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Should You Get Liposuction or CoolSculpting®?

Liposuction has long been one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures because of its unmatched effectiveness for removing stubborn fat. The transformative power of liposuction is what motivates our Syracuse, Albany, and Schenectady, NY patients to request it, and its versatility makes it a frequent topic of conversation in consultations.

In recent years, though, we’ve seen a rise in demand for CoolSculpting, a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. The promise of CoolSculpting is simple and alluring: fat reduction, with no downtime and no surgery. But that’s not the whole story. CoolSculpting is highly effective for some patients, but it’s not the best option for everyone.

So how do you know which treatment is right for you?

When CoolSculpting Is Best

If you have concerns about anesthesia or downtime, then CoolSculpting may be a good option. The length of the procedure starts at 1 hour, depending on your treatment area. If your session involves multiple areas, it will take about an hour per treatment area.

There is no hospital visit, no anesthesia, and no scar, and you can immediately return to your daily activities afterward. You won’t need to take time off or restrict your activities in any way. CoolSculpting treatments also typically cost less than liposuction.

When Liposuction Is Best

CoolSculpting does have some limitations, though. It can’t treat as many areas of the body as liposuction, and it doesn’t offer the precise results that liposuction does. CoolSculpting is most effective for the abdomen, flanks, and thighs, compared to other areas of the body; liposuction can be more effective in other areas of the body. Liposuction provides a more immediate result, compared to the 3 to 6 months it takes for CoolSculpting results. Liposuction can also remove more fat than CoolSculpting, which usually achieves about a 20 percent to 25 percent fat reduction per treatment session. Patients often schedule multiple CoolSculpting sessions for more dramatic results, which can often be achieved with a single liposuction procedure.

Overall, many patients would benefit from either procedure. What ultimately will work best for you depends on your body and your desires. A qualified plastic surgeon who has experience in body contouring can take these factors into account and make a recommendation that suits your lifestyle.


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