Which is Better for Me: Liposuction or CoolSculpting?

Side view full length of beautiful woman in black swimsuit Are you considering a cosmetic procedure to sculpt your body into the shape you’ve always wanted? If so, you’re probably wondering which procedure is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast two popular procedures—liposuction and CoolSculpting—to help you make an informed decision.


Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes fat from specific body areas through a small incision. A cannula (a small, hollow tube) is inserted through the incision and used to suction the fat out of the targeted area. Liposuction can occur on multiple body parts at once, and it frequently occurs in conjunction with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck or breast augmentation.

Liposuction usually occurs under general anesthesia so that you will be asleep during the procedure. The surgery usually takes less than two hours, although you must remain in the hospital for several hours to recover from the anesthesia.

You can expect bruising, swelling, and pain in the days following your surgery, but you can cope with pain medication prescribed by your doctor. Most people take approximately one week off to recover before resuming their normal activities.


CoolSculpting is a non-surgical alternative to liposuction that uses cryolipolysis to freeze and destroy fat cells. During CoolSculpting, a gel pad and applicator go on the targeted fat area. The applicator delivers controlled cooling to the fat cells below the skin’s surface, causing them to crystallize and die. Your body then eliminates these dead fat cells through your lymphatic system over the next few weeks.

CoolSculpting procedures usually last between 35 minutes and one hour per session. Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting does not require you to be under general anesthesia; instead, you remain awake and comfortable during the procedure.

You may experience some redness, bruising, swelling, and tenderness in the treated area in the days following your CoolSculpting session; however, these side effects are typically mild and resolve quickly on their own. Most people can return to their normal activities immediately after their CoolSculpting session without downtime.

Which One Is Better For Me?

Both liposuction and CoolSculpting are effective ways to remove unwanted fat; however, they are quite different. A surgical procedure such as liposuction requires general anesthesia and an extended recovery period, while a non-surgical procedure such as CoolSculpting requires no downtime. Ultimately, only you and your plastic surgeon can decide which procedure is right for you.

Learn more about these cosmetic procedures with Dr. Robert Kearney in San Diego, California, by calling (858) 677-9352.

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