CoolSculpting or Liposuction, How to Choose?

If you are struggling with unwanted fat, you’ve probably thought about CoolSculpting or Liposuction. But what’s the difference? How do you choose which to use? 


This treatment is a new way to rid the body of excess fat. During treatment, an applicator is applied to the treatment area. The skin and fat are then sucked into the applicator and the fat cells are targeted with cold. This freezes the fat cells, causing them to crystallize. 

After treatment, the applicator is removed, and the treatment area is massaged to help break up to fat crystals. Then, the body will break the cells down and eliminate them. CoolSculpting does not affect the other cells so there is no tissue damage or scarring. 

CoolSculpting works great for small areas of fat but it isn’t suitable for removing large areas of fat. Patients with a significant amount of excess fat are unlikely to see dramatic results with CoolSculpting.


In the United States, the second most popular cosmetic surgery in 2018 was liposuction. It is the go-to procedure for anyone with a large amount of excess fat.

During this procedure, a plastic surgeon makes one, or several, incisions around the area of fat that will be removed. Then, a thin tube called a cannula is inserted into the incision and used to suck out the fat.

This may be done under local or general anesthesia, depending on the amount of fat being removed and areas that are being treated. 

Treatment Areas and Cost

The cost of CoolSculpting varies but on average it is between $2,000-$4,000.

Removing fat from the abdomen and flanks is the most common use of CoolSculpting but it is FDA cleared to treat nine areas of the body. These include:

  • Back
  • Under the chin and jawline
  • Thighs
  • Upper arms
  • Abdomen
  • Flanks
  • Bra fat
  • Back 
  • Banana roll (area under the buttocks)

Liposuction, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, costs just over $3,500 on average.

However, this price does not include anesthesia and other expenses. Liposuction is used for several areas of the body including the:

  • Lower legs
  • Abdomen
  • Upper arms
  • Neck 
  • Waist
  • Knees
  • Face 
  • Back
  • Buttocks
  • Chest 
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Area under the chin

While both treatments can be used on many areas of the body, CoolSculpting works better than liposuction on some areas.

Some areas are just harder to contour with liposuction. Because CoolSculpting has specialized applicators for these areas, they may achieve better, more precise results. 


With CoolSculpting, there is no downtime. You can resume your normal activities after treatment. However, with liposuction you won’t be able to resume your normal activities for at least a week, maybe longer.

Doctors encourage patients to move around after liposuction to help speed up recovery. This mean walking around or light housework, not strenuous activities.

Furthermore, patients are advised to wear compression clothes for at least four weeks after liposuction.


CoolSculpting is non-invasive, meaning there are fewer risks. Possible side effects include redness, bruising, tingling, numbness in the area, and mild discomfort. These typically go away after a few days.

Liposuction, while relatively safe, carries more risk than CoolSculpting. Immediate side effects include pain, swelling, bruising, and numbness.

Other side effects, like a seroma or fat necrosis, that may appear months after surgery. Also, patients may experience changes in body contours during recovery.


Liposuction is better suited to removing large amounts of fat. Also, fat can be moved from one area of the body to another with liposuction. Some people choose this option to contour their body more effectively. You will notice results within days, but it will take months for your body to adjust fully. 

CoolSculpting results can take a few weeks to become noticeable. With this treatment, results are much less dramatic than liposuction. However, CoolSculpting is more convenient and doesn’t carry the same risks as liposuction.

CoolSculpting or Liposuction

It really comes down to you. If you have small amounts of body fat to lose, CoolSculpting is probably a great choice. However, if you have significant amounts of excess fat, you may wish to consider other options.

An in-person consultation is the best way to address your concerns. The professionals at Prolase Medispa are highly trained and have extensive experience helping patients choose the best treatments and providing them with quality care. Contact us today to get started!