Comparing CoolSculpting and Liposuction By Dr. Sutton Graham on September 12, 2016

Liposuction surgery became widely available in the 1990's.  It consists of permanent removal of variable amounts of fat under one's skin, allowing the skin to redistribute in treated areas.  It is capable of safely removing large amounts of fat at a single operative procedure.  Multiple and larger areas are generally done with general anesthesia combined with infused vasoconstrictor and local anesthetic medication.  Each year liposuction is the first or second most common cosmetic surgical procedure in the USA.  Downtown-time and recovery are needed and discussed at each patient's consultation.  It can be used in almost any area of the body where there is subcutaneous fat (under the skin), most commonly the tummy, flanks, male chest, arms, inner and outer thighs and under-chin areas.

CoolSculpting received FDA approval in 2010, as a nonsurgical fat reduction technique.  Controlled intense cooling is applied to areas of the body to gradually reduce localized fat collections.  Gradual loss of a portion of the fat cells in the area, and measurable reduction in fat thickness occurs.  Studies show approximately 20% reduction in thickness with a single treatment. Multiple treatments in the same area produce additional reduction.  The treatments require patients to lay still on a comfortable adjustable bed.  No medication or anesthesia is needed.  No recovery period, garments or activity limitations are recommended.  It can be used on most of the same areas of the body as liposuction, although there a few limitations. 

Neither method significantly tightens loose skin, so other procedures may be more suitable (tummy tuck, neck lift, etc.).  Liposuction can treat or remove a much larger amount of fat.  Cost of treatment of a single area will probably be greater for liposuction.  Although many successive treatments with CoolSculpting can cost more than liposuction to remove a similar large amount of fat.  Liposuction achieves more consistent reduction of the fat.  CoolSculpting results can vary between individuals.  Both methods provide better results when done by experienced operators.  CoolSculpting's biggest advantage may be its lack of downtime or recovery -- patients continue work, recreation and life's activities.  Individual in-person examination and discussion is necessary to give each patient the best individualized answer for them.  Schedule your consultation with us if you want more answers.

Dr. Sutton Graham

Aesthetic Center Greenville

Dr. Graham has been performing plastic surgery since 1990. He is dedicated to providing high-quality, personalized treatment, and is affiliated with several prestigious organizations, including:
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons

To learn more, contact us online or call our Greenville, SC, office at (864) 676-1707​.

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"I am very pleased with Dr. Graham and his staff! They have been incredibly kind and helpful throughout my surgery. The post-op care has also been top notch! They always respond to my concerns right away, and I always feel well cared for, and listened to." Mary V.

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