Liposuction vs. CoolSculpting San Diego

Comparing Liposuction and CoolSculpting in San Diego

Liposuction has long been considered the gold standard in fat removal. In fact, it continues to be the most popular body contouring procedure, according to the latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But the organization has also found that non-surgical alternatives for fat removal have been steadily on the rise. CoolSculpting is one such option.

Dr. Dennis Bucko and Dr. Brad Mozaffari are talented plastic surgeons who offer both liposuction and CoolSculpting at Belladerma Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Center. Here, they compare the two treatments in detail.

Procedure Details

Liposuction is an outpatient procedure that must be performed at an accredited surgical facility. Depending on the liposuction technique used and extent of surgery, general anesthesia or local anesthesia is used so patients do not feel anything during the procedure. Traditional liposuction involves creating tiny incisions in the treatment area. A thin cannula is inserted through the incisions and moved back and forth to break up the fat tissue, which is then removed from the body using gentle suction. The incisions are closed with sutures and a compression garment is placed on top to support the tissues as they heal.

CoolSculpting is an in-office procedure that does not require anesthesia or incisions. During treatment, the treated fat will be placed between two cooling panels that will work to freeze the targeted fat cells. As the cooling begins, you may feel intense cold. However, this is only temporary; that is, the area will go numb within a few minutes of treatment. Treatment is very comfortable and most patients choose to read, work on their laptop or nap.

Treatment Areas

Liposuction and CoolSculpting can generally treat the same body areas. Liposuction can treat the abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, waist, upper arms, back, inner knees, chest area, face, neck, calves and ankles. CoolSculpting is FDA-approved to remove surplus fat on the abdomen, thighs, chin, flanks, bra, buttocks and upper arms.


The initial recovery period for liposuction is typically one to two weeks, during which physical activities should be limited. Common side effects include swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated areas. These side effects are temporary and should improve within a few weeks after surgery.

CoolSculpting does not require downtime. Immediately after your treatment, you will be free to return to work and all other activities. Minor and temporary side effects include redness, bruising and tingling in the treated areas.


Although both procedures are effective, results are much more dramatic with liposuction as it can remove much more fat than CoolSculpting. Additionally, the final results with liposuction can take up to a year to materialize, while the final results with CoolSculpting can take up to three months to become visible.

The only way to determine which procedure is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bucko or Dr. Mozaffari. The best option for you will depend on your personal needs and goals, and what works best for someone else won’t necessarily be right for you.

To schedule a personal consultation with Belladerma Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Center, please call (858) 453-8484 or email our La Jolla office today.