You’ve tried low-carb, no-sugar, and other diets with targeted exercise. Maybe you’ve even reached your goal number on the scale, but you still have areas of your body that hold onto fat cells no matter how many calories you cut or hours you hit the gym. Luckily, there are surgical and non-surgical options to eliminate those fat cells for good. Liposuction and CoolSculpting are both effective fat-removal methods, but which one is right for you? Charles S. Lee, MD, can help you decide during your consultation at Enhance® Medical Center.
CoolSculpting and liposuction can reduce stubborn fat in several areas and improve your body shape, but the procedures and timeline for your results are vastly different.
How Liposuction Works and When You’ll See Results
Liposuction is the “gold standard” for removing stubborn subcutaneous fat. It’s one of the most popular plastic surgeries and works by surgically removing fat cells. Our double board-certified plastic surgeon makes tiny incisions in the targeted area(s) and inserts a narrow tube called a cannula. The cannula is moved around to disrupt the fat cells and is connected to a surgical vacuum or syringe that suctions out the excess fat. The procedure can remove excess fat from nearly any body area, from your face to your ankles. Liposuction offers noticeable results within a few days, and the full outcome settles in several months to a year later when swelling is completely gone.
Liposuction requires general anesthesia, IV sedation, or local anesthesia, depending on the treated area. You must take one week off work and have activity restrictions for several weeks. Most patients experience swelling, bruising, numbness, and other side effects during this time.
How CoolSculpting Works and When You’ll See Results
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that uses cryolipolysis to eliminate excess fat without invasive surgery. The FDA-cleared device reduces localized subcutaneous fat using a vacuum applicator that gathers skin tissue and fat and delivers controlled cooling to the skin’s surface. The fat cells are exposed to critically low temperatures to cause crystallization and cell death in the fat cells. The human body naturally eliminates the dead fat cells through the lymphatic system over several weeks. CoolSculpting is typically used to treat the thighs, abdomen, flanks (love handles), back, and a double chin.
Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting involves zero recovery time and has a low risk of complications. Patients can return to their everyday routine right after their appointment with only minor redness, bruising, tingling, and numbness in the treated area. Results do take some time to show up, though. You will notice a change in your body contour about three weeks or longer after the treatment, with more dramatic results several months after CoolSculpting. That’s because it takes about four months for the body to process injured fat cells and eliminate them from the body.
If you struggle with stubborn fat, liposuction or CoolSculpting can help you reach your ideal body shape. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee in Beverly Hills at Enhance® Medical Center by calling (310) 271-5954.