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Summary: If you’re thinking about body contouring, you might be wondering if you should get liposuction or Coolsculpting. It’s a logical question. On the one hand, liposuction can generate amazing results. On the other, Coolsculpting does not usually require a recovery period. Choosing between the two can be quite difficult.

Choosing Between Liposuction or Coolsculpting

With the unqualified success of so many non surgical procedures out there, you might be wondering whether you should get liposuction or Coolsculpting for your body contouring needs. To some degree, this is a good question because there is some room for patient preference when it comes to choosing between these procedures.

However, your physiology will have some input as well. Choosing between liposuction and CoolSculpting means balancing what will work best for your body and what will be most likely to help you reach your desired final body contouring goal. That’s largely to do with the limitations—and the strengths—of each approach.

So let’s take a look at some areas where liposuction might be stronger and some areas where Coolsculpting really puts up a good fight. Deciding whether you should get liposuction or Coolsculpting often comes down to the final results.

The Major Advantage of CoolSculpting

As a non surgical procedure, CoolSculpting has one major advantage over liposuction: there’s virtually no recovery time. While a small percentage of patients might experience cramping or other discomfort that could last for several weeks, most patients are able to return to normal activities almost immediately. In other words, you can come in for your Coolsculpting and be back to work the same day.

The same can’t be said of liposuction. According to the website of Dr. Charles Polsen, a Clear Lake area liposuction surgeon, liposuction patients will usually have to endure a couple of weeks (at least) of recovery before resuming most normal activities. Some patients can be back to work after seven days or so. But there’s often a significant recovery period before you can resume activities such as exercise.

As such, Coolsculpting has a significantly faster turnaround. The procedure itself takes an hour (maybe two, depending on the surface area being treated) to perform. If the results from both liposuction and Coolsculpting were similar, it would be easy to see why Coolsculpting would win out every time.

However, the results are not always similar.

The Major Advantage of Liposuction

It’s true that liposuction does indeed require a recovery period. So why would patients select liposuction over Coolsculpting? The answer is pretty simple: liposuction can generate significant and bold results. Coolsculpting cannot. In even the best case scenarios, Coolsculpting is capable of generating only subtle effects.

That’s good enough for some patients—but not for everyone. Liposuction is a powerful procedure that can address a wide variety of areas:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Back
  • Tummy/abdomen
  • Face and neck

Essentially, just about anywhere you’ve got fat, liposuction can be performed. To a certain degree that’s also true with Coolsculpting. But liposuction is significantly more powerful, capable of transforming areas of the body.

Sculpting the Body

Liposuction also has the ability to “sculpt” treated areas of the body. In other words, liposuction affords surgeons a significant amount of control. Surgeons can then use this control to ensure that treated areas of the body blend seamlessly (or close to it) with untreated areas of the body. This makes it look like you lost weight—not like you had work done.

Coolsculpting does not necessarily afford surgeons quite so much control. There is a certain degree of precision—after all, the surgeons will carefully select which areas of the body to treat. It’s really Coolsculpting’s subtlety that lets it blend in with the rest of the body.

Which Body Contouring Procedure Should I Choose?

At some point, you’re going to have to choose between Coolsculpting and liposuction. We suggest asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • How much fat do you want to eliminate? The more fat you want to make disappear, the more likely liposuction is going to be your procedure of choice.
  • How quickly do you want to get back to normal activity? This is a critical question. Some patients aren’t going to have time to take a week off of work. The less time you have to devote to your recovery (which you definitely don’t want to rush), the more likely that Coolsculpting is going to be your best bet.
  • Where Do You Want Fat Removed? In some ways, both liposuction and Coolsculpting are versatile enough to target most areas of the body. Still, knowing the areas you want to target and how your results might blend in with your natural contours will be important in answering this question.
  • Will You End up With Excess Skin? Sometimes, when you eliminate a significant amount of weight, you might need an additional procedure. It’s not uncommon, for example, to couple liposuction with a tummy tuck procedure. This ensures that you are not left with a significant amount of excess skin and that your results look fit. In many cases, if you have to get a tummy tuck, you won’t be saving yourself much (if any) recovery time by electing Coolsculpting.

The Best Fit For Your Body and Keeping Your Results

In some ways, this decision might be out of your hands. If you really want to eliminate a more significant amount of fat Coolsculpting isn’t going to do the trick, no matter how badly you might want it to. Likewise, if you’re pretty fit and only want to target a very subtle area of your body, liposuction might be too powerful. It’s not entirely unlikely that your body is going to dictate some of these decisions.

But that’s okay. Usually, listening to your body is a good thing, and it’s something you should definitely be prepared to do. The best place to find out which procedure is best for you is from a highly qualified plastic surgeon.

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