Do You Need Liposuction or CoolSculpting?

You eat right and exercise but can’t get rid of that pesky fat. A protruding tummy, thick thighs, or flabby upper arms are taking away from the body you’re determined to have. Summer is sooner than you think and it’s time to get ready for your warm-weather wardrobe. The one thing you don’t want to show off is that stubborn fat that just won’t go away.

To rid themselves of unwanted fat, many people in the Long Beach area turn to aesthetic medicine for help. Plastic surgeons often recommend either Liposuction or CoolSculpting to rid their patients of unpleasant fat tissue. Both procedures remove unwanted fat permanently but use completely different methods to achieve these results.


Liposuction has been around since the 1970s to remove fat tissue and improve body contour. The procedure consists of creating small incisions in target areas to insert a small suction tube (cannula) used to extract fat tissue. A saline solution mixed with epinephrine is dispensed to the treatment area to reduce bleeding and discomfort.

The results are immediate with the target area thin and trim after the fat tissue is removed. Swelling can be expected and may last up to three months. A compression surgical garment will be applied after surgery to support incisions, reduce swelling, and promote healing.

You may feel sore for a few weeks and should restrict activity for at least fourteen days. Bruising is also common but should subside after two weeks.


CoolSculpting is a relatively new technology that freezes your stubborn fat tissue away. The procedure uses a process called cryolipolysis, which exposes fat tissue to extremely low temperatures for a significant time, crystallizing and killing the target fat tissue. Your body will naturally expel the dead fat cells over the next 12 weeks, and these cells will never return.

During each treatment session, patients are fitted with special applicators designed to fit snug over the target areas like chin, back, legs, upper arms, and abdomen. These fittings connect to the CoolSculpting machine that draws the treatment area gently into the applicator. Special plates are lowered to near freezing temperatures initiating cryolipolysis.

Like liposuction, CoolSculpting is utilized to target specific areas of the body. The big difference is CoolSculpting is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that requires no downtime and has no risks associated with surgery.

CoolSculpting is also painless. Mild discomfort because of a change in skin temperature is common but does subside quickly. There are minimal side-effects, like redness around the treatment site which resolves within a couple of hours. Because your nerve cells, muscles, and skin are less sensitive to low temperatures than fat cells, there are rarely permanent side-effects. Also, because it’s not surgery, CoolSculpting typically costs less than liposuction.

The downside is, unlike liposuction, results are not immediate but may take a few weeks or months for the fat to disappear completely. You will notice some results quickly, then a steady improvement over several months.

Which One is the Right One for You?

Personal preferences and goals play a role in what determines the right choice for you. The choice between CoolSculpting and Liposuction ultimately revolves around personal preference. Our patients who want quick results choose Liposuction while those who worry about cost and discomfort feel better with CoolSculpting.

When there is a large volume of fat deposits needing removal, we often recommend Liposuction, while with smaller amounts of fat, we typically suggest CoolSculpting. While CoolSculpting can effectively remove up to 25% of unwanted fat per treatment, liposuction can remove much more and may be the better choice for patients with higher fat proportions.

Whatever decision you make, you should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who offers both options. They will provide a medical exam and evaluate your areas of concern, then explain which procedure would be the safest and most effective.

To learn which procedure is your best option to remove unwanted fat and gain the body you’ve been working hard to achieve, Call Dr. Waltzman at (562) 448-6100 or Contact Us Here.