who want to see long-term results immediately after their recovery. 

Customized Procedures

With liposuction, we use a suctioning cannula that pulls out fat cells from the body. This cannula can be used on just about any part of the body, making liposuction completely customizable. Not all of us have the same troublesome areas. Our liposuction devices can treat fat around the:

  • Arms
  • Legs 
  • Abdomen
  • Flanks
  • Bra strap
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks
  • Double-chin

CoolSculpting Process

Since a CoolSculpting treatment is noninvasive and doesn’t require anesthesia, the process is simple. We begin by securing the device to your target area. Patients often say the freezing sensation passes after a couple of minutes as the nerves in the fat cells go numb. For the next 30 minutes, you can use your phone, follow up on e-mails, or catch up on sleep. After half an hour, we’ll remove the device and you’ll be free to resume your daily routine. 

Recovery

Your treated area(s) will feel numb for the next few hours. This will subside shortly. Over the next few weeks and months, the treated fat will process out of your body, resulting in contours that appear gradually. For many patients, more than one session is necessary to see desired results. 

Liposuction Process 

Because liposuction is an invasive procedure and does require an anesthetic, preparatory precautions are necessary to ensure optimal results. 

Preparation

To prepare for your liposuction procedure, we recommend that you

  • Avoid blood-thinning medications as these will cause excessive bleeding during your procedure
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol a few days before your treatment
  • Plan a ride home. Even if only a local anesthetic is used, you may not feel fit to drive yourself after a liposculpture procedure
  • Expect to take a couple of days off from work and heavy lifting. 

Procedure

We begin a liposuction procedure by administering the appropriate anesthesia. Then, we make a minor incision in the target areas for the cannula to pass through. We then infiltrate the treatment area with tumescent fluid. Once the fat cells are swollen, the blood vessels are constricted, and the nerves are numbed, we pass a cannula under the surface of the skin, through the fatty lobules. We move this cannula back and forth to aspirate the cells from the body. Once we have extracted the desired amount of fat, we close the incision and wrap the area in a compression garment. After this step, you are free to leave our care to focus on rest and recovery.

Recovery

After liposuction, the treated areas may feel a little sore and appear bruised or swollen. These symptoms will fade over the next few days. Be sure to keep the compression wrap on the treated areas to help the body’s healing process. Avoid heavy lifting and any strenuous activities until your body has fully healed. We will determine where you are in the recovery phase at your follow-up appointment. 

Which Is Best For Me?

While one may be better for you than the other, CoolSculpting and liposuction have two main differences: downtime and the number of sessions.

Amount of Downtime

CoolSculpting requires no downtime while liposuction patients may need from a few days to a few weeks to return to their normal routine. However, liposuction patients will see more dramatic results than CoolSculpting patients. 

Amount of Sessions

Liposuction requires only one procedure to see slimming results. However, CoolSculpting may require multiple sessions to achieve your desired aesthetic results. We will determine how many results you need during your private consultation. Fill out this online contact form to schedule a one-on-one meeting today!

The Difference In Cost

Liposuction costs between $4,000 to $11,000. Different approaches and the number of areas being treated will change the unique cost of your care. Learn more about liposuction pricing by visiting our Liposuction Costs page.

Depending on the treatment area, the number of areas treated, and how many sessions you need, CoolSculpting can cost between $600 and $4,500. 

Your Consultation At Denver Lipo

If this is your first visit, we will begin by going over your recent medical history and desired physical results. It is important to note that both of these are not weight-loss surgeries but rather body contouring procedures. We recommend that you be at a healthy, stable weight before your treatment to ensure the best results possible. During this meeting, we will learn about your ideal aesthetic and use this information to develop a personalized treatment plan. To get started, you can either fill out an online contact form or call our offices directly at (720) 372-2155.

References

  1. Vispute, Sachin S, et al. “The Effect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 25, no. 9, Sept. 2011, pp. 2559–2564, journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/fulltext/2011/09000/the_effect_of_abdominal_exercise_on_abdominal_fat.27.aspx, 10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181fb4a46
  2. McKeown, D. J., & Payne, J. (2021). Significant improvement in body contour with multiple cycles of CoolSculpting: Results of a prospective study. Dermatologic Therapy, 34(2). https://doi.org/10.1111/dth.14850
  3. Chase D. Derrick, MD, Sachin M. Shridharani, MD, Justin M. Broyles, MD, The Safety and Efficacy of Cryolipolysis: A Systematic Review of Available Literature, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 35, Issue 7, September/October 2015, Pages 830–836, https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjv039

*RESULTS MAY VARY