Would you like to reduce unwanted fat bulges? CoolSculpting and liposuction are two great options because they are able to precisely target pockets of fat, and provide incredible results. But when it comes to CoolSculpting vs liposuction, how do you decide which is best for you.

Despite following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, many people still find it difficult to achieve the figure they desire. CoolSculpting and liposuction are both excellent spot fat reduction procedures, but there are significant differences between them. Understanding these differences can help you decide which procedure would be best for you.


CoolSculpting is a non-invasive FDA approved technology that treats pockets of stubborn fat. It works on the principle of cryolipolysis or fat freezing, so the system freezes and destroys fat cells, without impacting the surrounding tissues.

How CoolSculpting works

CoolSculpting uses an applicator that is placed on the area of unwanted fat. The applicator has a degree of suction, so it pulls up the treatment area. Patients may initially experience some cold sensations, but the area becomes numb after a few minutes. The fat is then frozen and destroyed. The treated area is massaged for a few minutes after the applicator is removed.

The dead fat cells are gradually flushed away by the body, but the break down and removal of the fat cells will continue for several months.

Some changes in body contours can be seen about 6-8 weeks after CoolSculpting treatment, but the final results take up to 4 months.


Liposuction also treats stubborn fat but unlike CoolSculpting, it is a surgical procedure. Liposuction uses a cannula, which is a hollow tube, to break up the fatty deposits. The cannula is inserted below the skin through tiny incisions.

How liposuction works

Tumescent liposuction is a popular technique in which the fat cells being targeted are injected with a saline solution that contains local anesthetic. The solution helps to minimize swelling and bruising after surgery.

Recovery after liposuction typically takes 1-2 weeks, but this may vary depending on the areas treated, and the amount of fat removed. Patients are required to wear a compression garment for a few weeks after liposuction, as it helps with the healing process, and minimizes swelling.

CoolSculpting Vs Liposuction: which is best for you?

The decision to go with either CoolSculpting or liposuction will depend on your particular concerns and aesthetic goals.

Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting is a completely non-surgical procedure that requires no anesthesia, incisions, or downtime. Therefore if you are interested in a minimally invasive fat reduction procedure, CoolSculpting would be the right option for you.

While liposuction can be used on just about any part of the body, CoolSculpting is FDA approved for treating certain areas, specifically the abdomen, flanks, upper arms, double chin, thighs, back fat, bra fat, and beneath the buttocks (banana roll). In addition, CoolSculpting is best for treating small to moderate pockets of fat, but liposuction is more appropriate for larger fat deposits.

CoolSculpting reduces pockets of fat, but it does not create the dramatic contour changes that can be achieved with liposuction. Liposuction specifically sculpts and shapes the body to create defined contours.

There is no downtime after CoolSculpting, but recovery after liposuction can take several weeks. This makes CoolSculpting the better option for busy people wanting to avoid the long recovery time associated with liposuction.

In some cases it may take 2-3 CoolSculpting sessions to achieve the best fat reduction results, but liposuction only requires one treatment.

CoolSculpting is a simple, non-invasive procedure that avoids the risks and downtime associated with liposuction. On the other hand, liposuction produces dramatic results, but there may be a lot of post-procedural discomfort and downtime. However, liposuction is more beneficial for men and women with significant pockets of fat.

It’s always advisable to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to help you decide which approach would be best for you.

Would you like more information on how CoolSculpting compares to liposuction?

Contact Pittman Plastic Surgery, Athens, GA to find out more.

Call (706) 549-3203 today to set up a consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ed Pittman.