CoolSculpting® vs. Liposuction

Our friends at Buckhead Facial Plastic Surgery help us to understand CoolSculpting® vs. Liposuction

After having kids, your midsection takes on a whole new look, and it’s usually not the one you want.


Loose skin, stretch marks, extra fat – these are common issues for moms. I don’t know a mom who doesn’t have tummy troubles. Even super-fit moms (you know the type) typically struggle with this hard-to-tone area.

When diet and exercise aren’t enough, don’t despair – you have options. Two of those options include CoolSculpting® and liposuction. These cosmetic treatments can remove stubborn fat for good, but they have advantages and drawbacks. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Keep reading to find out.

CoolSculpting® vs. Liposuction

How It’s Done

The major difference between CoolSculpting® and liposuction is how they are performed. CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that can be completed on your lunch hour without downtime. Liposuction involves surgery and downtime, but some types of liposuction (such as laser liposuction) can be performed using a minimally invasive procedure.

Exactly how these procedures remove fat also differs. CoolSculpting® draws fat between 2 cooling panels that use a special technology to freeze fat cells until they are destroyed. These fat cells are then flushed from the body through natural processes. Your results will start to be noticeable in around 3 weeks and will continue to improve over the course of several months.

During liposuction, you may be given a local or general anesthetic. Your doctor will inject fluid into the area of fat to make it easier for the cells to be removed. A small thin cannula (hollow tube) is inserted through an incision made in the skin. The cannula acts like a vacuum to break apart fat cells and suction them from the body.

In both cases, the fat is gone permanently. But the 2 treatments have different side effects, costs, results, and recovery times, which are outlined below.

CoolSculpting®                                                 Liposuction

-Non-invasive                                                        -Surgical procedure

-Around $800 to $2,000 per session               -Between $1,000 to $15,000

-No skin tightening                                               -Possible skin tightening (laser)

-1 hour per treatment area                                  -Surgical time varies, 1 to 2 hours

-Multiple treatments for best results                -Final results after 1 treatment 

-No downtime                                                        -Activity restrictions

-Minimal side effects                                            -Some bruising, swelling

-Little risk                                                               -Poses some serious risk

Where it’s Done

The area of your body you’d like treated will also influence whether you choose CoolSculpting® or liposuction. According to the Buckhead Facial Plastic Surgery website, a plastic surgery practice in Atlanta, CoolSculpting® can be used to remove fat from the love handles, belly, inner and outer thighs, or arms. Because CoolSculpting relies on a pair of cooling panels to freeze fat, the amount of fat treated must be “pinchable” to fit into the equipment.

Liposuction can be used on these areas as well, but also others. Unwanted fat can be removed through liposuction almost anywhere on the body, even under the chin to remove a “turkey neck.” Liposuction also gives the surgeon more precision and control over the final result. It’s great for smaller or larger pockets of fat that may not fit between the CoolSculpting® panels.

Your Results

CoolSculpting® and liposuction provide different results, and your goals will influence which procedure you choose.

CoolSculpting® offers more modest improvements than liposuction, which is why you’ll likely need more than 1 treatment. It’s ideal for people who are already in shape but who have a few stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. CoolSculpting® has been shown to remove around 20% of fat from the treated area. This means you may lose a few inches, but don’t expect to see the number on the scale go down.

Liposuction can be used to remove a little fat or a lot. In fact, up to 5 liters of fat can be safely removed through liposuction. With this treatment, you don’t have to be in great shape, but you should be in good health to have surgery. Of course, those who are in good shape will most likely enjoy the best results. Liposuction results will last if you maintain a good diet and stay active.

The Bottom Line

Neither CoolSculpting® nor liposuction is a magic wand – but both can be beneficial in the right circumstances. Talk with a board-certified plastic surgeon to find out which option is right for you. Do your homework and don’t make any decisions without thoughtful research. Good luck!

Giveaway Alert! 

The team at Buckhead Facial Plastic Surgery is excited to announce a fun summer giveaway that’s guaranteed to cool you down! Dr. Theresa Jarmuz is offering two (2) cycles of CoolSculpting® for one lucky winner*!  Be on the look out for this Giveaway through Atlanta Area Moms Blog next week! 

Good luck!

*Once the winner is selected, we will bring him/her into the practice for a consultation to ensure their candidacy for treatment.

This post is proudly sponsored by our partners at Buckhead Facial & Plastic Surgery