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CoolSculpting or Liposuction: Which should you choose?

Do you see rolls of fat around your belly and hips when you look in the mirror? Are your upper arms a little flabby? Do your thighs touch, making you uncomfortable in skirts and dresses? Just a decade ago, getting rid of stubborn, unwanted fat required liposuction. However, times have changed and technology is growing rapidly. While you still may benefit from a safe and effective liposuction procedure, effective non-surgical options also provide real and lasting results. One such option is CoolSculpting. This article will give you an overview of both our surgical and non-surgical options. Which treatment is right for you? Will it be CoolSculpting or liposuction? Let’s find out!

Fat Reduction and Body Contouring in Indianapolis

Resistant fat is frustrating and you can blame your genetics. Even with belly-blasting moves and multiple strength-training sessions designed to hit your trouble-spots, you may still see that unwelcome bulge and flab taunting you. Unfortunately, no amount of cardio and strength-training exercises can eliminate it. We’re here to tell you that you deserve a break. Stop killing yourself to get rid of stubborn fat that just won’t budge. Try fat reduction with Coolsculpting or liposuction at the LASSI in Indianapolis.

CoolSculpting or Liposuction: Which is better and how are they different?

CoolSculpting and liposuction are FDA-approved procedures recommended by extensive dermatologic research for fat removal and body contouring. The choice as to which is best for you depends upon:

  • how much fat you want removed,
  • how quickly you want to see results,
  • how comfortable you are with each procedure, and
  • what your provider recommends.


indianapolis coolsculpting before and after
Individual results may vary from person to person.

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical fat freezing treatment using a technology known as cryolipolysis. It can be used virtually anywhere on the body, including the upper arms, abdominals, and even the double chin. During the treatment, fat cells crystallize and safely die off. They are then naturally flushed from your body. After at least three treatments, the majority of patients see noticeable results. There are no incisions or injections and no downtime associated with CoolSculpting treatments, making it the preferred method for patients who aren’t good candidates for liposuction.

Your CoolSculpting provider will discuss your goals for fat reduction to determine if you’re a good candidate for treatment. During the procedure, they will place the applicator on the treatment area. At first, you will feel a tugging and intense cold sensation, but this will subside. CoolSculpting is a comfortable procedure. In fact, many of our patients will take a nap, read a book or watch television comfortably during their CoolSculpting treatment. After your fat freezing is completed, your provider will remove the pads and massage the treatment area to help break up the frozen fat cells more rapidly. Over the next few weeks, your body will gradually absorb and get rid of these cells through your lymphatic system. It’s at this time that you will return to our practice, take some after photos to see your results, and proceed with your next treatment until the desired results have been achieved.

What Areas Can Be Treated With CoolSculpting?

If you have stubborn fat in the following areas, our Indianapolis CoolSculpting specialists can help. Treatment areas include:

  • Upper arm fat
  • Abdominal fat
  • Flanks/love handles
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Banana roll/fat beneath the buttocks
  • Submental fullness/double chin fat
  • Back and bra fat

If you don’t see your treatment area above, that’s okay. Come in for a consultation and we’ll work with you to find out if CoolSculpting or liposuction is right for your needs.

Who Can Get CoolSculpting?

You are a good candidate for CoolSculpting if you are a healthy weight and have stubborn fat deposits in one of the FDA-approved CoolSculpting treatment areas. Patients who aren’t good candidates for surgery can benefit from CoolSculpting, but results will vary depending on the size and number of treatment areas you want sculpted.

Who Shouldn’t Get CoolSculpting?

There are only a few reasons why CoolSculpting may not be right for you. Be sure to discuss any of these or other concerns with your providers before proceeding with treatment. CoolSculpting is not a weight loss tool and is not a good fit if you are overweight or obese. It is also not appropriate if you are looking for immediate results. You are not a good candidate if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you suffer from chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome or an autoimmune disease. If you have larger amounts of unwanted fat than can be successfully treated with CoolSculpting, we may recommend tumescent liposuction to provide you with the best possible results. Finally, let your providers know if you have received any other cosmetic treatments in the desired treatment areas.

Tumescent Liposuction

indianapolis tumescent liposuction before and after
Individual results may vary from person to person.

While CoolSculpting and liposuction help provide similar results in reducing unwanted body fat, that is where their similarities end. Unlike CoolSculpting, tumescent liposuction is a surgical procedure and can be used almost anywhere that fat collects around the body. However, don’t let the fact that this is a surgical procedure scare you. Tumescent liposuction is one of the safest cosmetic surgeries available today.

