Would you like to reduce stubborn fat but you’re not sure whether Coolsculpting or lipo would be the right option for you? Both procedures can get rid of unwanted fat, but the ideal choice will depend on your specific needs and aesthetic goals.

Am I a candidate for CoolSculpting or lipo?

In order to determine whether CoolSculpting or lipo would be more appropriate for your needs, it’s helpful to compare how they work, because they are very different procedures.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a completely non-invasive body contouring solution that freezes away unwanted fat using cryolipolysis technology. Cryolipolysis works on the basis that fat cells are more susceptible to cold temperature than the surrounding cells and tissues. Therefore CoolSculpting is able to selectively target and destroy fat cells.

CoolSculpting is FDA approved for use on the abdomen, flanks, inner and outer thighs, submental area, fat beneath the buttocks, back fat, and bra fat.

How does CoolSculpting reduce fat?

The CoolSculpting handpiece is placed on the targeted area, and uses vacuum pressure to pull the tissue up into the applicator cup for treatment. Patients may feel intense cold at the start of the procedure, but this normally eases in about 10 minutes when the area becomes numb.

The treated fat cells are processed by the body in the weeks following treatment, and eventually removed. Some changes in body contours may be seen about 3 weeks after treatment, but final results can take up to 4 months to show.

CoolSculpting treatment takes less than one hour to complete.


Liposuction is a surgical technique that removes unwanted fat from specific areas of the body, and improves body contours. Liposuction can be performed almost anywhere on the body, but is most often used to reduce fat on the abdomen, flanks, thighs, back, buttocks, hips, upper arms, neck, and chin.

How liposuction reduces fat

Small incisions are made in the targeted area and a saline or tumescent solution is injected. A thin, hollow cannula (small tube), which has a suction attached, is then inserted into the fat via incisions made in the area. The cannula is moved back and forth to break up the excess fat, which is then suctioned out.

After liposuction, there is typically some swelling and bruising that lasts for several weeks. Patients are required to wear a compression garment to minimize post-operative swelling, and prevent the collection of fluid. The compression garment also improves the final appearance of body contours.

Some results can be seen about 4 weeks after liposuction, but optimal results can take up to 6 months.

You are a candidate for CoolSculpting if:

  • You prefer a non-surgical fat reduction treatment.
  • You don’t have a considerable amount of time to take off work for recovery.
  • You only have small pockets of excess fat to remove.
  • You are prepared to undergo multiple sessions if needed.
  • You understand how CoolSculpting works, and have realistic expectations about the results that can be achieved.

You are a candidate for liposuction if:

  • You are interested in surgical fat reduction.
  • You have a lot of fat to remove.
  • You will be able to devote several weeks to recovery.
  • You understand that it will take time to see the final results.
  • You have multiple areas to treat.

Clients considering CoolSculpting or liposuction should also be healthy, and near or at their ideal weight.

If you are interested in undergoing either CoolSculpting or liposuction, it’s best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon, to review the pros and cons of both procedures. A consultation will give you the opportunity to ask questions that will help you make an informed decision. The plastic surgeon will also carry out an evaluation of the areas you would like treated, to determine which procedure would be most effective for you.

Would you like to learn more about CoolSculpting and liposuction?

If you are in the Roseville, Rocklin, and Loomis, CA areas, contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rudy Coscia at The Plastic Surgery Center for a consultation.

You can reach Dr. Coscia at www.drrudycoscia.com, or by calling 916-929-1833 for his Sacramento office, or 916-773-5559 for the office in Granite Bay.