Blog > Body > CoolSculpting vs Liposuction – Which Fat Loss Treatment Should You Choose?

CoolSculpting vs Liposuction – Which Fat Loss Treatment Should You Choose?

CoolSculpting and Liposuction are both effective fat reduction treatments to eliminate unwanted fat from the body. Despite their similarities, both procedures differ in some key ways. Some may benefit more from liposuction, but others may prefer CoolSculpting – especially those who don’t want to undergo surgery.

Choosing between CoolSculpting and Liposuction may seem confusing, so here’s a quick rundown on what their key differences are:


What Is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved non-invasive fat reduction and body contouring treatment that uses Cryolipolysis[1] as a fat removal treatment method. This treatment works on the principle of fat freezing, under temperatures that go as low as -13°C. Fat cells in the subcutaneous layer are frozen by the devices, which triggers an apoptosis process, causing them to die.

In the weeks following the treatment, your body naturally eliminates frozen fat cells. As CoolSculpting is not a surgical procedure, there is no cutting, stitching, anesthesia, or recovery time required.

CoolSculpting is also FDA approved to treat the following body areas:

  1. Under the Chin
  2. Male Chest (gynecomastia)
  3. Back Fat
  4. Flanks
  5. Upper Abdomen
  6. Lower Abdomen
  7. Inner Thighs
  8. Banana Roll
  9. Above the Knees
  10. Inner Knee

As CoolSculpting can treat different body areas and volumes of fat, it also has a variety of applicators that are designed specifically to treat those areas.

coolsculpting applicator full table

With so many effective CoolSculpting applicator sizes available, we are able to carefully individualize a CoolSculpting treatment plan for each patient.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure to remove unwanted fat from targeted areas of the body[2]. Due to the nature of the procedure, this type of plastic surgery is typically performed under anesthesia and requires a lengthy recovery period.

In comparison to CoolSculpting, liposuction can help you eliminate larger volumes of excess fat. The surgical procedure, however, is more complicated and has a longer downtime, as well as a higher risk of side effects.

Compared to CoolSculpting, Liposuction can help you get rid of larger volumes of excess fat. The treatment, however, has a longer downtime and there is a higher risk of side effects due to the surgical procedure.


Liposuction can be used to treat the following body areas:

  1. Abdomen
  2. Upper Arms
  3. Buttocks
  4. Calves and Ankles
  5. Chest and Back
  6. Hips and Thighs
  7. Chin and Neck
  8. Male Chest (gynecomastia)

Compared to CoolSculpting, Liposuction can help you get rid of larger volumes of excess fat. However, it has a longer downtime and there is a higher risk of side effects due to the surgical procedure.

Based on the method used for loosening the fat cells, liposuction can be categorized into the following types –

Tumescent Liposuction

During the procedure, a sterile solution is injected – a mix of salt water to aid in fat removal, anesthetic for discomfort, and a drug called epinephrine to constrict the blood vessels. Fluid mixtures then cause swelling and stiffening in the affected area.

A thin tube called a cannula is inserted under the skin after the surgeon creates small cuts in the skin. Through the cannula, fat and fluid are sucked from the body by a vacuum.

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)

This method is a fat-loss procedure that liquefies fat cells before their removal. This technique involves inserting a special cannula under the skin that emits ultrasonic energy.

Ultrasound energy is emitted as it vibrates rapidly. This ruptures the fat cells, making them easier to remove.

Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL)

Laser-assisted liposuction is a fat reduction solution utilizing laser energy to emulsify fat for easier and faster removal.

Laser light is used in this type of liposuction to break down fat so that it can be removed. With laser-assisted liposuction, fat deposits are emulsified using a laser fiber inserted into the skin. The fat is then removed via a cannula.

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)

Fat is removed with this technique by moving a cannula back-and-forth rapidly.

This vibration allows the surgeon to remove tough fat more easily and faster. This treatment may sometimes cause less pain and swelling and can allow the surgeon to remove fat with more precision.

Both CoolSculpting and Liposuction are fat-loss procedures to remove excess body fat. However, the results of CoolSculpting do become increasingly visible over the next few weeks post-treatment as the body does its job to eliminate the damaged fat cells, whereas the results of liposuction are relatively noticeable immediately after the procedure.

Also, neither treatment is suitable to remove skin laxity or cellulite, a skin condition that causes dimpled skin on hips, thighs, stomachs, and buttocks due to fibrous septa pulling irregularly on your skin and fat pushing upwards. Check out our skin laxity and cellulite reduction treatments here.

In summary, CoolSculpting and Liposuction are both effective fat removal treatments, each with its own advantages. CoolSculpting is more suitable for removing smaller amounts of excess fat, while liposuction is better suited for removing larger amounts. With every procedure, invasive or non-invasive, there are risks involved. It is important to however weigh the pros and cons of both treatments and consider what your needs and goals are.

While CoolSculpting might be the more suitable option if you are looking for a non-invasive fat reduction procedure for body contouring, the effectiveness also depends on the experience of the practitioners administering the treatment. Speak to us today to find out if this is the treatment for you.