Tumescent liposuction is performed under local anesthesia, meaning you will be awake during the liposuction procedure. Prior to incision, Dr. Hanke will inject a solution containing lidocaine for pain relief and epinephrine for vasoconstriction; vasoconstriction is the constriction of blood vessels to minimize blood loss during the procedure. Up to eight tiny incisions will be made in the treatment area. Dr. Hanke will use a cannula to suction out the unwanted fat through these small incisions. Following the procedure, most patients are able to return home the same day to recuperate.

What Areas Can Be Treated With Tumescent Liposuction?

You can have liposuction just about anywhere on the body. This includes difficult areas that aren’t well treated using non-surgical methods or where our CoolSculpting applicators cannot be effectively applied.

Who Can Get Tumescent Liposuction?

While tumescent liposuction is not a weight loss solution, it is more helpful than CoolSculpting for larger amounts of body contouring. Therefore, if you have multiple inches of fat to lose from your waist or hips, tumescent liposuction may be the right choice.

The safety of tumescent liposuction has been well studied. Clinical research has shown that tumescent liposuction is very safe. In fact, in a study with over 15,000 patients, only minor complications were seen on a rare basis. No patients needed blood transfusions, and no one was admitted to the hospital.

Who Shouldn’t Get Tumescent Liposuction?

There are some reasons why tumescent liposuction may not be right for you, and you should approach these concerns honestly with your dermatologic surgeon as you make the choice between CoolSculpting and liposuction. For example, if you are not healthy and struggle with one or more chronic diseases, tumescent liposuction may be more than your body can handle. In this case, you may be at a higher risk of developing surgical complications, such as poor healing, infection or blood clots. Additionally, because it is an invasive procedure, you should not undergo liposuction if you are on blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin or aspirin. Finally, if your skin is very thin and crepe-like, you may not experience aesthetically pleasing results because your skin will not readily snap back after fat is removed.

Body Sculpting is NOT Weight Loss

When choosing between CoolSculpting and liposuction, keep in mind that both will significantly reduce the number of fat cells in your body. This is very different from the process of losing weight. When you lose weight through diet and exercise, your fat cells shrink. When you undergo CoolSculpting or liposuction, fat cells are removed. These fat cells do not return. That doesn’t mean you can’t gain weight again, however. The remaining fat cells can expand, so it’s important to maintain your healthy lifestyle following a CoolSculpting or liposuction procedure.

Should You Choose CoolSculpting or Liposuction?

The choice between CoolSculpting and liposuction is a personal one that must be undertaken with great thoughtfulness and after a thorough consultation with our body contouring experts. Both CoolSculpting and liposuction are appropriate for permanent fat removal.

If you have small areas of body fat that are stubborn and you want to avoid surgery, CoolSculpting is likely the choice for you. However, if you want to see immediate results or have a larger area of unwanted fat, liposuction may be recommended.

Keep in mind that many patients come to our practice seeking one type of treatment and learn they will get better results from another procedure. This is because, after a thorough examination and medical intake, our providers make recommendations based on your health, medical history and prescriptions. Furthermore, it’s all about which procedure will give you the best possible final result. Bottom line: it’s all about patient safety and results.

Other Options for Non-Surgical Fat Reduction

If you have double chin fat you’re looking to say goodbye to, you have yet another option for treatment. Kybella is the first ever non-surgical solution to submental fullness and is FDA-approved to elminate double chin fat. While both CoolSculpting and liposuction can both eliminate your double chin, Kybella is simply another option for your treatment.

Like CoolSculpting, Kybella is non-surgical. However, instead of freezing your fat, Kybella uses an injectable substance designed to target and melt away fat cells. These fat cells are destroyed and flushed through your lymphatic system just like with CoolSculpting. After six treatment sessions, most patients have visible reduction in submental fullness.

Why Choose the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana for Body Contouring?

The Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana is home to Dr. C. William Hanke, a top dermatologic surgeon in Indiana. Dr. Hanke is a leader in dermatology and is a frequent guest lecturer at dermatologic conferences where he is regarded as an expert in his field. Dr. Hanke also trains other physicians on body contouring techniques and has pioneered much of what we see in tumescent liposuction today. In addition, our aestheticians are certified and fully trained in CoolSculpting technology. We provide a multitude of treatments for body contouring and skin improvement and have also been a part of important clinical trials, including for Botox and Kybella. When you come to the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana for CoolSculpting or liposuction, you can know that your safety and aesthetic goals are going to be our top priorities.

Schedule a Consultation for CoolSculpting or Liposuction in Indianapolis

Contact us at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana to schedule a consultation or for more information about choosing between CoolSculpting and liposuction for body contouring in Indianapolis. During your consultation, we will work together to determine which of these procedures is right for your needs to ensure you get the best results in a safe, comfortable environment. We look forward to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals.