Liposuction or Coolsculpting? (Photos)

I've been considering liposuction for years but recently read about Coolsculpting. My goal is to have a slimmer midsection over all and a more well defined waist. I like that Coolsculpting is nonsurgical but I'm wondering if I'll have to have a bunch of areas done (abdomen, hips, low back? = 5 areas?) to achieve what I'm looking for because I kind of have an even layer of fat all over rather than in one area. I will consult with docs in person but I'd like some suggestions/opinions here. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 18

CoolSculpting® is a wonderful noninvasive option to lipo.

Based on your photos, you appear to be an excellent candidate for liposuction or CoolSculpting®. Which procedure is best for you really depends on the degree of improvement you wish to achieve and what kind of downtime you are willing to experience. CoolSculpting® can deliver great results, but it will never be able to deliver as dramatic of an improvement as liposuction. With that said, liposuction does require a significant amount of downtime whereas CoolSculpting® allows you to return to normal activities almost immediately. This can be a difficult decision, but there are definite pros and cons to each procedure. As you stated in your questions, a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you make the best decision.


CoolSculpting is a great solution for patients with pinchable fat in common problem areas, such as the abdomen, flanks, inner and outer thighs, and even underneath the chin. Reducing fat in these problem areas can help patients achieve a more sculpted body. A certified CoolSculpting provider can help you determine the number of treatment areas needed to help you achieve your goal. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine which procedure is best for you. Good luck!

Tom S. Liu, MD, MBA
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Lipo vs. CoolSculpting

Hello Gracegurl!

I always like to inform my patients on the difference of CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction. More importantly, I like to see what the patient is most willing to undergo, what their lifestyle is life, expectations, and areas being considered, etc.  If you are looking for precise and significant body contouring, have several areas to treat, are willing to accept downtime, incisions, the need to wear compression garments, prolonged bruising, swelling, numbness and undergo anesthesia, then liposuction is probably your best option. Though most surgeons do have a limit of how much fat can be removed with an outpatient lipo procedure, based on your photos, you wouldn't have to worry about reaching the maximum as it doesn't seem you have a significant amount to treat.  With this being said, you are also what I would consider to be an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting. 

CoolSculpting has the potential to reduce anywhere from 15-25% of fat in the areas being treated. Sometimes a second treatment in the same area is recommended to help reach your aesthetic goals. Though CoolSculpting does also have some temporary bruising, swelling, and numbness associated with it as well, it is typically nothing near the longevity of that of liposuction. There is also no need to wear compression after CoolSculpting (though it is not a bad idea), there are no incisions and no need to undergo anesthesia. You can have CoolSculpting done and go about your routine the same day of treatment. There is minimal to NO downtime with CoolSculpting treatment. 

  Whether it be liposuction or CoolSculpting, ultimately the best results will be maximized with proper diet and exercise as well.  The best thing to discuss with any consultation you encounter is what you are looking to achieve exactly, and what you are willing to accept as the conditions. 

Hope this helped. Good luck on your journey! 

Arash Moradzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

CoolSculpting vs Liposuction

Schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who offers both CoolSculpting  and liposuction. After an evaluation your surgeon will recommend the appropriate treatment option to fit your needs. Best of luck!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


CoolSculpting is non- invasive cryolyposis. The CoolSculpting treatment is designed to kill fat cells permanently in the area that is treated.  I would definitely go in for a consultation so you can see how many cycles you will need. However, based on the photos above i think you would be an excellent CoolSculpting candidate. 

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

CS vs Lipo

Thank you for your photos. You look to be a candidate for both, however, if you are liking the non surgical route with no downtime, then CoolSculpting would be very beneficial for you, especially with the new Cool Advantage applicator. Most patients typically get 2 treatments in the areas of concern to achieve the desired results but your best bet would be to speak with a certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in both CoolSculpting and Lipo to determine what the best fit would be for you.

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Candidate for either Liposuction or Coolsculpting

You appear to be a candidate for Coolsculpting or Liposuction. With a large number of areas, it may be more cost effective to have liposuction. As you indicate consult in person with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is an expert of both coolsculpting and liposuction. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Liposuction contrasted to Coolsculpting

I have added a link that might be helpful...

Hi.  Thanks for sharing photos.  You are a good candidate for both liposuction and Coolsculpting.  Liposuction will remove more fat in a single surgery, and you may see skin shrinkage with certain technologies like VASER  liposuction.  With the faster 35 minute CS applicators, you can be treated in less time, but with CS you may need another round of treatments to get maximum improvement (i.e. delay in getting to end result).  Two rounds of 5 cycles may actually cost more than one liposuction surgery, so be sure to get estimates beforehand.  You can take extra measures by choosing a Coolsculpting certified specialist and/or ABPS certified PS for whichever method you choose.  Best wishes,

Candidate for Cool Sculpt or Lipo?

Dear Gracegurl, Based on your photos I would try cool sculpting because you appear to be (from what i can see) a great candidate. Healthy height and weight with small problem areas on approved areas are highly predictable. Your love handles and abdomen would most likely benefit from cool sculpting- definitely worth an in person consultation. Good luck!

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring with Fat Grafting and Tummy Tuck

You look thin although you may have loose skin which would require removal to really have a flat stomach and should be combined with lipo. non invasive options can be tried but often give very little results in this type of case. A formal consultation is needed. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 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.