Liposuction vs Coolsculpting: What’s the difference?
Liposuction has been around for a long time, but many people are still uncomfortable with the procedure. It’s a surgery after all. Fortunately something new has come along. People can now have a procedure called coolsculpting done. Coolsculpting will do much the same thing that liposuction does, but in a different way. Just how different is it though? Is it better? Is it less invasive? Well, let’s look at just how it’s different from traditional lipo.
What is Coolsculpting?
Well, Coolsculpting is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You essentially freeze the fat right off your body. This was actually first discovered when doctors realized that children who ate popsicles tended to have dimples more often.
Coolsculpting is of course a little more complicated than that, though not as much as you might think. The first step in an applicator (basically a big vacuum) grabs a chunk of fat. It then applies carefully regulated cooling plates to get the fat cells cold enough that they’re damaged beyond repair and that’s it. Over the next few days your body will dispose of the damaged fat cells and boom, a skinner you.
So It’s not Invasive then?
No, not at all. As mentioned there’s no cutting or surgery involved at all. The procedure actually shouldn’t hurt at all. The fat cells are more sensitive to cold than other cells in your body, so it’s just the fat that’s damaged. The procedure is in fact so uninvasive that there’s no down time either. You can head right back to work or school as soon as the procedure is done.
This is of course different than liposuction. Liposuction involves being put under anesthesia and having small holes cut into the affected area. The fat is then removed through these holes with a variety of different tool.
So It’s Safer too, then?
Coolsculpting is much safer yes. Though it should be said that Liposuction isn’t particularly dangerous at all. However, there are risks. As mentioned Liposuction involves being put under anesthesia. Whenever you’re put under there is a small (very small) risk of something going wrong. Anesthesia is of course not necessary with coolsculpting, so there’s no risk of it going wrong.
Another risk association with lipo is there are wounds created. There’s always a chance (again very small) that a wound could become infected. Coolsculpting of course doesn’t require any incisions to be made at all, completely eliminating the risk of infection.
Which is Cheaper?
The thing about procedures like this is they’re very broad. Depending on which area of the body you’re working with, and how much fat you want removed, the cost can vary quite a bit. However, there are of course averages.
Liposuction can vary from around $2500 to upwards of $8000. The average cost is roughly $3500. With Coolsculpting the cost is generally in the two to four thousand dollar range.
There are additional considerations though. There is generally a few days of downtime required after liposuction to recover. This could of course result in missed work, or needing to pay people to do things for you. Coolsculpting has no down time, but you generally need to come in for a few sessions. If you have a very long way to travel this could add quite a bit of cost.
Which procedure removes more fat?
This is one area where liposuction is better than Coolsculpting. Because with lipo you’re literally going into the body with tools to remove things it’s possible to get far more than coolsculpt can. Coolsculpt is of course also limited by the fact that you can’t make it too cold otherwise you’ll risk damaging the other cells in the area.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes coolsculpting does not work for people. Or, the results are so minimal that it’s not worth mentioning. Because of the direct nature of liposuction, this is never an issue. You may not quite like how things look after, but that fat is coming out.
Is Liposuction Ever the Better Choice?
Not usually, no. Though it can be. The one area where liposuction is better is if there is a very small amount of fat. With Coolsculpting there has to be enough fat for the applicator to grab some. The thing is of course that if there isn’t enough fat for the applicator to grab, there really isn’t enough to be worried about in the first place.
The other way lipo can be better is it’s faster. It takes a few days for your body to move the damaged fat cells out. It also generally takes a few treatments for Coolsculpting to work. So if you really really need results today, lipo would be better. But again, the odds of being in a situation where the advantage of speed outweighs all the disadvantages of the procedure are slim.