What is less risky? Touch up Lipo under local or Coolsculpting to treat minor bulge/ thicker abdominal flap after tummy tuck?

My pubic area is flat and my bellt is a bit round after my tummy tuck. I am scared of fat embolism and all the other scary risks of lipo. Which is safer for me? Coolsculpting or liposuction under local anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 9

Lipo For "Touch-Up" Following Abdominoplasty

Since we started performing CoolSculpting 3 years ago, my office does far more of these procedures than liposuction because patients love the non-invasive approach.  In your case, however, numbing the residual fat pocket with local tumescent anesthesia and directly suctioning the fat would most likely give you the best and most immediate result in my opinion.  Small volume liposuction performed using exclusively local anesthesia (you are completely awake) is an extremely low risk procedure in experienced hands.  This is a relatively quick, minimally invasive procedure. Of course, you would need to be seen by a board certified dermatologic or plastic surgeon for a thorough evaluation of the area before a final recommendation can be made.


Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Liposuction and Techniques -- SmartLipo Versus VASER Versus Traditional Versus WAL Versus ThermiRF

Liposuciton after a tummy tuck is very safe if done by someone very experienced and can give a more sculpted apperance than a noninvasive option (which may take more than one treatment and require 3-6 months to see the result).  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Coolsculpting for touch up after tummy tuck

Thanks for posting your question! I would tend toward the liposuction. I think this will likely yield the best result. It is a more aggressive procedure and will remove the fat more completely. The Coolsculpting has the advantage of being non-invasive, so there is no downtime, but if it's results you're after go with the liposuction. Good luck, Dr. M

Jared Mallalieu, DO
Annapolis General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Liposuction versus CoolSculpting for post-surgical (tummy tuck) contour bulges

Hi foreveryoung908!

Any procedure has its "pros and cons".  

Liposuction may have a risk of fat embolism but this risk is far smaller than many of the risks you accepted for a tummy tuck.This is not a big risk.

Depending on the amount of body contouring from liposuction you desire, will determine recovery, cost and risk. Liposuction can provide smoother contour, shape a larger surface and reduce the thickness of an area up to 90% whereas CoolSculpting, while non-invasive, may only improve your single session result up to 20% of thickness. 

Please consult with a well experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who does both to compare and contrast the differences as they are individualized for you. 

I hope this helps! All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Which Is Safer: CoolSculpting or Liposuction?

CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive and as such is safer than Liposuction. However, you need to be sure that it is the most appropriate treatment for you instead of liposuction. This can only be determined by your surgeon during an in-person evaluation.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

CoolSculpting After Abdominoplasty

CoolSculpting and Liposuction are both effective and in the right hands very safe.

Ultimately you will need to discuss this with your Plastic Surgeon to determine what on balance is the best approach for you.

In context, liposuction in a small area under local is far less risky than the abdominoplasty you just underwent.

Likely what you will have to consider is the possibility of 2-3 treatments with CoolSculpting with little to no risk of any adverse event and no downtime, balanced against a single liposuction treatment with some bruising and minimal downtime  and very low but potential risks.

You've got time, consider your options and move forward when you're ready.

Good luck.

Dr Nodwell

Trefor Nodwell, MD
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Coolsculpting and risks

Coolsculpting is a non-invasive fat freezing procedure which is done in the office without anesthesia in just one hour.  It has many less potential side effects than liposuction.  Best, Dr. Green

Proven results

Touch up lipo in small areas after an abdominoplasty gives proven lasting results, and is very low risk.  Jane

Risk of CoolSculpting versus liposuction under local anesthesia

I would consider both CoolSculpting and liposuction fairly low risk procedures, but if you had to compare them, CoolSculpting would be less risky because it is non-invasive.  

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.