It’s best to start with the basics! The difference between CoolSculpting and laser lipo is how these treatments work to destroy your unwanted fat cells.
CoolSculpting uses a non-invasive technology called Cryolipolysis- a controlled cooling that kills your fat cells while sparing the overlying skin. These destroyed fat cells are naturally eliminated from your body over time. As this procedure is well tolerated, no anesthesia is needed.
Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that manually sucks out undesired subcutaneous fat. There are several types of lipo treatments, and the newer modalities incorporate power assisted equipment and laser or ultrasound to better extract fat with less trauma. The laser may also help with skin contraction. All methods of lipo require anesthesia, which usually administered by an infiltration of numbing fluid to the area being treated, and the insertion of a metal tube into tissue via a small surgical incision. With laser lipo, a laser fiber is also inserted through a small tube into your body where it ruptures those fat cell membranes, liquefying the fat, that is then suctioned out by the metal cannula.
What is the expected recovery of CoolSculpting vs Laser Lipo?
Both treatments are relatively quick, lasting about 1-2 hours, depending on how many areas you are targeting. There is only mild discomfort during these procedures.
CoolSculpting has virtually no downtime- you can return to your normal activities immediately after treatment. Common short-term sensations reported after treatment include mild soreness, minimal swelling/bruising, and temporary numbness in the area treated.
Laser lipo requires several days of downtime and significant bruising and swelling are expected. There is a (small) risk of infection in the treated area, scarring at the surgical incision site, and of the laser energy burning your skin. In addition, some patients may develop dimpled or lumpy tissue in the treatment area. This may be temporary due to swelling, or could be a more permanent result requiring surgical correction. To decrease this risk, most surgeons recommend wearing compression body garments and refraining from vigorous activity/exercise for a period of four to six weeks post treatment.
CoolSculpting Treatment Results vs. Laser Lipo Results
Now, let’s talk results! Laser lipo has the advantage of seeing a reduction of volume within the first week, but it can take up to 6 months for final results. Laser lipo treatment is more aggressive with a single procedure reducing fat in the treatment area by 50-70%. However, revision liposuction procedures may be required- particularly if dimpling or lumps occur.
CoolSculpting results can be seen as early as 3 weeks with final results visible at 3-4 months with an average permanent tissue reduction of 20-25%. Depending on the area being treated, and your unique needs, you may require more than one treatment to obtain optimal results.
How to Choose the Right Body Contouring Procedure for You
Deciding on CoolSculpting vs laser liposuction depends on what is important to you. If you wish to avoid surgery with its associated risks and lengthy down time, and don’t mind gradual results, then Coolsculpting is the better option. If you are simply looking to remove as much fat as possible in a single session, are reasonably healthy, and are not prone to scarring- then laser liposuction may be a more attractive option. CoolSculpting and Laser Lipo are both FDA approved, safe, and effective ways of treating stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Although both are great alternatives to traditional Liposuction, it’s clear that if you are looking for a safe, effective, completely non-invasive procedure to target unwanted fat, CoolSculpting is the #1 body contouring treatment!