What would be better for an obese person who can't lose weight through diet and excise alone? CoolSculpting or liposuction?

I've read all about both and they both say that you should be near your ideal weight. Well what's the point then? Are there any fat removal surgeries out there for people with special circumstances such as mine? I'm a 28 year old female who has been dieting and exercising since I was 12. I gain a thousand times faster than I lose. The fat on my body won't leave. I want something that will remove that fat so I can continue busting my butt to maintain it

Doctor Answers 7


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Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what. In office evaluation is necessary to evaluate what procedure would be best for you.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

What would be better for an obese person who can't lose weight through diet and excise alone? CoolSculpting or liposuction?

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Thank you for your question. We recommend patients to be at their ideal weight as the outcome is much better. However, if you would like to undergo a procedure then I would recommend visiting a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. This way, you can explain your concerns, learn more about different procedures, and determine what works best for you. Regards,

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Weight loss surgery

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Thank you for your question and honesty.  Coolsculpting and liposuction and not good procedures to help someone lose weight.  There are great options out there for weight loss surgery.  I would recommend a consultation with a Bariatric Surgeon in your area to see if you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery.  This type of doctor specializes in surgeries that can help you lose weight.  Once you are at or near your goal weight, then there might be plastic surgery procedures that can help contour the extra skin or fat.  Best of luck!

CoolSculpting/Liposuction and Weight Loss

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CoolSculpting and Liposuction are not weight loss procedures.  They can contour and reduce subcutaneous fat to help with your appearance, but do not guarantee any weight loss.  It would be best to consult with a weight loss expert and discuss your weight goals with them.  Then, if you get closer to your ideal weight, you can consider CoolSculpting and Liposuction.  

Liposuction Candidate? Weight Loss?

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Liposuction is not a weight loss tool, it can be used once you have had weight loss and would like fine contouring. Coolsculpting is used to target small areas of fat with a reduction of 20%-25% per treatment and is not used as a weight loss treatment. I suggest you see a weight loss expert and discuss alternatives. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

CoolSculpting and Liposuction

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Neither CoolSculpting or liposuction are weight loss procedures. They are body contouring procedures. CoolSculpting works best on patients with pockets of fat that they would like to eliminate. Most patients do not see a difference in weight after the CoolSculpting procedure. If obesity is a problem, I would first consult with a bariatric surgeon about a weight loss procedure. Once you are closer to your ideal weight, then a body contouring procedure maybe more appropriate. I hope this helps. 

Coolsculpting for weight loss

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You are correct- both liposuction and Coolsculpting are ideally for patients that are at or near their goal weight.  Coolsculpting more specifically, is best for an area that is well defined and recalcitrant to diet and exercise. (love handle, muffin top, bra fat) Neither procedure is about weight loss.  The fat being targeted is 'fluffy' so to speak and even in cases where people lose inches the weight change is minute or non-existent.  If you genuinely feel that despite your best efforts you can still not lose weight, consider talking to your regular or primary care doctor about bloodwork, testing and perhaps getting on a medically supervised program.  Coolsculpting and Liposuction are about fine tuning for the most part, not significant weight loss.
Best of luck

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 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.