Are you ready to get rid of those stubborn fat bulges, but you’re not sure what your options are? CoolSculpting and liposuction can both remove unwanted fat cells and sculpt your body with lasting results. But how do you decide which procedure is best for you.

Despite healthy eating and a good fitness regimen, some people may have uneven body contours due to localized fat deposits. CoolSculpting and liposuction can both reduce fat in these areas, but they work differently.

CoolSculpting Vs Liposuction

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to freeze away stubborn fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. Using a method known as cryolipolysis, the CoolSculpting system is able to selectively target the fat cells without affecting nearby tissues. It is a safe, non-surgical treatment that can deliver reliable results for the right candidate.

How exactly does CoolSculpting work?

The CoolSculpting applicator is placed over the treatment area, and draws up the tissue between the cooling plates for treatment. Patients may experience intense cold at the outset, but this should subside after the area becomes numb, which usually takes about 10 minutes. The applicator remains in place for about 35-45 minutes, and during this time the fat is frozen and destroyed.

When the applicator is removed the provider may massage the frozen treatment area to smooth it out.

The treated fat cells are naturally processed by the body in the weeks after treatment, so improvements in body contours will be seen as the fat is removed from the treatment site.

Where can CoolSculpting treat?

CoolSculpting can be used to treat the abdomen, thighs, flanks (love handles), submental area (double chin), back fat, bra fat, and fat beneath the buttocks (banana roll).


Liposuction is a surgical procedure that also removes unwanted, diet-resistant fat below the skin, but it uses suction. Liposuction breaks up and then ‘sucks’ the fat deposits from the body. This is done with the use of a cannula, which is a small hollow tube.

How liposuction works

Traditional liposuction involves the use of some form of anesthesia, whether general, local, or intravenous sedation. After this, saline solution containing medication to reduce pain and swelling is infused into the treatment area. The cannula, which has a vacuum attached, is then inserted and moved back and forth to break up the fat, which is sucked out afterwards.

There will be some swelling and bruising after liposuction and this can take several weeks to resolve. A compression garment is worn in the first few weeks after surgery to help minimize swelling. As the swelling goes down the new body contours will start to show, but final results can take up to 6 months.

Where can liposuction treat?

Liposuction can be used to treat almost any part of the body including the arms, neck, abdomen, flanks, hips, buttocks, chest, ankles, back, and chin.

Which is best for you?

The decision to have CoolSculpting or liposuction will depend on several factors including the amount of fat that needs to be removed, the areas that require treatment, and your aesthetic goals.

Liposuction is an aggressive treatment that can remove more fat in a single session compared to CoolSculpting. A single CoolSculpting session removes 25% of the targeted fat, and it typically takes 2-3 treatments to achieve optimal results. CoolSculpting is therefore the better option for small to moderate troublespots.

Liposuction is a more versatile treatment, as it can be used to treat fat on almost any part of the body, whereas CoolSculpting is FDA approved for specific areas. If you need to remove unwanted fat from areas not covered by CoolSculpting, liposuction would be best for you.

CoolSculpting will provide a subtle but noticeable reduction in fat bulges, but if you are looking for more dramatic results, liposuction is ideal.

It’s also important to remember that liposuction requires several weeks for recovery, while CoolSculpting has no downtime at all. You should therefore consider the amount of time you can devote to recovery.

Would you like to learn more about CoolSculpting vs liposuction?

Contact Pittman Plastic Surgery, Athens, GA for a consultation.

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