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Body Contouring: Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting

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Q: What are my options to get rid of unwanted fullness around my waist? Is there a difference between liposuction and CoolSculpting™?
A: The quick answer is that both liposuction and CoolSculpting™ are effective at permanently removing fat for people who are good candidates. However, for some, one option is better than the other.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes your unwanted or excess fat from a number of different areas of the body. An incision is made in the treatment area. A small tube, known as a cannula, is placed through the incision and used to break up fatty tissue. The fat is then suctioned out of the body, thus providing significant contouring to the treatment area.

It is commonly used to remove fat from the neck, backs of the arms, abdomen, thighs, buttocks and other regions. With excess fat deposits removed through liposuction, a slimmer figure is created and body contours and proportions dramatically improve. Liposuction can be used to treat isolated small areas or multiple larger areas where pockets of unwanted fat exist, reshaping what diet and exercise alone cannot always achieve.

CoolSculpting is a noninvasive fat-reduction procedure that eliminates stubborn fat safely and effectively without surgery or the associated down time. This fat reduction treatment is the only FDA-cleared procedure to use controlled cooling to safely target and eliminate diet- and exercise-resistant fat.

CoolSculpting technology safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells underneath the skin. The treated fat cells are crystallized, or frozen, and die. Over time, your body naturally processes and eliminates these dead fat cells, leaving a more sculpted you. The CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure is completely non-surgical, so you can typically return to work and normal activities immediately.

Advantages and Disadvantages
The advantages of liposuction over CoolSculpting are that it can provide a more aggressive and complete fat reduction, more precise contouring and the ability to be combined with other surgical procedures. However, it has a greater down time and carries the potential for surgical risks.

The advantages of CoolSculpting are that it is a noninvasive procedure with minimal down time, fewer risks and it provides an alternative to surgery option for those who cannot have or don’t want surgery.

Dr. Nathan A. Kludt, a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, received a BS from the University of California, Davis, with highest honors, and his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Medical Honor Society. He returned to UC Davis, where he completed his general surgery residency before being accepted into the plastic surgery program at UC Davis. Dr. Kludt has been published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and has presented at the California Society of Plastic Surgeons meetings and multiple other regional and national plastic surgery meetings. He is a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, the California Medical Society and the San Joaquin Medical Society.