You’ve worked hard to lose weight: making changes in your diet, exercising regularly and adjusting your lifestyle so you can make healthier choices. But you still have some areas on your body where the fat won’t go away. You’re ready to consider a weight loss procedure, like liposuction or CoolSculpting. Learn the differences in process, downtime, cost and results between these two procedures.
The biggest difference in procedure between CoolSculpting and liposuction is the level of invasiveness. CoolSculpting (cryolipolysis) is a non-invasive procedure, whereas liposuction is a surgical procedure that involves anesthesia, cutting, and the insertion of a medical device. CoolSculpting works by freezing your fat cells, which kills them so that your body can naturally absorb and eliminate them. During the procedure, paddles are applied to your skin. These paddles both suction your skin around the fat layer and freeze the fat cells under the skin. You will feel some tugging and pulling, but nothing so uncomfortable that you can’t read, use your computer, or relax during the procedure. Depending on the size of the area treated, the process takes 1-3 hours. Liposuction also permanently gets rid of fat cells, but does so through vacuuming the fat cells from target areas. The procedure will start with your doctor administering either a local or a general anesthesia that puts you to sleep. An incision will then be made so that a long, narrow tube called a cannula can be inserted. The cannula loosens and vacuums the fat from under the skin. Like CoolSculpting, liposuction only takes about 1-2 hours.
There is no downtime with CoolSculpting. You will be able to immediately return to your normal activities. In contrast, liposuction involves some recovery. You will experience significant swelling that may not completely go away for several months. You may also probably have bruising, numbness or nerve pain. Immediately following the procedure, you will have elastic bandages or compression garments applied to the treated area. You may also have temporary drains in the excision spots so that extra fluid and blood can drain out. Your recovery will take 1-2 weeks, and you will need to take a break from normal activities like work for 3-5 days.
According to RealSelf members, the cost of liposuction is around $6,000. This cost varies according to the dermatology cosmetic center you use for the procedure, whether you’ve had liposuction before, and how many areas you are having treated. The cost goes down for additional areas after the first one because the cost of the anesthesia and equipment will remain the same no matter how many areas you get treated. RealSelf reports that the average cost of a CoolSculpting treatment is around $475-$4,600, making the average cost around $2,500, but you will probably need at least two treatments. The cost depends on the size and number of the area(s) being treated, the location of the practice that offers cosmetic dermatology, and the experience of the practitioner.
While both CoolSculpting and liposuction permanently remove fat, you will need to have a healthy diet and exercise regularly to maintain the results. Your body will regain the fat if you return to unhealthy habits. Also, neither procedure can treat loose skin or dimpled skin from cellulite. In order to see results with CoolSculpting, you will probably need to have a few sessions. However, liposuction is typically done in only one session. It will take a while to see the results from liposuction, as the swelling will last for at least several months and as your skin tightens and shrinks in the treated area. But, because liposuction permanently removes the fat and because the doctor can also do some body contouring during the procedure, results can be dramatic. Your doctor can also do other procedures while you are under general anesthesia, like tummy tucks or transferring the fat to plump other places in your body, like your cheeks.
Make an appointment with Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area. Vanguard offers dermatology cosmetic surgery, including liposuction and CoolSculpting. You can meet with an experienced dermatologist to consider which treatment is best for you and schedule your procedure at Vanguard.