Which Procedure Should I Have to Rid Me of my Belly Fat: Liposonix, Coolsculpting, or Tickle Lipo? (photo)

I am a 38 year old 5'4 thin female whose weighs between 117-120 lbs. I run 15 miles per week, take a spin class,and attend a fitness boot camp twice a week. I also try eat healthily. No matter what I do, I can't seem to tone this belly fat! I've met with 2 doctors about having liposonix and coolsculpting performed to reduce it. I'm not looking for a 6-pack, just a flat tummy. I'm afraid of paying for a procedure that may not deliver results which is why tickle lipo is on the table. ~Nita

Doctor Answers 11

CoolSculpting for Belly Fat

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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. Therefore, you seem like a great candidate. Your doctor will determine if treatment is right for you during a one-on-one consultation.

Treatment for Belly Fat?

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Thank you for your question.

A physical examination will be the key to determining the best way to improve the appearance of your “belly fat”. I would suggest that you be examined by a well experienced plastic surgeon who has all modalities of treatment available to him/her so that you are not steered towards a specific treatment modality.

Coolsculpting is used for isolated pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.  This is a non-invasive procedure with no down time that results in 20-25% reduction of the fat in the area treated. Repeated treatments may be necessary/ helpful.  The area of concern needs to be "pinchable" so that it can be suctioned into the handpiece.  If you are not able to pinch the area, this may not be a good option for you. 

Generally, cool sculpting is not as affective as liposuction surgery in that a smaller percentage of adipose tissue is removed;  however, in my opinion  cool sculpting may have the benefit of allowing slower skin contraction to occur ( as the adipose tissue gradually is eliminated as opposed to rapid elimination with liposuction surgery).
Again, in person examination will be in your best interests.
I hope this helps.

In the right hands all of the options could deliver a good result

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All of the treatments and procedures that you have mentioned can produce very good results when performed properly.  If you would like to have maximum benefit in one treatment than liposuction would be the best treatment.  If low downtime is the most important factor coolsculpting would likely be the best option for you.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Coolsculpting versus other non-invasive options vs surgery

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Based on the photos, I would say that to achieve a flat abdomen, I would recommend a mini-tummy tuck.  This would enable liposuction of the lower abdomen as well as tightening of the muscles.  Of the devices that you asked about, however, I would say that Coolsculpting would give you the greatest fat reduction.  The challenge is that you may not be satisfied if part of the reason you have a lower abdominal prominence is because of the underlying muscle laxity.
I was the first plastic surgeon in Houston to bring on Coolsculpting and I spend a great deal of my time explaining the limitations and setting expectations of the different non-surgical and surgical options that I can present my patients.  I would recommend that you look for a plastic surgeon in your area with similar experiences with the non-invasive options.

Cool Sculpting treatments lead to permanent fat loss

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I think Cool Sculpting would be the best option for you.

Body reshaping can be performed with a cannula that removes fat via liposuction or with noninvasive technology like Cool Sculpting. With Cool Sculpting there is no cannula inserted into your body. All treatments are performed on the surface from the outside in using technology that freezes the fat. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Austin regarding a Body Reshaping Consult at the Upper Room. On our Facebook Page there is an Interview I recently did with KVUE, a local news station in Austin, that was picked by affiliates around the United States, including Miami. During the Interview we discussed the technology of Cool Sculpting as well as it

Tummy tuck liposuction and - or CoolSculpting

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All patients are examined in our practice by doctor to determine if the fat is amenable to removal with liposuction or can be addressed by CoolSculpting or if the situation warrants an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). If the fat is behind the muscle wall and the muscle is distended forward from a weakening in the fascia, then a tummy tuck is needed and liposuction nor CoolSculpting will help enough.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.



Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

CoolSculpting vs Liposuction

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Liposuction could  provide you the result you want. Coolsculpting might be able to provide you a desirable result as well. 

I was initially reluctant to bring in a non-surgical device to my plastic surgery practice to treat unwanted fat. In the right hands, liposuction is wonderful and very predictable. What I heard from so many patients is they had isolated areas of unwanted fat that were a concern,  but they were having trouble finding time for surgery and recovery in their busy lives. After a lot of research, and time to see about long term effects once it had been in use for a significant period of time, we brought in Coolscullpting and my patients have been delighted. It is not for everyone, but for the right person, it is great to spend just an hour in the office and be on their way resuming normal activities. In my office we have two systems to  provide double the fat removal in just an hour. We call our treatment package CoolSculpting Complete. We incorporate both mechanical as manual massage to the area that has been treated and we also add vibrational therapy at no additional cost. Our goal is to give people the very best results in the shortest period of time.  The additional treatments take only a few minutes and we think it is well worth it for the improved result.


Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Coolsculpting is not lipo

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Coolsculpting is a great treatment in properly selected patients to reduce 20-25 % of localized fat pooches...if you are looking for more than that, I would suggest you talk to surgeon about lipo.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

A CoolSculpting Fat Grab Test

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Can you grab the belly fat easily? If so, then CoolSculpting is certainly an option. Referred to as "fat freezing", it crystallizes fat cells without injuring other tissue.

Liposuction is surgery and carries the attendant risks of infection, bruising and sometimes an uneven or bumpy result. But liposuction can also reach areas more precisely than a noninvasive procedure.

Liposonix is relatively new and uses heat to disrupt fat cells.

From a provider standpoint, I would suggest you view the doctor's results, inquire as to level of provider training and also decide which risks - if any - you are willing to take.


Which treatment ?

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We offer many options for patients including Coolsculpting, Liposonix, SmartLipo and Power Assisted Liposuction, just to name a few.  There is no one treatment that is best for all so we have a variety of options.  With out examining you it is difficult to say for certain, but it appears you have firm fat in the abdominal area, which may respond better to Liposonix than Coolsculpting.  If fat is too firm and not able to be compressed into the treatment chamber than it can not be adequately treated by Cooldsculpting. Liposonix is better in these cases. For your best advice, consult a practice that offers Coolsculpting and Liposonix as well as other options.

Good luck~

Dr. Grant Stevens 

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.