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CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction

If you have been doing much research on fat reduction procedures, you have likely heard of both CoolSculpting and liposuction. Both procedures have the same end goal – the elimination of fat in unwanted areas. However, each procedure is quite different. So, how do they compare?

CoolSculpting vs Liposuction – What You Need to Know

Here are a few basic facts about each procedure:


  • Approved by the FDA in 2012
  • Freezes fat cells to eliminate them from the body
  • Non-invasive – no incisions, anesthesia or injections
  • The procedure takes around 1 to 3 hours
  • Removes around 25% of fat cells in the treatment area
  • Usually requires a few sessions
  • Little to no discomfort
  • No recovery time


  • Been used since the 1980s
  • There are multiple types of liposuction
  • Requires incisions and anesthesia
  • Can remove up to 11 pounds of fat from the targeted area
  • May or may not require a hospital stay
  • Can achieve dramatic results and can be combined with other surgical procedures like a tummy tuck
  • A single session can achieve the desired results
  • Pain is common during the first few days of recovery
  • Can resume light exercise after a few days

Which procedure is right for you?

The answer is, “It depends.” You need to talk with your plastic surgeon to determine what your goals are and which procedure will help you achieve them. If you have only a little fat that you want to eliminate, or you have a strong aversion to surgery, CoolSculpting can achieve good results with no discomfort. However, if you want to remove a lot of fat and possibly want to get some more procedures done, liposuction may be more practical.

Before deciding which procedure is right for you, consult with a plastic surgeon you trust.