Top Body Contouring Procedures: CoolSculpting® vs. Tummy Tuck

For most of us, it’s all too easy to identify a few areas of stubborn, persistent flab. Maybe it’s a little paunch in your tummy or a little excess fat around your thighs. For others, it may be flabby arms or buttocks. These problem areas keep us from having the slim, athletic figure we might want; and, they can rob us of our self-esteem. This is when we consider CoolSculpting® vs. tummy tuck.

What’s especially frustrating is that these deposits of fat and flab are often unresponsive to diet and exercise. Thankfully, there are a number of options available for minimizing these extra fat deposits. Specifically, body contouring provides a way to ditch the flab and finally gain the toned, trim physique you’ve always wanted.

We are pleased to offer multiple body contouring procedures at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, including CoolSculpting® and tummy tuck. The question is, which option is right for you?

An Overview of Body Contouring

Before we get into specific pros and cons of CoolSculpting® vs. tummy tuck, it’s important to clarify what we mean when we talk about body contouring.

Body contouring may refer to either surgical or non-surgical procedures used to target and eliminate extra tissue, leading to a more streamlined physical appearance. Body contouring is useful both for eliminating that flab that won’t respond to nutrition and exercise and for getting rid of loose, saggy skin that remains following significant weight loss.

An important point about body contouring: It’s not necessarily designed to help you lose weight per se. That is, it’s not primarily about changing the number on the scale. It’s about removing excess fat and tissue, which may cause you to feel self-conscious about your appearance but doesn’t necessarily add a significant amount to your total body weight. It’s important to know this as you seek a clear, realistic sense of what body contouring can help you accomplish.

Considering CoolSculpting® vs. Tummy Tuck

With that said, which body contouring option is the best suited for achieving your aesthetic goals: CoolSculpting® vs. tummy tuck? Let’s look at each procedure individually.

CoolSculpting® (and CoolSculpting® Elite)

CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive procedure in which your fat cells are literally frozen. A CoolSculpting® technician will use a special applicator to target the fat cells in the intended treatment area; once they freeze, they will effectively die, at which point they are released from your body as ordinary waste.

Using CoolSculpting®, you can target and eliminate fat in virtually any problem area across your body, including your abdomen, thighs, arms, neck, or “double chin.” Patients tend to love CoolSculpting® because it’s relatively quick, it’s painless, and it doesn’t require any surgical intervention nor a prolonged recovery period.

Also, take note that Charlotte Plastic Surgery is a proud provider of CoolSculpting® Elite. This newer, more advanced variant of CoolSculpting® has been cleared by the FDA and produces results more quickly and with fewer total sessions required. It’s one of the most expedient options on the market today for body contouring.

Coolsculpting Patient Results


Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, represents a more invasive but potentially even more efficacious form of body contouring.

In this surgical procedure, your plastic surgeon will remove extra fat and tissue from your abdomen, sometimes with the use of liposuction. Additionally, your surgeon will help rebuild your abdomen’s muscular wall, helping you to not only lose weight but also gain a taut, toned appearance.

Because it involves surgical intervention, the tummy tuck is obviously a little bit riskier and comes with a much lengthier recovery period. With that said, it can offer fast and long-lasting results. And for some patients, including mothers whose abdominal walls were impacted in pregnancy, a tummy tuck is the best option for overall health, strength, and personal fitness.

Tummy Tuck Patient Results

Before and After Tummy Tuck Results

CoolSculpting® vs. Tummy Tuck: Pros and Cons

As you consider these two options for body contouring, it is natural to wonder which is best for you.

The best way to make this decision is by meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon, who can provide you with a more individualized recommendation. In the meantime, here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Non-invasive (e.g., no surgery needed)
  • No recovery or downtime (most patients go straight back to work following a session)
  • No pain (though you will feel an intense cold sensation)
  • A natural way to remove stubborn fat and flab
  • Better suited for smaller pockets of fat
  • It usually requires multiple sessions to see results
  • You will not see results right away

Tummy Tuck

  • Remove a significant amount of fat, all at one time
  • You will only need to have a single procedure, as opposed to multiple CoolSculpting® sessions
  • Requires surgical intervention
  • Will need several weeks of gradual recovery
  • Requires anesthesia
  • You will experience some pain, soreness, and swelling post-procedure

Making an Informed Decision About Body Contouring

As you seek to make the wisest possible decision about CoolSculpting® vs. tummy tuck surgery, we invite you to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our surgeons.

During this consultation, we’ll ask you some questions about your medical history, verifying that you are a good candidate for a safe, effective procedure. We’ll talk with you about your body contouring goals to determine where you’re looking to lose excess tissue… and how much.

Based on this and other considerations, including your desired timeline, we can make a recommendation as to how to proceed. And, we’ll be happy to answer any further questions you may have about body contouring methods.

Reach Out to Charlotte Plastic Surgery

It’s not unusual to have some stubborn fat and flab, especially if you’ve recently gone through a big life change (like pregnancy) or significant weight loss.

Body contouring procedures provide safe and effective ways for you to lose the flab and enjoy a more toned physique. We would love to tell you more about the different body contouring options available here in Charlotte, NC. Contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery whenever you’re ready to learn more about CoolSculpting® and tummy tuck surgery.