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We recently explored the various surgical options for body contouring, highlighting the procedures that can address stubborn fat and sagging skin. Another contouring option at West County Plastic Surgeons of Jefferson County in St. Louis, CoolSculpting®, represents a nonsurgical solution to problem of stubborn fat pockets—but how does it compare to liposuction?
Most obviously, the fact that liposuction is a surgical procedure means it will involve incisions to allow for the insertion of a cannula to suction the loosened fat cells out. The incisions will require time to heal, and the motion of the cannula or introduction of laser or ultrasound energy to rupture the fat cells will result in some bruising, swelling, and similar side effects. That said, the results will essentially be visible right away and will become increasingly apparent in the weeks after the procedure while a patient recovers. The surgery itself can take one to five hours, depending on procedural specifics.
CoolSculpting® is noninvasive, with panels touching the skin—but not breaking it—to chill the fat cells beneath. There will be some redness and tingling or similar sensations for a few days after the session, but no special recovery or down time is needed. Unlike liposuction, the effects are more gradually realized, with the volume in a treated area decreasing by 15 to 30 percent over the course of several months. By using two machines at once, in a technique known as DualSculpting®, this treatment can be wrapped up in a little more than half an hour.
What works best for one patient seeking fat reduction may not be ideal for another. A consultation can allow you to share your aesthetic goals and learn about the options—including which might best fit your lifestyle and give you the results you want.