How Effective is Coolsculpting Compared to More Invasive Fat Removal Treatment Options?

Which parts of the body is coolsculpting recommended over liposuction just based on the results? Is it cost-effective to try a more conservative method before considering surgery?

Doctor Answers 17

Coolsculpting versus Invasive Procedures

Coolsculpting is the best non-surgical method for reducing a bulge that currently exists.  Liposuction is the surgical alternative which can be very successful but is invasive and obviously carries certain risks.  If you are considering a fat reducing procedure and want something non-invasive and effective than coolsculpting may be the best option for you.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience with coolsculpting for the best cosmetic results.

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

156 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Coolsculpting versus Liposuction

If you are open to a surgical option, this will usually trump Coolsculpting in terms of results.  If you are not open to Surgery, then I would say that Coolsculpting is a great option for you, provided you understand the limitation of the procedure and you go through a thorough consultation to help manage expectations.  My recommendation would be to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss what you can expect from each option you are considering.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

5061 FM 2920
Spring, TX 77388

Fat Removal with CoolSculpting

Results of CoolSculpting to treat stubborn pockets of fat have routinely been impressive. However, every patient is different and each person has different needs. Based on results, both liposuction and CoolSculpting can be really effective - it all depends on the kind of result you hope to achieve. Having an in-person evaluation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is highly experienced in both liposuction and CoolSculpting is a good way to find out what's right for you. It is most cost-effective to go with the method that will achieve the best results for your body and your goals, and to get it right the first time.

Frank Lista, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

1421 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5G 3H5

Coolsculpting less effective than lipo but no surgery and minimal recovery

Coolsculpting is non-invasive treatment for permanent fat reduction on abdomen, flanks, back and thighs. With each treatment patients lose 20-25% of the fat on each area. Patients can go back to work immediate after the treatment and there is no recovery or downtime involved. For the best results we usually recommend two treatments a month apart. With more invasive procedures, such as liposuction, patients have longer recovery, healing and need to take some time off from work. However, the results are usually more dramatic and can remove large aount of fat in 1 session

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

9843 Gross Point Rd
Skokie, IL 60076

CoolSculpting Vs. Liposuction for Fat Removal

                  Coolsculpting and liposuction are both excellent therapeutic options for managing localized fat collections. Both procedures offer advantages and the choice of procedure depends on a variety of factors.

                  Without pictures or a physical examination it’s hard to know which option is best for any given patient. In these cases, the location of the fat, is less important than the amount of fat and the patient’s aesthetic goals. When larger amounts of fat are present, liposuction will most likely yield a superior result. Unfortunately, this procedure may be associated with more pain and longer recoveries.

                  When smaller amounts of fat are present, excellent results can occur with coolsculpting with shorter recoveries and less pain in the post-operative period.

                  If you’re considering treatment of localized fat collections, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon would be appropriate. This surgeon can advise you regarding which procedure is best for you. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

8900 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68114

Coolsculpting Compared to Liposuction

Coolsculpting and liposuction are two very different techniques so patient’s need to select carefully in order to be satisfied with the result. Liposuction has been used since 1970. Simply explained the technique uses a cannula which is placed through a small incision and attached to a vacuum device. The vacuum and the motion of the cannula will displace fat cells which then are sucked into a cannister. Large volumes of fat can be removed with this technique and it is standard to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in fat volume for nearly anywhere on the body. Patients with youthful, contractile skin which can redrape following the fat removal are the best candidates. Patients with non-elastic , stretched skin are not great liposuction candidates as their skin will not contour to the loss of fat volume and they are likely to develop irregular dips.

Coolsculpting is a nonsurgical technique using a device which cools select areas of the body most often the love handle area and the abdomen. The procedure takes one hour and there is no significant recovery time. Over the following 8 weeks, the patient will experience a 20 percent reduction in fat volume which is a more subtle change than what is achieve by liposuction. Patient’s must be realistic about the different degree of results achieved by these two techniques otherwise they risk being disappointed by the degree of change with Coolsculpting. Patients may also undergo Coolsculpting a second or third time in order to achieve a greater removal of fat.

Carlin Vickery, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

1125 Fifth Avenue (at 94th)
New York, NY 10128

CoolSculpting vs liposuction

CoolSculpting DOES work. Most healthy people with areas of stubborn, unwanted fat can achieve wonderful results with CoolSculpting

In my practice, we have incorporated two systems, in order to provide results in half the time as well as vibrational therapy and a compression garment for optimal results.  We believe this provides the best possible results for ideal candidates. But, not everyone is an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting.

For people with  ore than very limited areas of excess fat, liposuction migth be a better option. The only way to know for is to receive a consultation from a plastic surgery practice that offers both CoolSculpting and Liposuction

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

10941 Raven Ridge Rd
Raleigh, NC 27614

CoolSculpting Treatment

Thank you for your question. CoolSculpting is not a weight loss solution for people who are obese, or a substitute for surgical methods such as liposuction. Good candidates have noticeable bulges in certain areas they’d like to get rid of. Your doctor will determine if treatment is right for you during a one-on-one consultation. Typically, each CoolSculpting treatment results in a noticeable reduction of fat in the treated area. After the initial treatment is complete, you can attain further reductions with additional treatments, resulting in even more fat loss. Some patients find that just one treatment fully addresses their goals. You and your doctor will discuss and design a plan that suits you best.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

5410 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

CoolSculpting vs Liposuction

The answer to your question is more dependent on what you want to gain from the procedure.  CoolSculpting is really designed for those who have smaller pockets of stubborn fat that they want to eliminate non-invasively.  CoolSculpting cannot remove fat to the same degree that you will see with liposuction, but it's more cost effective, there's no incision, garment, or downtime, so many of our patients who either don't want surgery or don't have a schedule that allows for downtime prefer this easy 1-2 hour procedure.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

300 Beardsley Lane
Austin, TX 78746

Non-invasive vs. Invasive Fat Removal

Thank you for your question.

This is very patient specific.  If a patient needs multiple areas treated and wants a significant result, liposuction may be the answer.  If a patient has areas such as flanks and/or bra strap fat and does not want to undergo surgery, CoolSculpting is perfect for that patient.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,051 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.