By Kahlil Andrews MD – Follow me on Google+
Liposuction is the traditional method for removing unwanted, isolated pockets of fat from various areas of the body. However, a new procedure called CoolSculpting offers excellent results for body contouring with minimal discomfort and downtime afterward. Which procedure is the best for you? That may depend on your specific needs, situation and desired outcome.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure usually performed under local or general anesthesia. Small incisions are made to insert a narrow tube called a cannula into the fat pocket. The cannula removes the fat via a suctioning device.
Liposuction provides dramatic results in body contouring, but it also associated with discomfort and downtime afterward. Because it is most often performed under anesthesia and in an operating room, the cost of the procedure is also higher. However, liposuction continues to be the treatment option of choice for patients with significant pockets of fat who want to see more significant results from their chosen plastic surgical procedure.
Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting does not require any incisions or needles. The procedure is performed on the surface of the skin, using an innovative, non-invasive process known as cryolipolysis to freeze fat tissue so it can be naturally eliminated by the body. There is minimal discomfort with the procedure; patients do experience the sensation of cold on the skin as the CoolSculpting tool is used and may report tingling in the area for several days following the treatment.
CoolSculpting is effective for treating many areas of fat, such as those that develop on the abdomen, flanks or hips. CoolSculpting can also be performed on the thighs, back and arms. The procedure has been shown in clinical studies to reduce fat pockets by 20-25%. Like liposuction, the results of CoolSculpting are permanent.
Advantages of CoolSculpting
There are a number of advantages for patients who choose CoolSculpting over traditional liposuction, including:
Faster procedure with no needles, incisions or anesthesia
Treatment is virtually painless
No downtime is required after treatment
Risks are minimal
Potentially lower cost since anesthesia and facility fees are avoided
While CoolSculpting is effective in reducing isolated areas of fat, it won’t provide the more dramatic results often seen with liposuction. CoolSculpting is not effective in tightening skin or reducing the appearance of stretch marks or cellulite. CoolSculpting patients begin to see their results by about 3 weeks and see the final results by 3-4 months. A previously treated area can be re-treated in 3-4 months to produce more dramatic results.
CoolSculpting is a relative newcomer to the world of body contouring, but it is quickly gaining momentum as a popular cosmetic treatment. Contact Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, Plastic Surgery, to learn more about this innovative procedure.