Which Would I Benefit More from CoolSculpting or Lipo, or Am I in Need of a Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Hey! I'm 23 5'6" and 158lbs, overall I eat relatively healthy and work out daily. I'm happy with everything EXCEPT my stomach. As in the pictures I have lower pudge. I was considering coolsculpting, I've heard and seen great results but wanted to get some professional opinions as to what fat reducing procedure I would benefit the best from. Obviously I am not expecting miracles, I don't expect a perfectly flat tummy, just one that I feel comfortable in a bikini with :)

Doctor Answers 8


Based on your description and photos, you seem to be a candidate for liposuction. While non invasive modalities may provide minimal benefits,  they would probably not be suitable for your objectives. To verify which option is best for you, consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

How to lose the "bulging" tummy.

For younger women with a modest amount of fat and good skin elasticity, liposuction is a great way to shape the abdomen. A full tummy tuck is more beneficial when the desired abdominal contour cannot be achieved without removal of skin. Liposuction removes excess fat and tones the skin. In younger patients, these results can be dramatic! Although non-invasive fat reduction techniques (CoolSculpting) can work, actual liposuction is certainly a more powerful technique.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Which is Best for My Bulging Tummy - Coolsculpting, Liposuction, or a Tummy Tuck?


Dear Priscilla,


Coolsculpting, liposuction, and a tummy tuck are all potentially good ways to contour a bulging tummy.


*Which* treatment is best *for you* depends on a number of factors including your condition, your health, your goals, and your expectations. A physical examination is an important part of this assessment.


I would consult with *an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon* who is familiar with all of these techniques in order to help you understand the differences between these treatments and to help you choose which would best suit your specific individual needs and goals.


I would be wary of opinions provided by those who neither perform tummy tucks nor noninvasive treatments such as Coolsculpting or Liposonix.


Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD


Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

If you skin has good elasticity, liposuction may be right for you.

Thank you for your question and the photos.


If you skin has good elasticity and you want to avoid the scars of a tummy tuck, liposuction may be right for you. I think you will be dissappointed with the results of nonsurgical procedures such as coolsculpt.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Liposuction is probably your best choice, but ask your plastic surgeon.

Examination in person is critical, because your photos can only show so much, and the proper recommendation takes into account other factors such as skin tone, abdominal wall tone, diastasis (stretch) of the abdominal wall fascia (from pregnancy or weight loss), and actual fat layer thickness.

I like Dr. Boyd's assessment of all the non-invasive fat removal technologies. They all "work" to some degree, but a skillfully-performed liposuction procedure (I would use ultrasonic tumescent technique) would yield significantly better results with one procedure and only tiny inconspicuous scar(s). Don't waste your time and money on these other techniques; see an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon (be sure on this as there are many "board-certified" non-plastic surgeons who will try to make you think they are fully-trained and qualified as a plastic surgeon when they are in fact NOT).

Let's face it, you ARE hoping for miracles, so go with what gives you the best chance of achieving your goal--real liposuction by a real plastic surgeon experienced in this procedure! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Lipo or tummy tuck?

Hi there,

Forget non invasive fat reduction technology: the result will be too minimal for what you could achieve through liposuction. 

And, you don't need a tummy tuck at this time. 

All this is good news, you are an excellent candidate for a shape improvement which pleases you.  As has been said by another surgeon, the best technique of lipo is the one your surgeon feels most comfortable with.  It's not the technique, it's your choice of surgeon which matters.


Good luck.

Coolsculpting, Liposonix or liposuction: How to choose

If the skin tone is good and the amount of fat is not too much, then a fat-reducing procedure would probably be appropriate as compared to a tummy tuck. Coolsculpting (Zeltiq) and Liposonix are both noninvasive, FDA-cleared technologies, but neither does as much as surgical liposuction. I prefer Liposonix in the nonivasive category because I believe that it is more precise than Coolsculpting.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck

You are young, your skin tone looks good and the bulge is small. You would get an excellent result from liposuction. Doesn't matter if it is CoolSculpturing, SmartLipo, SafeLipo, VasarLipo, UltrasonicLipo, TumescentLipo BuzzWordLipo or whatever the Lipo du jour happens to be.

You wouldn't tell Picasso which brush to use!

Choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who understands what you want and explains what he/she can do.

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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.