CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction: An Overview

coolsculpting vs liposuction an overview 642705b3aa1e5

For many years, people with areas of stubborn fat were stuck with only two options: Live with it, or go under the knife.

What would you say if there was a treatment available that gave you the SAME results as liposuction, without the pain, and the recovery time for a fraction of the cost? Sign me up! Right?

In 2009, Zeltiq developed CoolSculpting – a non-invasive, no downtime fat removal procedure, giving men and women around the world a safer, and more practical solution to their body contouring concerns!

Like liposuction, CoolSculpting removes fat from the body permanently. It is not used as a weight loss procedure, but as a body contouring treatment to shape and remove stubborn pockets of fat. For both, it is recommended that you are within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight.

Procedure and Recovery Time

Where CoolSculpting and liposuction differ the most is in the recovery time. Liposuction is an invasive treatment where fat is physically sucked out of the body using a cannula (a small tube) while under general anesthetic. As such, the recovery time is significantly longer than after CoolSculpting. Most Doctors recommend taking a MINIMUM of one week off of work after liposuction to allow the incisions to drain and heal (eew!). Bruising, swelling, and pain last numerous weeks after the procedure, preventing you from doing many activities such as going to the gym, or even lifting your baby for up to 6 weeks.

After CoolSculpting, patients can get back to their regular lives IMMEDIATELY. No time off work (or any other activities) is required. Some bruising, swelling, and tenderness is expected but nothing that would hold you back from your ordinary activities. Since CoolSculpting is non-invasive, there is no healing that needs to be done. The cooling panels freeze the fat cells externally, which causes them to die. Your body then simply reabsorbs the dead cells through the lymphatic system, and then excretes through natural processes.

Side Effects of CoolSculpting and Liposuction

The medically minor side effects associated with both procedures differ in intensity. With both you will experience some bruising, swelling, and numbness in the area treated. However, with liposuction you will also experience limited mobility for an extended period of time (up to 6 weeks), pain from the incisions, and aggressive suction, post-operative weight gain due to severe swelling that can last up to 5 months – and let’s not forget the scars you’ll be left with!

Discreetly placed or not, they are still marks on your body.

Post Procedure Care

Patients are usually given a prescription, or over the counter medication to help manage the pain after liposuction. To help with the healing process, patients must wear a compression garment for at least 4 weeks, and up to several months postop.

There is nothing that is required of a patient after a CoolSculpting procedure that will make their results, and ‘recovery’, any better or worse. In some cases one might take a Tylenol to help with the sore muscle-like tenderness.


Although, in a sense, the results of liposuction are “immediate”, patients cannot fully see or enjoy their new body for many month. Scars, bruising and other tissue damage can take several months to settle down.

With CoolSculpting the results are gradual, because it takes time for the lymphatic system to evacuate the dead cells from the body. In some cases, patients have reported results as soon as 2 or 3 weeks after the procedure. However, it does take a full 8-12 weeks to see the full results of the procedure. Each day, patients will notice their clothes fitting better and unwanted fat fading away.

Cost of CoolSculpting vs. Cost of Liposuction

In Vancouver a cosmetics procedure like liposuction performed by a reputable surgeon will eat a huge chunk of your savings with each area of treatment ranging in price from $1,500 – $2,500 which will add up quickly costing you up $10,000 or even more!

CoolSculpting has the ability to treat almost all the same areas, only costing you about $600-$1,200 per area. Most patients can completely transform their bodies with a $3,000 – $4,000 budget.

About the Author:

Chloe Dobie is the head Laser and Skin Care specialist at CüR Laser and Skin, where she helps the men and women of Vancouver to rejuvenate their skin, and souls! Chloe has a passion for learning and is constantly researching new technologies and techniques to improve the results of her clients. Although she hasn’t yet perfected her “miracle perfect skin potion”, Chloe has a lot of great tricks and tips up her sleeve that she loves sharing with her clients to ensure they get the most out of their treatments.

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