If you are at or near your target weight and still have areas of stubborn fat hanging around, you have a few options for getting rid of that fat. There’s liposuction which surgically removes the fat so that it’s gone for good. And then there’s Coolsculpting which doesn’t require surgery. Instead, it freezes the fat, destroying it.
Which one should you choose? It really depends on what your schedule is, how much fat you want removed and, of course, your personal preference.
What Happens During Coolsculpting
During Coolsculpting, the plastic surgeon places a special applicator, or paddle, on the treatment area. When the Coolsculpting device is turned on, the paddle uses gentle suction to lift the area. It then cools the area, “freezing” the fat beneath the skin. Although you initially feel the cold, the area quickly becomes numb. Most people find Coolsculpting to be a comfortable treatment.
Each treatment session takes about an hour. During it, you’ll be awake and able to chat with a friend, read a book or watch a TV show on Netflix. If you are considering other non-surgical treatments, such as fillers or Botox, you can have those performed at the same time you’re receiving Coolsculpting.
What Happens During Liposuction
Unlike Coolsculpting, liposuction is a type of surgery. That means you won’t be particularly alert or aware of what’s going on during the procedure since you’ll be given some type of anesthesia. Whether you receive general anesthesia, which puts you completely under, or a local anesthetic and sedation depends on the number of areas receiving liposuction, your preference, and your surgeon’s recommendation.
During liposuction, your surgeon will use suction and a tube known as a cannula to physically remove the unwanted fat from the body. He will make small incisions in the treatment area, through which he’ll insert the cannula.
Generally speaking, the same areas of the body can be treated with either liposuction or Coolsculpting. The fat removal procedures can reduce fat in many areas, including the following:
- Thighs (inner and outer)
- Love handles
- Upper arms
- Under the chin
Results After Coolsculpting
One of the biggest differences between liposuction and Coolsculpting, aside from the fact that one is surgery and the other isn’t, is in how long it takes before you see the results. Coolsculpting doesn’t remove the fat from the body immediately.
Instead, it destroys the fat cells. It’s then up to your system to flush away the cells on its own. How long that takes depends on your metabolism. Typically, people see the final results from Coolsculpting after 16 weeks.
Another difference between the two procedures when it comes to results is how much fat each procedure removes. Typically, Coolsculpting can remove up to 25 percent of the fat in an area after just one treatment. If you want more dramatic results, you might need an additional treatment session. It’s also important to note that if you want to treat more than one area of the body with Coolsculpting, you’ll usually need at least two sessions.
Results After Liposuction
Liposuction takes the fat out of your body right away. Although the fat is gone immediately, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily see immediate results. Many people have some swelling after surgery, which can make results less visible. To help reduce swelling and improve your results after liposuction, your surgeon will likely recommend wearing a compression garment.
How Much Fat Do You Want Removed?
One thing to think about when deciding between liposuction and Coolsculpting is the amount of fat you want to have removed. If you have a single area of stubborn fat, Coolsculpting might be the better option for you. But if you have several areas with unwanted fat or if you have a significant amount of fat in a particular area, you might see better results from lipo.
What is Your Schedule Like?
Another thing to consider is your schedule. Coolsculpting takes an hour to perform. Lipousuction can take a few hours, depending on how many areas you’re having treated or the size of those areas. But you might need to schedule multiple Coolsculpting treatments, which would mean you’d have to take time out of your schedule on multiple days, versus all at once.
You also want to ask yourself if you have time for recovery. Usually, no downtime is needed after Coolsculpting, Many people are able to pick up their usual activities right after treatment. The recovery after liposuction is usually longer, anywhere from seven to 10 days. That means you may have to take a week or two off from work after liposuction. You’ll also have to avoid certain activities, such as exercise, for a few weeks after that.
About Dr. Ran Rubinstein
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein, a board certified plastic surgeon, performs liposuction and Coolsculpting at his practice in Manhattan. He can help you decide which fat removal option will best help you reach your goals. Dr. Rubinstein offers patients a variety of procedures, from fillers to rhinoplasty, at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Newburgh, New York. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, call 845-863-1772 today.