The Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting Showdown

By Lisahappy older woman with hand to chin

Quick, let’s play a fun game of word association! What’s the first procedure that comes to mind when I say, “plastic surgery”? Go! (I bet that you are thinking either “liposuction” or “breast implants”, am I right?)

Back in the 80s, when you thought cosmetic surgery, you probably thought liposuction. Liposuction is one the best known cosmetic surgery procedures in the world, and for good reason. Liposuction is a surgical procedure where fat cells are physically removed from the body. Small incisions are made in the skin and the fat is literally sucked out. With an experienced doctor, liposuction can result in very quick body contouring results, although it is still associated with the usual lengthy recovery period after major surgery.

Developed in the late 1970s, it wasn’t until the 80s that liposuction really took off. Despite initially facing a great deal of bad publicity because of common surgical complications, liposuction soon caught on big in the United States. As the procedure became more and more sophisticated, it became a highly accessible entry point for cosmetic surgery to the average person. Straight through until the early 21st century, liposuction absolutely dominated the body contouring market. But just like another giant, apparently unstoppable force, the Titanic, liposuction was soon to run into an iceberg of its very own: CoolSculpting.


CoolSculpting was derived from cryolipolysis, a method of destroying fat cells while still leaving the surrounding tissue healthy and unharmed. Once scientists realized the potential cosmetic benefits, the technology behind CoolSculpting was developed throughout the early 21st century until it was approved for human use in 2010. Since then, CoolSculpting has become the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in America and around the world.

Here at Azul, we apply the CoolSculpting applicator to areas of fatty deposits that are difficult or impossible to get rid of through exercise or healthy eating. The applicator projects cold energy, damaging your fat cells. The body reabsorbs these damaged cells, leading to a permanent fat loss in the areas treated.

In recent years, the CoolSculpting procedures have been refined to treat smaller areas of the body, such as behind the arms or under the chin with the CoolMini applicator. Every year, the procedure gets more and more advanced, and we are excited to see what comes out next and how we can use it to help our patients achieve their body contouring dreams.

Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive and has no recovery period. At absolutely worst, you might feel your skin has minor freezer burn for an hour after the procedure.

Liposuction has the edge in one key area: instant results. An experienced cosmetic surgeon can remove all of the targeted fat in one go, meaning that after the swelling and bruising go down, the patient will be able to see results almost immediately.

With CoolSculpting, the patient will require a number of treatments, spaced a month or so apart, to achieve the same results. Also, because it takes time for your body to reabsorb the destroyed fat cells, you won’t see an immediate result after the procedure. The results will be gradual, over the course of a few weeks.

However, we at Azul believe that CoolSculpting is superior to liposuction in so many ways that it is the only body contouring procedure that Dr. Flaharty performs. For one thing, there is no surgery involved at all, so there is no lengthy recovery period or chance of post-surgical complications. Secondly, the procedure takes less than one hour to perform, you could be in and out over your lunch break. Lastly, we feel that the gradual results of CoolSculpting are actually healthier for the body. Rather than losing all of that fat all at once, your body will have time to adjust to the fat loss.

All of that being said, if you are looking for much more aggressive fat reduction, liposuction would definitely be the procedure of choice. Although it isn’t his preference, Dr. Flaharty fully appreciates the remarkable results that many patients can achieve with liposuction. If you choose to go that route, he would be happy to recommend a fully qualified colleague to perform the procedure for you. Believe us, you don’t want to go to just anyone for liposuction, and you can rest assured that Dr. Flaharty will direct you to someone that he thinks highly of and trusts to perform the procedure.

Some might say that fat reduction and body contouring are the backbone of the cosmetic surgery industry. With the right procedure, you can achieve fantastic, natural-looking results that will get you closer to the body you’ve always wanted. Keep in mind, even with CoolSculpting or liposuction, you will still need to eat right and exercise regularly to keep your weight to a healthy level. Also remember that neither CoolSculpting nor liposuction is meant for tremendous weight loss. The closer you are to your target weight when you have the procedure, the better your results will be.

If you still don’t know which procedure you would prefer, feel free to give our office a call at (239) 415-7576 to set up a free consultation. Dr. Flaharty would be happy to walk you through the benefits of both procedures, as well as suggest other treatments that could lead you to a fully harmonious rejuvenation. For more details about both of these procedures, and many more we offer, please visit our website at

Posted in: Procedures


  1. What are your thoughts on Kybella?

    Comment by Gail Sinito on May 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm

  2. Hi Gail,
    We think Kybella is great! It depends on your needs, however, so we recommend that you come in to see us for a free consultation. Give us a call at 239-415-7576!

    Comment by Azul Team on May 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

The comments are closed.

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