Liposuction Versus CoolSculpting®: Which One is Right for Me?

Many of us dream of having a more streamlined figure. Alas, fat deposits accumulate in problem areas all across our body, from the abdomen to the buttocks to the upper arms. Often, removing fat from these areas can be incredibly difficult, even with a dedicated diet and exercise.

The good news? There are other options for achieving the trim physique of your dreams. One option is to pursue non-surgical body contouring, like CoolSculpting®. Alternatively, some patients decide to seek surgical intervention. Of the different surgical options, liposuction is the most common.

How can you decide which of these procedures is right for you? Allow us to share a few guidelines with regard to liposuction versus CoolSculpting®.

About Liposuction

We’ll start our discussion of liposuction versus CoolSculpting® with some notes about the surgical option.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgeries in the world. It’s designed specifically for those who have stubborn fat deposits that they just can’t seem to shake, even with sound nutrition or committed exercise.

Liposuction involves an incision being made near your target treatment area. Through this incision, your surgeon will insert a narrow suction tube, which is used to vacuum unwanted fat cells out of your body.

Am I a Good Candidate for Liposuction?

The best candidates for liposuction typically meet the following criteria:

  • Adults within 30 percent of their ideal body weight.
  • Still have firm, elastic skin.
  • Nonsmokers.
  • Do not have underlying health issues that might impede them from proper healing.
  • Have consulted with a board-certified plastic surgeon and have reasonable expectations about what liposuction involves.

To learn more about your own eligibility for liposuction, don’t hesitate to contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery at any time.

Liposuction Patient Results

Before and After Body Contouring Results

About CoolSculpting®

Next, we come to CoolSculpting®, a non-invasive alternative to liposuction.

What is CoolSculpting®?

CoolSculpting® eliminates unwanted fat cells by freezing them. Once frozen, the targeted cells die and eventually pass through the body like an ordinary waste.

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we also offer an option known as CoolSculpting® Elite. This is a newer version of the old CoolSculpting® process, with faster and better results. CoolSculpting® Elite has been approved by the FDA and can be a great method for achieving your body contouring goals more expediently.

Am I a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting®?

Usually, the best candidates for CoolSculpting® meet the following criteria:

  • Pretty close to your target weight.
  • Generally in good health and have a sustainable lifestyle.
  • Enough excess fat to treat (if you can “pinch an inch,” you’re a good candidate for CoolSculpting®).
  • Not pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.
  • Looking for a non-surgical alternative to liposuction.

Again, the best way to assess your eligibility for either of these treatments is to schedule a one-on-one consultation here at Charlotte Plastic Surgery.

Coolsculpting Patient Results

Before and After Coolsculpting Results

Liposuction Versus CoolSculpting®: Comparing the Pros and Cons

As you seek to make a wise decision about liposuction versus CoolSculpting®, there are a few specific factors to consider.


One thing to think about is a risk. CoolSculpting® is non-surgical, which makes it less risky. The side effects are very minor and may include some mild bruising or skin sensitivity. Most often, these side effects fade within a week or two.

Liposuction is a very commonplace surgery, so the risks are limited… and yet, any time you go under anesthesia, there is at least some risk you could have an adverse reaction. Liposuction also carries a small risk of infection. And, for those who have underlying conditions such as heart disease, liposuction may be a no-go.


Another factor to keep in mind is convenience. CoolSculpting® is done as an outpatient procedure, and a single session may take an hour or less. The downside is that you will usually need multiple sessions to achieve the desired results, though it depends on just how much flab you’re trying to lose.

Something else to consider about CoolSculpting® is that there is basically no recovery period. In fact, we have patients who get CoolSculpting® on their lunch break and go right back to work.

By contrast, liposuction is an outpatient surgery and may take up to two hours. You’ll likely go home the same day, but will need to rest and recover for about a week. And, it may be a month or more before you are cleared to resume all your normal activities, including strenuous exercise.


Finally, think about the efficacy of each procedure. We’ll note from the outset that both liposuction and CoolSculpting® permanently destroy fat cells, though you can still develop fat in other areas of the body.

CoolSculpting® is highly effective for dealing with smaller quantities of fat and flab, concentrated in one part of the body. If you’re looking for more significant fat removal, then liposuction may be the smarter choice.

Choosing the Right Procedure

Both liposuction and CoolSculpting® can be effective means of eliminating fat, and ultimately of enjoying a more contoured physique.

The best way to determine which procedure is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. In this one-on-one appointment, your surgeon will assess your needs, walk you through the different options, and verify that you’re a good candidate for a safe, effective procedure. Of course, you can also ask any questions you might have. Together, you and your surgeon can develop a treatment plan that you feel excited about.

Talk with a Plastic Surgeon About Body Contouring

Many of us long to have more streamlined bodies, and to get rid of stubborn fat deposits. There are plenty of ways for accomplishing that goal, including liposuction, CoolSculpting®, and beyond.

To learn more about these options, and to take the first step toward a more contoured appearance, we invite you to contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery. We’d love to further explain the merits of liposuction versus CoolSculpting®. To make an appointment with us, reach out to Charlotte Plastic Surgery at your next opportunity.