CoolSculpting vs Lipo Body Contouring

In searching for the ideal method to tone your body and address stubborn fat deposits, it can be challenging when there are so many options to explore. Liposuction and CoolSculpting are two common options that patients consider when trying to achieve a slimmed and more toned physique. Although both procedures have the same goal, these two options differ significantly in terms of technique, recovery, cost, and outcome.
Which of the two is better for your needs? It depends on some key variables. We compared both procedures side-by-side to help you make your decision.

Lipo Body Contouring

Liposuction is performed under local or general anesthesia depending on the size of the targeted area. Our surgeons at SixSurgery will make a small incision (less than ¼ inch) in each of the areas that will be targeted. Then, a thin metal tube called a “cannula” is inserted into the area. The fat cells are then aspirated (sucked-out) from the body permanently. It is important to note that the surgeon will always leave some fat cells behind to obtain smooth results and maintain proper proportions. Depending on the size of the targeted area, the procedure can take 1-2 hours. A surgeon can target multiple areas of the body in a single procedure. In most cases, one session of liposuction is enough for a patient to achieve their ideal contour in the desired area.


The CoolSculpting process is called cryolipolysis. A gel pad is placed on your problem area, then a cooling head is placed over it. A suction mechanism pulls the fat into the headpiece and freezes the fat cells. Your body then naturally disposes of the frozen fat cells through the liver. CoolSculpting is a less invasive procedure with no incisions. The whole process could take an hour for one area.
Potential Risks & Side Effects
Because liposuction is a surgical procedure and it typically involves general anesthesia, there are some potential side effects patients should be aware of before undergoing the procedure. These include contour irregularities, asymmetry, skin discolouration, blood clots, and other risks of general anesthesia.
Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with CoolSculpting procedures are short-term bruising, tenderness, pain, and slight swelling. Side effects subside and eventually disappear after a few weeks.
Recovery following liposuction varies depending on the number of areas targeted and the volume of fat removed. Generally patients are feeling comfortable after 1 week and can return to regular activities. Post-liposuction massage is a key component of recovery that will ensure that the patient maintains smooth results as they heal. Swelling and bruising is common after liposuction surgery, and it will take 3 months before the swelling subsides and the new contour can be appreciated. Patients can safely resume exercise and heavy activities 6 weeks after surgery.
Unlike liposuction, you can immediately resume your normal daily activities after a CoolSculpting procedure. You may feel a little soreness in the treated area, but it won’t interrupt your routine.
Liposuction is the most direct and effective fat reduction procedure in the cosmetic surgery industry. A surgeon can remove large amounts of fat in just a single session to contour and sculpt the body. For safety reasons, our surgeons at SixSurgery do not remove more than 5 litres of fat in a single procedure. Due to swelling, the result of liposuction cannot be fully appreciated until several months after the procedure. By following post-op instructions including post-liposuction massage, ideal candidates can expect smooth and beautifully sculpted results.
CoolSculpting is proven to be effective at reducing as much as 25% of the fat cells in the targeted area. Results are far less dramatic compared to liposuction, and it takes about 3 months to appreciate the results which is similar to liposuction.
Recommended For
Liposuction would interest a patient who wishes to obtain their desired results in a single session, those who want to treat multiple areas simultaneously, those seeking more than a minimal change, those who are already undergoing other surgical procedures that require anesthesia, and those who want to do a fat transfer to another part of their body.
Liposuction is not recommended for people with uncontrolled general medical conditions.
Recommended For
The procedure is generally safe for most and acts as a great alternative to those who can’t undergo liposuction. It’s best for those who can’t or don’t want to undergo surgical procedures and for those who only need a minimal reduction in body fat. It is important to note that not everyone is a CoolSculpting candidate and it may take a few sessions to achieve the patient’s desired results. People with blood disorders may not be eligible to undergo CoolSculpting.
Depending on the difficulty and scope of the treatment, liposuction can cost anywhere from $4800-$7500 per area. Read our liposuction service page for details on your specific bodily procedure.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates that the average fee per treatment for CoolSculpting was $1,481 in 2017. The CoolSculpting official website says the average cost is between $2,000 and $4,000 per session.
  • Can remove large amounts of fat
  • Permanent effects
  • Can target multiple areas in a single session
  • Non-invasive
  • Minimal recovery time
  • Effective at targeting small fatty deposits
  • Won’t see results immediately
  • As with any surgery, there is potential for complications.
  • Longer recovery period
    [Give estimate of time frame – 1 wk recovery]
  • Not as aggressive as liposuction
  • Not everyone is a candidate
  • It may take 3-4 sessions to achieve desired results
  • Can be costly when multiple sessions are needed


(Note that there is a base fee of $7,500 for the first area and prices below are for the additions)
$1895 CAD per session
$2500-$4800+ (For upper or lower abdomen)
$1264-$5055 CAD per session
$4800-7500+ CAD
$1770 CAD per session
$3500+ CAD
Inner Thigh
$1895 CAD per session
$3800+ CAD

Which Is The Better Procedure For You?

To achieve a significant change in your figure, or reduce fullness more dramatically in a stubborn area, liposuction is a more effective option. If you would prefer a non-invasive treatment to create a minimal change with less downtime, CoolSculpting could be the procedure for you.
At SixSurgery, we prefer the method of liposuction as the most direct and cost effective way of removing fat. While CoolSculpting has the benefit of being non-invasive, over the years, after witnessing the dramatic and permanent results of liposuction vs. the multiple sessions of CoolSculpting required to achieve minimal detectable results, SixSurgery no longer offers CoolSculpting as a treatment.
We have concluded that liposuction, when compared to non-surgical procedures, is a more efficient and successful method of fat removal where a wider variety of patients are candidates, but it is important to do your due diligence and research both options before making an informed decision. We suggest considering these factors before making a decision: your budget, your preferences, and the kind of results you would like to achieve.

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