Laser liposuction and CoolSculpting are two minimally invasive cosmetic procedures that are designed to remove fat from targeted areas of the body. Due to the similar objectives, many patients ask about the differences between these two approaches and which is best for their needs.
This guide provides a helpful overview of laser liposuction versus CoolSculpting so you can understand the benefits and make an informed decision.
What is Laser Liposuction?
Laser liposuction combines traditional tumescent liposuction with a medical laser. Tumescent liposuction uses local anesthetic to avoid full sedation, while the laser plays a key role in both melting fat and tightening the skin. This addresses one of the biggest issues with liposuction and other body sculpting procedures, which is loose skin.
With our SmartLipo MPX® treatment, Dr. Bill Johnson and Innovations Medical were the first providers in Texas to perform this innovative technique.
How Does Laser Liposuction Work?
During a laser liposuction procedure, the surgeon introduces the laser through a tiny incision in the area of treatment. He or she then gently and carefully suctions the fat out while using the laser in key areas. Careful shaping of the treatment area helps deliver smoother contours and appearance. The smaller incision helps achieve minimal scarring, while the outpatient approach helps shorten recovery time.
Laser Liposuction Benefits
Laser liposuction is perfect for patients who have achieved weight loss goals and still have nagging problem areas. Cosmetic body shaping procedures of any type should not be considered a substitute for weight loss.
Laser liposuction can offer the following benefits to suitable candidates:
- The laser helps stimulate a natural healing response in the skin
- Tightens the skin and reduces sagging
- Less visible scarring
- Superior results compared to other forms of liposuction and body sculpting techniques
Laser Liposuction Cost
Laser liposuction procedures can range from $2,000 to $4,000 per body area. Innovations Medical prices body areas in pairs. Pairs can include arms, inner thighs, and love handles. The abdominal area is divided into upper and lower regions.
Laser Liposuction Recovery and Results
The procedure length for laser liposuction is determined by the specific areas involved. Laser liposuction procedures generally take about 45 minutes to an hour, but can be longer if there is a larger treatment area or multiple areas. Most patients can return to work and activities in one to two days. Swelling usually lasts around three to four weeks.
Initial results are usually immediate, with final results present within six to 12 months.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is also known as cryolipolysis and is a noninvasive procedure that removes fat cells from problem areas by freezing them. This is based on the idea that fat cells are more susceptible to cold than other tissues, which is how CoolSculpting does not damage the skin or other cells.
How Does CoolSculpting Work?
CoolSculpting uses a vacuum device that pulls the skin into an applicator to supercool the fat cells. Because the fat stays in the body, the frozen fat cells will eventually exit through natural means in the following weeks. This is an in-office procedure that generally takes 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the area.
What Are the Benefits of CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting can offer patients the following potential benefits:
- A noninvasive procedure with no incision or scarring
- Relatively painless, although some patients report a numbing sensation
- Long-lasting results
While CoolSculpting is FDA approved and generally considered safe, it is a newer procedure. One potential risk that has been reported in a very small number of patients is called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). This is when instead of shrinking as a result of exposure to cold temperatures, fat cells actually increase. These rare cases are usually treatable through standard liposuction procedures.
Unlike laser liposuction, CoolSculpting does not tighten the skin and results can generally take longer to become apparent. Often the results may be less noticeable compared to laser liposuction.
The average cost of a CoolSculpting procedure can range from $2,000 to $4,000 per area. Like liposuction, this can depend on the area of treatment and the amount of fat involved. Patients should consider factors like the number of treatment areas, geographic availability, need for skin tightening procedures, and skill of the provider when calculating cost.
CoolSculpting Recovery and Results
As a noninvasive procedure, the recovery time for CoolSculpting is typically short. There is usually little to no downtime due to the lack of damage to the skin and muscle. Patients sometimes report muscle soreness similar to those after strenuous exercise. Less commonly reported side effects can include itchiness, swelling, mild discoloration, and tingling sensations.
After the procedure, it can take four to six months or longer for the frozen fat cells to leave the body and for the results to be noticeable. Reported fat decrease is around 20% on average for patients.
Contact Innovations Medical for Info on SmartLipo Laser Liposuction
If you’re looking for a slimmer, younger appearance, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.