Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting®: Which Is Right for You?

Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting®: Which is Right for You?

Men and women today have many options when it comes to body contouring treatments. Liposuction and CoolSculpting® are two top contenders for our Washington, DC, patients. Both procedures are excellent ways to slim down and feel more confident in form-fitting clothing. But depending on your body type, lifestyle, and desired results, one option might suit you better than the other.

Liposuction Benefits

Liposuction is a surgical procedure used to sculpt the abdomen, waistline, flanks, thighs, upper arms, neck, and other areas of stubborn fat. It requires a local anesthetic before a small tube (called a cannula) is inserted to break up fatty tissue and suction it from the body. Once the fat cells are suctioned out, they don’t grow back, and the area remains permanently slimmer. When paired with a healthy diet and consistent exercise, you can enjoy your liposuction results for years to come.

Because liposuction is a traditional surgery, it requires a small amount of recovery time. A compression garment is worn for 2 to 4 weeks after treatment. Most patients can return to work within 5 to 7 days. 

CoolSculpting Benefits

While liposuction works best for shrinking larger areas, CoolSculpting is a great option for targeting smaller, “pinchable” areas of fat. Treatment begins as you are placed in a comfortable reclined chair, and the handheld applicator is placed on the treatment area. The machine draws the fatty tissue between two cooling panels to freeze and eliminate fat cells. While CoolSculpting is not a tool for losing weight, it helps tone areas resistant to diet and exercise. 

As CoolSculpting is a non-surgical procedure, there is no extensive downtime required. Patients can return to work or home immediately after their treatment session. 

Choosing What’s Right for You

Choosing to undergo any cosmetic procedure is a very personal decision. However, there are a few main issues to keep in mind when deciding between CoolSculpting and liposuction.

  • Results: Liposuction can create more dramatic results, reducing fat in the treatment area by about 75%. CoolSculpting is slightly more subtle, resulting in a 20% reduction of fat per treatment cycle. Liposuction also visibly reduces the size of the target area immediately after treatment, while CoolSculpting requires a few months for the frozen cells to be eliminated by the body.
  • Treatment time: Liposuction procedures generally take 1 to 3 hours. CoolSculpting treatment time varies depending on the number of cycles needed.
  • Recovery time: CoolSculpting is a quick, easy procedure that requires no downtime. On the other hand, liposuction is a more traditional surgery that may require rest and time off work.
  • Cost: CoolScupting starts at a lower price point, making it an excellent option for those new to cosmetic treatments. Liposuction costs more upfront but requires no future touch-up treatments. 
  • Comfort level: While liposuction provides more noticeable results, it also involves surgery. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical alternative for those who wish to avoid extensive procedures.

In the end, the best way to decide between the 2 body contouring procedures is to talk with your plastic surgeon. After discussing your needs and personal goals, you can work together to find the best treatment option. 

Browse our before-and-after gallery to see examples of real body contouring results. If you would like to learn more about liposuction or CoolSculpting in the Washington, DC, area, please request a consultation online. You can also contact our practice offices by phone at (703) 560-2850 (Annandale, VA) or (301) 652-7700 (Chevy Chase, MD).

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