Fat 911: Coolsculpting vs Liposuction


The first two months of the year have gone and while you have held fast with your resolutions, your clothes still do not fit quite like they used to. You may be doubting your New Year’s weight loss and exercise commitments and panicking that soon it will be time to shed off the layers and… gasp -wear a bathing suit! You may have done a little research (i.e. googling), seen some commercials about body contouring, and likely have come down to two choices; Coolsculpting and liposuction. So where do you go from here and how do you decide which one is best for you?
The short answer is understanding the difference between the two procedures and the term invasive vs noninvasive. Hopefully by the end of this article you will have a better understanding of the most popular method in each of those categories and feel comfortable taking the next step which would be an in person consult at Nua Medical Spa.
When many of our patients hear the word invasive, sirens go off and their guard goes up. Liposuction is an invasive body contouring procedure. It involves needles, incisions, stitches, pain medication, numbing, scars, and considerable downtime; all unpleasant things. While it is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries, it can have rare severe complications, including death. Most commonly the procedure’s downtime is due to the incision sites healing, the bruising from the cannula taking time to resolve, and the swelling gradually going down over a course of several weeks. After all that… then poof- you will see your results. This procedure often is done in an operating room, requires anesthesia, and sometimes requires an overnight stay in the hospital.

Coolsculpting on the other hand, is a noninvasive procedure with little risks and zero downtime. It can be performed in an office setting in as little time as a couple of hours. Most patients agree that Coolsculpting is not painful, just mildly uncomfortable. There is intense cold for several minutes then the area becomes numb. After the treatment, patients may have mild bruising and swelling in comparison to liposuction which generally resolves within a week and has zero risk of serious complications.

Both procedures are customizable and can be tailored to your body and your needs. Liposuction uses a cannula with negative pressure to suck the fat cells out of the treated area. The cannula is like a rod that goes in and out of different layers of the body, therefore traumatizing the treated area. Coolsculpting delivers cold to targeted fat cells without damaging the skin above. The treated fat cells become crystalized (i.e. frozen) and damaged. Our bodies recognize the damaged cells and naturally clears them out. It is a gradual process, taking about three months to see the full results. Since liposuction immediately sucks the fat cells out, it can produce quicker results.

Some patients who are comfortable with the risks of either procedure may choose one or the other due to cost. Since Coolsculpting does not require anesthesia, an operating room, or any hospital stay it is generally more cost effective. It is the perfect lunchtime procedure as long as you are a patient with moderate pinchable fat. It does not remove excess skin and is not a weight loss solution. Patient’s with excess skin or other anatomical problems will likely benefit more from surgery and liposuction.

One of the best benefits of both procedures, is that they both permanently remove the fat cells. Yes, permanently! The bottom line is that both procedures can achieve amazing, reproducible, and permanent results. Liposuction is invasive with considerable risk and downtime, while Coolsculpting is noninvasive, perfect for moderate amounts of fat, and with little risk. Now that you know a little background after reading this, the next step is to book a consultation to discuss body contouring at Nua Medical Spa. When you come, you will meet highly trained Coolsculpting specialists who are knowledgeable in both Coolsculpting and liposuction. We can advise you on which option may be best to obtain your goals and help you become excited about finally getting rid of that

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Each consultation is a 1-on-1 with your provider and the first step in the collaborative relationship between you and our staff. In a private setting, we will discuss your concerns, goals, options, and the details of the CoolSculpting procedure.


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