The Differences Between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction: 4 Things You Need to Know

CoolSculpting |Seattle Aesthetics |Seattle

When summer is quickly approaching, body contouring services become more appealing when thinking about having a trim and sexy body for your summer wear. Whether you want to look amazing in your clothes, your summer swimsuit, or your birthday suit, body contouring can help you get rid of the stubborn areas of fat that diet and exercise just won’t budge. 

Thankfully, body contouring can be your knight in shining armor to slay the dragon known as stubborn fat, but with so many options out there, making a choice can seem daunting. Since knowledge is power, we’ll be diving deep into the many differences between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction, two of the most popular body contouring services in the world.

CoolSculpting® is the not-so-hidden secret behind some of the amazing bodies you see among many well-known celebrities, delivering safe and high-quality results, through a quick, non-invasive procedure. Liposuction can be amazing for larger amounts of fat, though it comes with the drawbacks of being invasive, requiring anesthesia, and a longer recovery time.

As with any body contouring procedure, be sure to consult with the appropriate health professionals before making your final decision. At Seattle Aesthetics, we are happy to create a complimentary action plan to help you make the choice between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction. We are the experts when it comes to CoolSculpting® in Seattle, having performed nearly 15,000 procedures since our opening in 2013. 

We’ve got a lot to explore on the differences between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction, so let’s get started! 

CoolSculpting® or Liposuction: How Each Procedure Works

While CoolSculpting® and Liposuction can deliver life-changing results when it comes to reaching your body contouring goals, each procedure is performed quite differently. While both of them focus on removing subcutaneous fat, the primary difference lies with CoolSculpting® being a non-invasive procedure compared to the surgical nature of Liposuction. Let’s explore the differences between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction in detail, starting with a little trip down memory lane.

How CoolSculpting® Works

CoolSculpting® first came on the scene in 2010 after receiving FDA clearance and establishing itself as the first non-invasive body contouring procedure. CoolSculpting® is the brand name for the #1 body contouring procedure using a process known as Cryolipolysis (a bit of a tongue twister, we know), which is a specific method that uses controlled freezing of the fat cells to remove them forever. 

Every treatment begins with a thorough CoolSculpting® consultation to discuss your goals and determine whether this type of body contouring treatment will be best suited for you. When you come in for your treatments, the process is fairly straightforward. After marking the area to be treated, a gel pad is applied to protect the skin and to help gently guide the fatty tissue into the CoolSculpting® applicator.

Once the CoolSculpting® applicator is placed on the area to be treated, the freezing begins to crystallize the fat cells, triggering their ultimate death through a process known as apoptosis. After the first five minutes of treatment, the area will go numb, making the entire process very tolerable, avoiding the need for anesthesia. The surrounding tissue including the skin, nerves, and muscles are not affected by the cold temperature – only the fat cells. Once the fat cells have been frozen beyond repair, the body naturally eliminates them quickly and easily within just a few days.

Most CoolSculpting® treatments last just 35 minutes, depending on the area being treated. After that, the only thing left to do is wait for the results to show up over the next four to six weeks as the body naturally eliminates the dead fat cells for good. 

How Liposuction Works

Liposuction has been a staple of the body contouring industry for nearly half a century, beginning in the 1970s. Dr. Giorgio Fischer of Italy began by using a cannula and suction to remove subcutaneous fat, resulting in what was known as Liposuction. In 1985, Dr. Jeffrey Klein of the United States designed a new technique, using the injection of fluid into the area to assist in the procedure, which is still being done today.

Liposuction begins with general or local anesthesia, depending on the needs of the patient, to ensure a pain-free experience. The surgeon will make a series of small incisions in the treatment area, followed by the injection of a tumescent solution and the insertion of a cannula to assist in suctioning the fat out of the body.

The surgeon will remove as much fat as needed, moving the cannula around the area until the desired amount of fat removal is achieved. Each incision will then be closed with stitches and the patient is sent to the recovery room. Liposuction procedures can vary in duration, but for most, the process lasts from one to four hours, plus an additional time for recovery, especially if general anesthesia is involved.

What to Expect: CoolSculpting® Results vs. Liposuction Results

When deciding which body contouring option is right for you, one of your primary goals should be to get clear about the exact end results you are looking for. CoolSculpting® and Liposuction deliver slightly different results, and consulting with professionals can help you determine the right option for you.

Both procedures work well for eliminating stubborn pockets of fat and helping to facilitate a trim and shapely body but you should always consider the ratings, reviews, and reputation of any body contouring provider including CoolSculpting® or Liposuction. Recent before and after photos can also provide insight as to what you can expect once the treatment has been completed.

CoolSculpting® Results

CoolSculpting® works by freezing fat cells to kill them off, which requires time for them to leave the body and any remaining fat to rearrange itself into a smaller and more compact area. The results can show up as early as four to six weeks after the treatment however, the treatment results are considered complete after three months. 

