Liposuction or CoolSculpting?

I had a lengthy conversation with a client today on the subject of CoolSculpting versus liposuction. Since this question comes up often, I thought I‘d recap some of the central ideas of our chat. First of all, this client is fairly fit – 15 pounds over her ideal weight – really just wanting to remove stubborn love handles and her muffin top, so she’s a great candidate for CoolSculpting. But that’s not necessarily the reason I recommended CoolSculpting over liposuction.

She hates needles. Avoiding them at all cost is her top priority. She listed five goals:

1. Don’t want to undergo risky surgery, “no blood”

2. No scars

3. No side effects

4. No downtime if possible

5. Want it done soon, “now if possible”

CoolSculpting was my recommendation because it clearly met her goals. She realized that liposuction wasn’t even an option unless she reconsidered all of her goals (and fears).

We went through the pros and cons of each and looked at dozens of before & after photos. I told her that I’ve even done CoolSculpting myself (flanks and inner thighs) and love the results. CoolSculpting was the best option for me personally because it’s non-invasive and has no downtime. Discomfort is minimal and the results are fantastic! And since the procedure is so quick, I had one of my master estheticians treat me during my lunch break.
As soon as she understood that the results would be permanent and that she could go on with her daily activities immediately after a CoolSculpting procedure (even a workout at her gym – zero downtime), she was sold. And I’m happy for her because I knew it was the best option.

Interestingly, just after our conversation a new client came in for a consultation. He had been told that liposuction was his only alternative because he’s 40 pounds over his ideal weight and only liposuction can remove this large quantity of fat. But he got a second opinion that was very different. What he discovered was that it’s unsafe to liposuction more than 8 pounds of fat in one treatment, so he was told to first lose 20 pounds and come back for liposuction when he’s closer to his ideal weight. If that’s the case, he said, why don’t I just lose 20 pounds then do CoolSculpting and avoid the surgery?

Which procedure is best for you depends on your goals. Both are effective in removing fat. Liposuction can remove larger quantities of fat but it’s limited to 8 pounds in one procedure. And it comes with downtime, risk and side effects. CoolSculpting may be best if you’re wanting to remove stubborn bulges of fat resistant to diet and exercise.