CoolSculpting Vs Laser Lipolysis

I have heard about zeltiq (CoolSculpting) alot but i wonder how is the end result compare to any laser lipolysis? dont tell me one is invasive n noninvasive, someone told me cryolipolysis result is almost same with laser lipolysis, is it true?

Doctor Answers 44

Laser Liposuction VS Zeltiq = FIRE VS ICE

In the ever increasing battle to separate people from their hard earned money by separating them from SOME of their fat newer methods are sprouting to do away with fat.

LASER LIPOSUCTION differs from other tumescent liposuction methods in  how the fat is treated BEFORE it is removed by suction. The fat is COOKED / BURNED with a very hot laser fiber. The heat not only destroys fat but also affects blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves (more permanent numbness) and the overlying skin. The problem is just how to stop short of causing permanent skin injury and how to gage fat injury since the fat will continue to change with time resulting in depressions that may not be seen at the time of the procedure.

ZELTIQ - is a procedure in which you have a portion of the area you want treated PINCHED and frozen for about 45 minutes at a time. The ice that forms in the fat cells destroys the cells and the body then gradually evacuates the destroyed fat cell contents. It needs to be done in multiple rather expensive sessions and is an option for those who are adamant about not having surgery but who are willing to have 4-5 sessions and a slightly less predictable and customized result.

Personally, I do not think either one of these techniques comes close to matching the capabilities of VASER, PAL or regular liposuction.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Coolsculpting Vs Liposonix (laser Lipolysis)

Both treatments are noninvasive, although Lipolysis is reportedly much ore painful. I think the mistake a lot of patients are making is assuming that both of these treatments have the same benefits regardless of the area being treated and the amount of fat in that area.   It is important to recognize that Coolsculpting is great for treating larger fat deposits.  If you can grab a handful of fat, you generally will benefit much more from Coolsculpting. If you can only pinch an inch, and the skin is tight and can't be sucked into the Coolsculpting applicator, you might be better off doing Lipolysis.

Coolsculpting can be done on the abdomen, love handles, and back.  Lipolysis is normally done on the abdomen and love handles.

Price point is comparable.  Results may be seen sooner in Coolsculpting, in 4-6 weeks where as Lipolysis takes 3-6 months.


Melissa Lazarus, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Zeltiq is much different from laser lipolysis

Think of laser lipolysis (which is rarely done as a stand alone procedure, it is almost always a combination of regular liposuction plus laser lipolysis) as a way of popping fat cells with a tiny hot poker (!).  The fat cells release an oily substance that is sucked out with standard liposuction instruments.  There are definitely incisions and not uncommonly there is pain and bruising. Numbing injections are used during the procedure to dull the pain. The results are very good.

 Now think of Zeltiq as freezing the fat cells, literally a giant suction cup sucks the skin along with the underlying fat.  The "sucked in" area is then chilled for an hour.  The fat cells don't pop, they undergo a slow death and are processed like any cell that dies in the body. The elimination of the damaged cells takes a few months. There is no pain or anesthesia, no incision and usually no bruising.  The recovery is a bit of soreness, possibly some short term numbness.

Cost wise the Zeltiq is less expense and the downtime is zero.  The results are moderate.  If you want a dramatic result go with the old fashioned liposuction (with or without laser lipolysis).  If you want easy, less expensive and more moderate results Zeltiq is indeed a good choice.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Laser Lipolysis vs Zeltiq- cool sculpting

The fact that one (Laser Liposuction) is invasive is important as it increases the risk of infection,requires anesthesia, and has side effects not found with Zeltiq cool sculpting including burns. However to achieve the results found with Laser Lipolysis may require multiple treatments.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Laser Lypolysis and Zeltiq are both effective

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is a non-surgical, FDA approved device for permanent fat reduction by using cryolypolysis to freeze localized areas of fat.  This mechanism works by damaging the fat cells  walls in the treatment area which are later removed through the body's  own metabolic process.  Unlike laser lipolysis, where a laser fiber is utilized surgically to damage fat cells by either heat or through photo- acoustic damage to cell wall. The damaged fat cells after laser lipolysis need to be removed by liposuction through a small cannula. If the majority of these fat cells are not removed, then the body's natural process will be unable to handle the large volume of ruptured cells.  They must be removed surgically through liposuction

 In terms of results, CoolSculpting is best for patients with small areas of localized fat, and those who are within 10 to 20 pounds of their ideal body weight.  One treatment of CoolSculpting will remove about 25% of fat in the treatment area and can be repeated 3-4 months later if desired.  Whereas laser liposuction, when done properly, can remove 85-95% of the fat cells in the treatment area in one procedure.

Results from  laser Liposuction is heavily dependent upon the experience of the plastic surgeon as well as the type of laser that is being used.  I have had good results using SmartLipo Triplex for patients who are good candidates. However, for those patients who have smaller areas to treat and do not want a surgical procedure, CoolSculpting by Zeltiq has been an excellent alternative with high level of patient satisfaction.  