Clinics that use the CoolSculpting® Elite machine have the added benefit of a 73% greater reduction of the area treated after their 2nd treatment compared to patients who opted for a single treatment in the area. 

Be sure to ask if the clinic offers the new CoolSculpting® Elite as part of their services as the newer technology is much more effective and even has a faster recovery, to boot!

Liposuction Results

Liposuction can remove up to 8 liters of body fat, delivering dramatic results through a single procedure. Due to the surgical nature of Liposuction, swelling in and around the area is very common, requiring compression garments and a longer recovery time. The results can take several months to appear depending on how quickly your body heals after the procedure.

CoolSculpting® Cost vs. Liposuction Cost

Your wallet has a big say in your choice of body contouring procedures, so it’s important to compare CoolSculpting® costs and Liposuction costs before making a decision. The anesthesiology cost required for Liposuction should be considered along with any pre-surgical lab work required and before and after office visits can quickly increase the overall investment. Additionally, Liposuction will require you to miss time from work thanks to a tougher recovery period, which may cut into your income.

Comparatively, CoolSculpting® has no downtime and can be completed in 35 minutes to an hour, allowing you to return to work and save your precious vacation days.

While both procedures are considered cosmetic and thus not covered by most health insurance plans, CoolSculpting® costs are generally less expensive than Liposuction. Multiple CoolSculpting® Treatments may be beneficial for particularly difficult areas, so you will get the best idea of your financial commitments after a thorough consultation with our CoolSculpting® Technicians here at Seattle Aesthetics.

CoolSculpting® or Liposuction: Which Suits You Best?

Body contouring services are the best way to achieve the body of your dreams, so figuring out which procedures can help you get to your goals is critical. With many differences between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction, consulting with professionals can assist you in determining which procedure works best for your desires.

Recovery Time Differences Between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction

CoolSculpting® is unparalleled for its ability to deliver amazing results without a huge time commitment. The procedure itself usually lasts no more than an hour, and side effects are generally minimal. The incisionless nature of CoolSculpting® ensures you can freeze stubborn fat in the morning and go about your next few weeks without being distracted by excess pain.

In addition, the technology behind CoolSculpting® is constantly evolving to increase the speed of results while cutting down on pain. Consulting with a CoolSculpting® clinic like Seattle Aesthetics that features the new CoolSculpting® Elite machine can lead to the best results.

Liposuction is a more intense, invasive procedure, and the recovery period lives up to that billing. Generally, Liposuction requires compression garments for weeks after surgery, and failure to wear compression garments can lead to unsightly holes at the incision sites. Bruises and pain are also common in the weeks after Liposuction, sometimes requiring pain medication to fully manage.

What Makes you a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting® vs. Liposuction?

CoolSculpting® and Liposuction are both amazing ways to eliminate stubborn fat that is resistant to diet and exercise, but there are a few differences which help determine which procedure fits you best.

CoolSculpting® is generally better for smaller pockets of fat, allowing for major changes over a small time period. CoolSculpting® is also much better for people constantly on-the-go, since it will not disrupt your daily routine by much during recovery. It is important to consult with trained medical professionals, as there may be certain skin conditions or cold-induced conditions that may disqualify you from CoolSculpting®.

Liposuction is an invasive procedure, but succeeds when massive amounts of fat removal are desired. Since Liposuction can remove up to 8 liters of fat, it can deliver more effective results with just one procedure. However, it is important to note that surgery and anesthesia are not without their share of risks, so assessing whether you have the time in your schedule to take a week to recover from surgery is key.

Note that not everyone is a good candidate for CoolSculpting®, so it is important to consult with a practice that will be honest about your potential outcomes. At Seattle Aesthetics, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive complimentary consultations to assess if you are a good fit for CoolSculpting®. Our aim is to make your body dream come true, so we will never sell you a service you wouldn’t benefit from.

Achieving Your Dream Results With CoolSculpting® at Seattle Aesthetics

CoolSculpting® and Liposuction are both amazing tools that help tackle stubborn fat and create a slim and sculpted physique. CoolSculpting® helps you achieve your dream body goals through non-invasive freezing technology, all without the hassle of downtime from recovery. Liposuction, meanwhile, is a more intense, invasive procedure best saved for the most stubborn of fat, delivering drastic results.

Whether you are struggling with a little bit of extra belly fat, unwanted love handles, or underarm fat, CoolSculpting® is up to the challenge. At Seattle Aesthetics, we recommend consulting with one of our Technicians to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your goals. 

We are the only body contouring clinic dedicated exclusively to CoolSculpting® in Seattle, giving us expertise well beyond most one-stop-shop clinics. We have performed over 15,000 treatments and pride ourselves on our commitment to mastering the art of CoolSculpting® in Seattle. We offer both in-person and virtual consultations, providing you with no-nonsense recommendations on how to reach your goals. Contact us today to get started on your complimentary consultation to find out if CoolSculpting® is right for you!

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