Liposuction vs. Coolsculpting: Which Is Right for You?

Liposuction has been, for a long time, the first choice for people looking to remove unwanted areas of stubborn fat. Coolsculpting, also known as body sculpting, is a newer procedure, but is gaining in popularity. For many, Coolsculpting – with its non-surgical, non-invasive approach and lack of down-time – may be the obviously better option. There are however pros and cons to each, so as with everything it’s important to learn as much as you can when making this decision.

Liposuction vs. Coolsculpting

blog editWhat are the differences between Liposuction and Coolsculpting? “Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which excess fat deposits are vacuumed from beneath the skin,” explains Dr. Adam Mamelak, board-certified dermatologist and skin surgeon in Austin, Texas. As with all surgical procedures, there are risks involved, ranging from infection to internal injury, though the possibility of these is greatly reduced by seeking out a reputable cosmetic surgeon.

CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is a non-surgical method of fat reduction called cryolipolysis (from the words cryo: cold or freezing, and lipolysis: fat destruction). In cryolipolysis, fat cells are targeted with low tempartures that cause the fat cells to freeze and die, without causing damage to surrounding tissue.

So which procedure is right for you? Before making the decision, here are some things to consider.

Body Type

The first thing to keep in mind is what your body type is and how much fat you need removed. “Not every person is the right candidate for every procedure, and it’s important to find the right one for your needs,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic expert at Sanova Dermatology. Are you focusing on one or two small areas of fat that are bothering you? You may be the perfect candidate for Coolsculpting. Do you have a larger area of fat that you want to be dealt with in a single treatment? Liposuction may be the better option.

Time and Budget

Another thing to think about is, how much time and money do you want to invest in your procedure? Coolsculpting is cheaper session for session, but multiple sessions may add up to nearly the same amount as a single laser lipo procedure. A Coolsculpting session only takes about an hour in the office, but if there are multiple areas you want to have done, you’ll have to return for more sessions. With liposuction, on the other hand, you can tackle a larger area at once.


One of the biggest perks of Coolsculpting is that there is essentially no downtime after the procedure. Liposuction requires about a week of downtime, and often it takes several weeks for the swelling to go down and the true results to be seen. With Coolsculpting, patients can usually go about their daily activities immediately afterwards, with little to no discomfort.

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