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

SculpSure from Cynosure is now available

This seems to be a better technique for non-invasive contouring. In my office, I can address 4 applicators to 2 or 3 areas in 20 minutes each. This means a lunch hour etc. This machine-SculpSure-will totally change the time parameter. Also, warm sculpting has a feathering of the edges. I have had this done with four areas twice in 40 minutes and fell asleep during second one! Bring music!

Laser lipo vs Coolsculpt

Think of Laser Lipolysis as laser assisted liposcuction. Incisions are made and the laser device is inserted into the fat pocket and used to burst the cells and make the liposuction process easier for the physician. The procedure requires injections of tumescent lidocaine and sometimes the procedure is done under general anesthesia.  The recovery is the same as liposuction in which you must wear compression garments and there is typically significant pain requiring pain meds and limited exercise.
Coolsculpt uses a vacuum to suck your skin and fat into a hand-piece with cooling plates. The fat is cooled over an hour period in which the fat freezes and this causes the fat cells to die. Your body then disposes of the dead fat cells and you achieve a reduction in the area treated.You can start to see results in about 3 weeks and the results continue for 3 months.  The process is performed without anesthetic injections and no general anesthesia. There is some discomfort when the vacuum is applied; a tugging/pulling sensation. That subsides as the skin temp lowers.  At the end of the treatment period there is 2 minutes of massage which some people find uncomfortable but not really painful. There are no restrictions on activities; you are able to go to the gym and keep up with your routine. Depending on the area treated, many people workout the next day; some people take a couple days off from their workouts.  Working out is not necessary for results; It is important that you do not gain weight but you do not need to loose weight to see the changes. This is a great treatment that actually works and can give you lipo-like results.

Coolsculpting versus laser lipolysis

Coolsculpting is a very effective way to reduce fatty tissue in small areas of concern.  Laser lipolysis can mean different things depending on where you go.  In our practice, I use laser assisted liposuction (Slimlipo) to help tighten the skin in addition to reducing the fat.  In general, I find liposuction gives me more flexibility and capabilities to achieve my patient's goal, but I still have a great number of patients who opt for the non-invasive option.  I recommend going to a plastic surgeon who offers Coolsculpting as well as other surgical options for you to compare.  I was the first plastic surgeon in Houston to adopt Coolsculpting in their practice and still find it a very usual option for my patients.  We even brought on more devices so we can shorten the treatment time for patients who opt for multiple treatment areas.

Coolsculpting vs Laser Lipolysis

Our practice offers both technologies so the results really depend upon your desires. If you prefer a result with no downtime that is non-invasive, the cool sculpting is a better alternative. This technology is FDA approved and results in a reduction of fat by 20-25% in the areas treated. Laser lipolysis is a surgical procedure that is minimally invasive and performed under local anesthesia. The results are a reduction in fat from 70-80%. See a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation and treatment plan.

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

CoolSculpting vs. Laser Lipolysis (Smart Lipo)- what is the difference and which is better?

Both technologies melt away fat.  CoolSculpting does it via cryolipolysis (freezing fat) and laser via heating the fat.  SmartLipo is surgical and a one time procedure with a few days of downtime.  CoolSculpting is completely non surgical but requires multiple treatment sessions which can be performed over a 1 to 2 day period broken up into a few treatment sessions.  Laser liposuction will give you more skin tightening.

CoolSculpting has made significant advancements over the past few years and a lot more is known about how to perform the procedure to provide near laser lipo suction results.  We now treat the abdomen for example with 4 to 6 treatment cycles and can repeat treatments for even greater results a month later.  This is in contrast to prior treatment modalities where only a few treatment cycles were performed- with suboptimal results.

What's unique about CoolSculpting is that you can "treat to total body transformation" i.e. treat multiple areas such as the abdomen, waist, bra roll, legs and arms.  This is not possible with laser liposuction unless multiple surgeries are performed.  Its not possible to perform laser liposuction in one session for all those areas.  There would be multiple downtimes and the cost would be far greater.

In summary, we other our patients both treatment modalities.  Both provide excellent results.  I think that CoolSculpting is ideal if you have good skin tone (don't need skin tightening), want no downtime, looking to spend less, and are ok with results that maybe slightly less than laser liposuction.  If you want to treat your entire body, again, CoolSculpting is more practical.  If you want more dramatic results in targeted areas and are ok with the downtime then SmartLipo maybe a better choice. 

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
200 Stony Brook Court, Newburgh, New York
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Clinical Professor New York Presbyterian Hospital
National Education Faculty (physician trainer) for:
Allergan (Juvederm, Voluma), Valient (Scultpra, Restylane),
Cynosure (Cellulaze, Precision Laser Lift) & Solta (Fraxel, Thermage)
Zeltiq( CoolSculpting)

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 151 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.