CoolSculpting Versus Laser Lipolysis: Which is Right for You?
For those with unwanted pockets of fat on in the stomach, flanks, inner thighs, and similar areas, traditional liposuction used to be the only recourse that produced significant results. However, two new approaches, driven by cold and hot temperatures, have been making headlines. The first, CoolSculpting, involves one or more sessions during which fat is frozen beneath the skin. Over the following several weeks, fat cells destroyed by this process are naturally metabolized by the body, never to return. In the second technique, laser lipolysis, fat cells are superheated by laser, and the resulting “oil” is removed by a traditional liposuction cannula through a small incision. The liquefaction process can offer more satisfactory results on fibrous tissues such as the upper abdomen and “love handles.” Additionally, some aesthetic practitioners believe that the heating of the dermis involved in laser lipo can offer secondary skin tightening as the treated area heals.
Both Techniques Destroy Fat Cells. Which Should You Choose?
CoolSculpting is noninvasive, without downtime. Both traditional liposuction and laser lipolysis require small incisions to remove the liquefied fat, while CoolSculpting operates through the skin. As with traditional liposuction, local anesthetic is required to numb the area to be treated, whereas with CoolSculpting, no anesthesia is necessary. As with any minor surgery bruising and numbness accompany the laser lipo healing period, which may require a patient to take time off from work or other activity. CoolSculpting’s risks of bruising are much slighter. The treated area may be sore or slightly swollen for five to seven days.
Laser lipolysis carries the same risks as traditional liposuction, plus a few of its own. The heat of the laser affects not just fat, but blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic structures, which can result in more (or more prolonged) numbness during the healing period. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is free of these risks. Vacuum pressure draws the tissue to be treated into the CoolSculpting handpiece, where it is cooled for approximately 45 minutes.
Treatable areas will soon be similar with both techniques. Until recently, Coolsculpting hand pieces required enough redundant tissue to grasp the area to be treated between the device’s cooling plates. However, CoolSculpting manufacturer Zeltiq has recently announced the upcoming debut of a handpiece that can conform to any area of the body. Available in April 2014, this new hand piece promises to put CoolSculpting’s scope on par with laser lipolysis.
More options mean greater choice for anyone looking to reduce unwanted body fat. These points of comparison are only among a few that prospective patients should consider in consultation with their doctors to achieve their personal optimal result.