Lewis Plastic Surgery: Gordon Lewis, MD
2331-A Robious Station Circle
Midlothian, VA 23113
(804) 267-6009
Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

CoolSculpting® vs. Liposuction: Which Body Contouring Procedure Is Best for You?

Woman (model) with clear skin and a toned body in front of a pale blue background.

If you are considering a body contouring procedure to eliminate stubborn fat, you may be trying to decide whether you can achieve the results you want with liposuction or nonsurgical CoolSculpting. It’s probably not surprising that the two procedures differ in a variety of ways, including their effects and recovery time. In this post, we will discuss the benefits of liposuction versus CoolSculpting and explain when each procedure is the better option.

What To Expect During Liposuction

During your liposuction session, your surgeon will create small incisions in the desired areas to suction unwanted fat from your body. Dr. Lewis uses a tumescent liposuction method or VASERlipo® (ultrasound-assisted) technique, depending on the area and type of fat you want to reduce.

You will be given general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to keep you comfortable during the procedure. After your treatment, you will experience swelling and bruising and need to wear a compression garment to help with the healing process.

You can see some of our liposuction patients’ results in their before and after photos.

What To Expect During CoolSculpting

During your treatment, your provider uses a CoolSculpting applicator to apply controlled cooling to the skin. Although the skin and other tissue are unharmed by this cooling, the cold temperature “freezes” the fat cells. Typically, patients experience minimal discomfort during treatment and can relax or read during their sessions.

You will experience some numbness and tingling for a few weeks after CoolSculpting, but you can resume your regular routine immediately after your treatment.

It takes time for your body to eliminate the targeted fat cells, but you should begin seeing results within about 3 weeks. Results will continue to improve for a few months. Although you can reduce up to 20% of fat cells with one CoolSculpting session, you may need additional treatments for the best results.

Take a look at one of our patients’ CoolSculpting results in our photo gallery.

When Is Liposuction or CoolSculpting Better?

While both procedures effectively reduce unwanted fat, liposuction can remove a larger amount of fat compared to CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting is a good option if you only want to reduce a small amount of fat in areas such as your thighs, buttocks, hips, and abdomen. Below are a few additional comparisons for you to consider.

Liposuction is a better option if you want:

  • Immediate results: Liposuction provides immediate and noticeable changes in body shape and contour.
  • Versatility: It can be used on various body areas, including the abdomen, thighs, arms, hips, waist, back, and buttocks.
  • Precision: Liposuction allows for precise targeting of specific problem areas.
  • Just one treatment: In most cases, liposuction is a one-time procedure, providing long-lasting results.

CoolSculpting is often a better choice if you want:

  • Gradual results: Results appear gradually over time as the body eliminates the targeted fat cells, typically within a few months.
  • Non-invasive procedure: CoolSculpting doesn’t require anesthesia, incisions, or downtime, so it easily fits into your schedule.
  • Minimal discomfort: Patients usually experience mild discomfort during the treatment without the need for pain medication.
  • Safety: CoolSculpting has a low risk of complications and is generally considered a safe procedure.
  • Convenience: You can resume your daily activities immediately after treatment.

It’s important to note that the choice between liposuction and CoolSculpting depends on individual preferences, desired outcomes, and the advice of a qualified medical professional.

How Long Will My Liposuction and CoolSculpting Results Last?

Both liposuction and CoolSculpting results last indefinitely as long as you maintain your weight. However, it’s important to be aware that the remaining fat cells can swell if you gain weight, affecting your results.

When choosing between CoolSculpting and liposuction for body contouring, consider your desired results, lifestyle, and length of recovery. Dr. Lewis and his team will go over the pros and cons of both procedures so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

To learn more, request a consultation or call us at (804) 267-6009 to schedule an appointment.

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