Liposuction or CoolSculpting?Posted on June 21, 2018
When it comes to removing undesirable fat deposits and reshaping your figure, you’ve undoubtedly heard of liposuction and its less invasive counterpart, CoolSculpting, as two of the most effective methods currently available.
Both liposuction and CoolSculpting share the same goal – to re-contour targeted areas of your body – but there are several key differences in the two approaches. So how do you decide which is right for you?
While CoolSculpting illustrates the growing popularity of non-surgical cosmetic procedures, liposuction offers a surgical approach to eliminating fatty tissue. This guide presents the “skinny” on both techniques to help you choose between them.
What Is Liposuction?
Despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many people find themselves struggling with fat accumulating on specific areas of their body. These circumstances are often due to hereditary or hormonal factors that are outside their control. That’s why liposuction remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the world.
Liposuction removes excess fat from specific areas of the body – including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, chin, cheeks, and neck – by vacuuming out fat cells through a small tube called a cannula. Provided you remain within your target body weight, the fat cells removed via liposuction are unlikely to return.
While liposuction can deliver somewhat more dramatic results than CoolSculpting, neither approach is a substitute for natural weight loss, or as a treatment for obesity. You should only undergo liposuction if your goal is to contour problem areas where you have been unsuccessful at losing the fat through diet and exercise.
How Liposuction Works
Since liposuction first became available in the 1980s, there have been many refinements and advancements to the techniques doctors use to perform the surgery, which have provided patients with better results and shorter recovery times.
- Fluid injection: In this method, doctors inject a solution made with saline, epinephrine, and lidocaine into the targeted area before beginning the fat removal process. This approach not only anesthetizes the area before the surgery and helps surgeons remove the fat with less difficulty, but it also minimizes blood loss and bruising.
- Ultrasound-assisted: Liposuction assisted with laser or ultrasound, liquefies the fat before the doctor removes it from your body.
- Tumescent: The word “tumescent” means “swollen.” With the tumescent approach, surgeons inject a large amount of local anesthetic fluid into the treatment areas, which causes them to appear swollen. The tumescent liposuction technique eliminates both the need for general anesthesia and need for IV narcotics and sedatives.
- Super-wet: This procedure takes a similar approach to the tumescent technique but uses about half the amount of fluid.
As with any surgical procedure, there are some potential complications associated with liposuction, which include bruising, swelling, numbness, infections, blood clots and irregular skin contouring. However, choosing to undergo liposuction under the care of an experienced, cosmetic surgeon will significantly minimize these risks.
Who Is A Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Ideal candidates for liposuction share these qualities:
- Have good skin tone and elasticity so that the skin can bounce back from the procedure.
- Are physically and mentally healthy.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not have health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Have realistic expectations for the surgery.
What Is CoolSculpting?
Though freezing off fat may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, that’s precisely how CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis, works. This FDA-approved procedure is based on a scientific principle that frozen fat cells get flushed out of your body through natural processes – without harming the skin or surrounding tissue.
CoolSculpting is best for people who are within their target body weight, but who want to remove stubborn pockets of body fat that resist diet and exercise. Most CoolSculpting patients choose to treat their abdomen, “love handles,” back, upper arms, or thighs.
How CoolSculpting Works
For many people, the best part of CoolSculpting is that the entire process is non-surgical and requires no restrictions on activity or diet. The treatment uses a controlled device to draw fatty tissue into an applicator cup between a pair of panels, which freeze fat cells until they crystallize.
Though you may feel a pulling, pinching, or tingling sensation as the applicator first goes to work, these feelings lessen within about 10 minutes as the treated area goes numb. Many people choose to read or even take a nap while undergoing a CoolSculpting session. Since there is no need for downtime after the procedure, you can return to work immediately, with none of your co-workers knowing how you spent your lunch break.
Compared with surgical procedures, which leave patients with stitches, bruising, and scars, CoolSculpting’s side effects are relatively minimal and include numbness, tenderness, redness, and swelling of the targeted area. You can manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medicine.
The results of CoolSculpting are not immediate but reveal themselves gradually over the course of several months. That’s why the procedure also appeals to people who prefer to keep their treatments private. We recommend two to three treatments, spaced four weeks apart.
Who Is A Good Candidate for CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is an excellent option for patients who:
- Are at a healthy body weight but wish to target small fat bulges.
- Do not want to undergo surgery or anesthesia.
- Want to avoid a lengthy recovery period.
- Are looking for a permanent solution to sculpt specific areas of their body.
- Need to seek a non-invasive treatment due to health concerns.
Book Your Confidential Consultation Today
If you are interested in getting liposuction or CoolSculpting in the Beverly Hills area, schedule a consultation with us to discuss your goals and expectations. Though both procedures have a long track record of being safe and effective, you are nonetheless choosing to make changes to your body that require you to weigh all the pros and cons. Our qualified, cosmetic surgeons can help you decide which option is best for you.