CoolSculpting: Does it Hold a Candle to Liposuction?

CoolSculpting New York City, NYThe desire for non-surgical treatments to refine the contours of the body has been strong for many, many years. The problem was that technology needed to catch up to demand. Now that it has, we see an influx of patient-inquiries about body sculpting with platforms like CoolSculpting. According to statistics, this one non-surgical fat reducing treatment is performed on more than 150,000 patients each year. The question remains, though, can a non-surgical treatment work? Let’s see . . .

How CoolSculpting Works

If you’ve heard this procedure name at all, your impression that it “freezes” fat is right. The CoolSculpting device has two panels that are adjusted to temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Fat is gently suctioned between these two panels, so cooling penetrates from both sides of the “fat pad.” Studies have shown that, at such temperatures, fat will freeze. Specifically, what happens is the lipids inside of fat cells crystallizes, and the membrane of fat cells weakens. This is referred to as cryolipolysis or apoptosis (controlled cell death). Then, the body naturally flushes these cells over the course of a few months.


What we need to look at with CoolSculpting is how it stacks up to liposuction for fat reduction. The reason we want to do this is that the ultimate goal of treatment is to have less fat in the target area. After each CoolSculpting session, of which several may be needed, as much as 25% of the fat cells in the treatment area are destroyed. This sounds like a lot. Compared to liposuction, it’s not. Furthermore, we want to look at the effectiveness in a given treatment area. CoolSculpting needs to “grab onto” fat between its two panels, so may be limited regarding variability. Liposuction, on the other hand, can be performed almost anywhere on the body because this immediate extraction of fat cells is performed through a small tube.

Are we bashing CoolSculpting??

CoolSculpting is a very popular procedure performed in our NYC plastic surgery office. We wouldn’t think of adding a piece of equipment to our practice if it didn’t offer our patients good results. Before CoolSculpting procedures, we perform a comprehensive consultation to discuss the full capabilities of this non-surgical fat reduction treatment. Fully informed, you will be able to choose for yourself which path is right for you.

Learn more about CoolSculpting. Schedule your consultation at (212) 508-0000.

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