CoolSculpting vs. Lipo vs. BodyTite: Understanding Today’s Fat Reduction Treatment Options
January 31st, 2022 — by Dina Eliopoulos
Quite often we see patients who despite their best efforts to sculpt and tone their body with diet and exercise, cannot achieve the results they want when it comes to eliminating areas of stubborn fat on the thighs, hips, abdomen, back, arms and neck.
This situation is not only common, but understandable given that we have a natural predisposition to store fat in certain areas, and while lifestyle choices can change the size of fat cells, they unfortunately cannot eliminate them. Furthering the difficulty in eliminating persistent body fat on our own is the fact that as we age, managing areas where unwanted fat is stored becomes an even bigger challenge as our metabolism slows down and as we lose collagen in our skin and develop more skin laxity.
In today’s aesthetically oriented society, both men and women are increasingly concerned about their body image. With an array of both surgical and non-surgical fat reduction treatments available, you now have several options for eliminating unwanted bulges when conventional methods are no longer achieving your aesthetic goals. When evaluating which treatment option is right for you, such as CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction, your best bet is to do your research and work with an experienced medical provider that can assess your needs holistically and develop a custom treatment plan.
Types of Liposuction Procedures
Liposuction is typically one of the first cosmetic considerations when a patient thinks of slimming down and re-shaping specific areas of their bodies exhibiting localized fat. In fact, liposuction has remained one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, even in the wake of non-surgical medical advancements, with more than 211,000 Americans receiving liposuction in 2020 alone.
Traditional suction assisted liposuction is the gold standard for targeting larger volumes of fat removal. This procedure is performed using a long, skinny hollow tube called a cannula, with an opening at one end which is inserted through a small incision in the skin. At the opposite end of the cannula is attached to a vacuum pressure unit allowing Dr. Eliopoulos to suction away unwanted fat away and sculpt that troublesome area of the body. By removing excess fat, it is possible for patients to achieve a more proportionate figure, a better body-image, and more self-assurance. An important note for patients is that liposuction addresses fat removal only and does not necessarily tighten the skin.
BodyTite by InMode takes liposuction to the next level! Using radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL), not only is unwanted fat extracted through tiny incisions, but complementary radiofrequency energy simultaneously stimulates collagen production, tightens the skin and the deeper tissues for optimal contouring. Whereas traditional liposuction targets fat only, the radiofrequency component of BodyTite addresses the surrounding skin laxity as well. Initial improvements can be seen within the first week and final results are visible within a few months of the procedure. Most patients are able to return to work or normal activity after a day or two. The other added benefit is that Dr. Eliopoulos can perform this comfortably for her patients without the need for general anesthesia, right in her office.
If patients are looking for a smaller or moderate area of fat removal, want to avoid anesthesia and shorten their recovery, RFAL liposuction may be the perfect solution.
Photos courtesy of InMode
Non-Surgical CoolSculpting® Treatment for Reducing Fat
Innovations in medical technology have introduced new, proven ways to eliminate stubborn fat without invasive surgery and CoolSculpting® is the leader in nonsurgical fat reduction. While liposuction and CoolSculpting are both proven to be effective in reducing adipose tissue (body fat) and improving body contour, these two cosmetic procedures have their differences.
An appealing component of CoolSculpting to many patients is the ability to achieve transformative results without the downtime associated with liposuction. As opposed to the surgical solution, CoolSculpting is non-invasive and uses cryolipolysis technology to reduce localized subcutaneous fat by delivering controlled cooling at the surface of the skin. By exposing fat cells to a critically low temperature, the CoolSculpting device induces crystallization and subsequent death of the targeted fat cells, which your body will naturally flush away over time to create a permanent change.
Considerations of CoolSculpting vs. Lipo
During your initial body contouring evaluation for fat removal, here are a few key considerations:
What are Your Aesthetic Goals?
CoolSculpting is designed to treat localized pockets of fat, such as in the love handles or outer thighs or tummy. It is best suited for patients who are not actively trying to lose weight but want to contour targeted areas without the downtime associated with surgery.
For patients looking to treat a larger area of the body or for patients desiring a more dramatic change in body contour, liposuction may be the more suitable choice. The benefit of undergoing liposuction with general anesthesia is that the provider can more aggressively address larger volumes of fat on multiple regions of the body in a single session. This full body approach is often referred to as Lipo 360 (or 360 Lipo). Dr. Eliopoulos is highly experienced using this more aggressive approach to achieve that “wow” result and a better shaped body in less time.
Do You Have Skin Laxity Concerns?
If you have excessive skin from pregnancy or a dramatic weight loss, you may require incisional surgery to address loose or sagging skin such as a tummy tuck or brachioplasty (arm lift). Given the additional goal of improving your skin’s appearance, your provider can help evaluate your skin’s role in selecting which fat reduction procedure is best.
How Quickly Do You Want to See Results?
Liposuction is a more aggressive treatment option than CoolSculpting, removing more fat during a single session. An overall reduction in fullness and improved contour is noticeable within days post-procedure, however, it takes several months to see the final results of most liposuction surgeries.
With CoolSculpting, one or more treatment sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired results, all depending on the treatment area and your body’s reaction to treatment. Consequently, the results of CoolSculpting are not immediately noticeable, but will become apparent as early as three weeks post-treatment with optimal results occurring 1-2 months after your last session.
How much downtime can you afford?
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical procedure that does not involve anesthesia, as such, it offers quick recovery, zero downtime, no surgical garments or scars, and minimal risk of complications.
Alternatively, although liposuction surgery recovery is relatively quick, most patients need a week or less of downtime before returning to their daily activities. However, this timeline is dependent on the amount of fat removed from the body. Typically, patients will use light surgical compression garments for several weeks post-op to expedite healing as well.
Which Fat Reduction Treatment is Best?
With expertise in both surgical and non-surgical treatments for body contouring, we’re capable of creating a customized treatment plan that works with your body and your goals. If you are interested in talking with us about your body contouring goals and which treatments may be right for you, please contact Dr. Dina Eliopoulos in Chelmsford, Massachusetts today to schedule your comprehensive consultation.
During the consultation, Dr. Dina Eliopoulos will use her over two decades of expertise as a board-certified plastic surgeon to evaluate and recommend a treatment plan based on your specific body concerns and goals, as well as answer any questions you may have about the process.