Does CoolSculpting work the same way as liposucion?

Doctor Answers 9

Coolsculpting vs Lipsuction

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Coolsculpting and Liposuction both have the goal of removing fat cells.  However, Coolsculpting is a non-invasive way of reducing a bulge by 20 percent in a given area.  Liposuction is a serious surgical procedure that has many risks.  Coolsculpting can be done on certain areas and takes only one hour in a doctor's office.  Please find a board certified dermatologist with experience in Coolsculpting for the best results.

Does coolsculpting work the same way as liposuction?

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The goal of both coolsculpting and liposuction is to remove excess adipose tissue. Coolsculpting induces programmed cell death by selectively freezing fat cells. Coolsculpting is accomplished with a special machine that has an applicator to draw tissue in between freezing plates. In contrast to liposuction, it is nonsurgical, does not require anesthesia, compression garment or downtime. However, with coolsculpting, the actual reduction of fat can take 1-3 months for dead adipocyres to be cleared by the body,

Suzanne Kim Doud Galli, MD, PhD, FACS
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon


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Coolsculpting eliminates fat cells by freezing them. Since fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperatures than skin – the fat cells are selectively destroyed leaving other tissues undamaged. After these fat cells are targeted and frozen they dissolve over the course of a few months. Results may be noticeable within a few weeks after the first session. You may request further treatments depending on the initial results, as multiple treatments will provide further fat reductions. Coolsculpting is not designed for removing large amounts of fat but for diminishing stubborn bulges that resist your best efforts to remove them with diet and exercise.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Non-invasive fat removal.

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No, CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive. It works by cryolipolysis, freezing the fat which causes apoptosis (cell death). The fat is then removed over the next weeks or months by the patients lymphatic system.

Warren Schutte, MD
Fort Collins Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

CoolSculpting is the kinder gentler way to get rid of unwanted fat!

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Liposuction literally sucks fat cells from your body. It is an immediate and sometimes rather violent way to get rid of fat. No one debates the effectiveness but there is recovery, anesthesia of some sort and risks and side effects. CoolSculpting on the other hand slowly lulls the fat cells into a cold coma for an hour, there is very little discomfort (some people feel the first 10 minute are uncomfortable because of the suction of the applicator, not the cold). After an hour in the deep freeze a certain percentage of the fat cells will be permanently damaged. The body will declare them salvageable and will gradually remove them from the body over a period of about 90 days.  You will experience an equally gradual reshaping of the area treated. The result is a new, trimmer contour.  Many CoolSculpting patients have several areas treated for a true "sculpting" of the trunk and abdomen,  and there is no down time or need for recovery.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

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CoolSculpting works by freezing superficial and intermediate layers of fat cells in a problem area or bulge without hurting the skin.  A suction device sucks up the problem bulge and gently freezes it.  The device is removed and the area is massaged.  This can be done in the office with minimal to no downtime.  Over the next 1-3 months the fat cells die of naturally and the lipids are absorbed by the lymphatics improving the contour of the treated area.  Liposuction works by sucking the fat cells out through a small incision.  One gives you a gradual result, the other gives you an immediate result.  Discuss your goals and desires with a board certified Plastic Surgeon to see which option is best for you.  All the best!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

CoolSculpting Is Different From Liposuction

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In both CoolSculpting and liposuction, the entire fat cell is eliminated from a targeted area.  That is the only comparison between the two fat reduction methods.  Liposuction is likely to have more dramatic effects after a single procedure, but the benefit of CoolSculpting is that it is non-surgical and non-invasive. 

CoolSculpting is ideal for the patient who does not have time for recovery after an invasive procedure.  In CoolSculpting there is no medication necessary and no down time.  Many of our patients continue their normal exercise and work routine immediately. 

CoolSculpting uses a vacuum applicator to draw intact tissue into the cooling chamber.  The fat cells inside the treatment area are frozen and the body eliminates those fat cells from the body over the next three months.  Multiple areas may be done at one session.  Many patients will need more than one treatment in one particular area.  At my Raleigh NC practice, we are a top CoolSculpting provider and have Instant Rebates for patients to receive a free CoolSculpting treatment with each treatment purchased.

If you are interested in learning more about CoolSculpting, I recommend that you find a Premier Crystal Practice in your area and have a personal consultation. 

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

Cool Sculpting is not the same as liposuction and works in a different way entirely

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CoolSculping is a great adjunct to liposuction but isn't the same thing.  It freezes the fat and ends up making the fat 'shrink' after treatment.  In general, it is best for folks who are needing  just a little bit more and when you get to larger areas, you are probably better to do liposuction. 
Liposuction works by physically removing the fat with a cannula (small instrument that is inserted under the skin and sucks out the fat).  Hope that helps!

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Does CoolSculpting work the same way as liposuction?

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CoolSculpting does not work the same way as liposuction.  CoolSculpting uses a non-invasive device which cools the fat, which causes a portion of the fat cells in the treated area to die off.  Liposuction is a surgical procedure which involves using small incisions around the treatment area and then inserting cannulas to physically remove some of the fat with suction.    

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.