CoolSculpting vs Liposuction: What is The Better Choice?

CoolSculpting vs Liposuction

CoolSculpting and liposuction are both medical procedures designed to remove fat cells permanently. Although similar in purpose, these procedures differ in terms of invasiveness, effectiveness, and cost. 

CoolSculpting is more effective in eliminating modest amounts of fat for subtle to moderate results. On the other hand, liposuction can remove substantial amounts of fat tissue, although it is an invasive procedure with a greater potential for complications. 

The Procedures – CoolSculpting vs Liposuction

It’s important to understand the procedures to determine if liposuction is better than CoolSculpting, or vice versa in a certain situation. However, the best advice will come from a medical practitioner.  


CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure also known as cryolipolysis. It is performed by a trained professional under the direction of a medical doctor. In this procedure, a special tool cools fat tissue so that it “freezes”.

The frozen fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body through the liver over a period of weeks, which is why there is a reduction of fat. CoolSculpting doesn’t require incisions, sutures, anesthesia, cutting, stitching, anesthetizing, or recovery time. Results can be seen within a few weeks of the treatment. 

Patient with a CoolSculptor

The procedure usually takes between 30 minutes to 1 hour per session and may require multiple sessions for optimal results. Initial results may be noticeable within a few weeks, with full results typically visible 3 months post-treatment. 


Liposuction, on the other hand, is an invasive surgical procedure that requires incisions, sutures, and anesthesia. The plastic surgeon makes small incisions and uses a thin cannula to loosen the fat cells, which are then removed from the body using a vacuum.  

Liposuction is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and requires a few days of recovery time. The results of liposuction are noticeable within 1 to 3 months after the surgery. 

What is More Painful: CoolSculpting or Liposuction? 

In general, CoolSculpting is the better of the two when it comes to pain. The medical practitioner wouldn’t need to sedate you before CoolSculpting but you would need sedation prior to liposuction.  


CoolSculpting is minimally painful, with some people experiencing mild tugging, aching, or stinging sensations. After the procedure, the treated area is massaged to help break up frozen tissue, which may cause some discomfort. However, any soreness should disappear within 2 weeks.  


Liposuction is performed under anesthesia, so there is no pain during the procedure. However, some may experience moderate pain for 3 days after the procedure and is managed with pain medication. Soreness around the treated area should subside within 4 weeks. 

liposuction operation
An ongoing liposuction procedure

Which is the Safer Procedure: Liposuction or CoolSculpting? 

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure so it has an advantage in this category. It is a better alternative to liposuction however, certain patient considerations must be met.  


CoolSculpting is safe for most individuals, but those with blood disorders such as cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, and paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria should avoid the procedure. Additionally, CoolSculpting should not be performed on areas with varicose veins, open sores, or dermatitis. 


As with any surgical procedure, liposuction has potential risks and complications associated with it. Uneven removal of fat, poor skin elasticity and unusual healing can result in bumpy, wavy or withered skin, which could be permanent. You may also experience temporary or permanent numbness in the treated area, or temporary nerve irritation. 

Also read: Your A-Z Guide on Breast Lift Prices in Canada  

In rare cases, the cannula used in liposuction may puncture an internal organ, requiring emergency surgical repair. It is important to discuss the risks and potential complications of liposuction with your surgeon, especially if you are undergoing multiple procedures or working on larger areas of your body. 

Is CoolSculpting More Effective than Liposuction? 

The answer depends on what you are trying to achieve, your timeframes for results, and your attitude towards surgery. 

There is no right answer to this and this is where a professional consultation with a reputable doctor is helpful. The answer to this question will depend on what you want to achieve through the procedure. Also, your comfort level with surgery will determine if CoolSculpting or Liposuction is more effective for you.  

liposuction and CoolSculpting
Chart comparing liposuction and CoolSculpting

How much Fat Reduction Can You Expect with CoolSculpting? 

CoolSculpting and liposuction have similar results in removing excess fat from specific body parts like the belly, thighs, arms, and chin. However, neither procedure is intended for weight loss or improving the appearance of cellulite or loose skin.  

A study conducted in 2018 showed that CoolSculpting resulted in an average fat reduction of 21.6% in a group of 21 people 30 days post-treatment. But larger studies are needed to confirm these results. A 2020 study found high satisfaction among people who underwent liposuction with 85.7% of the participants recommending it to a friend or family member. 

How much Fat Reduction Can You Expect with Liposuction? 

It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. The procedure is designed to remove stubborn, fat from specific areas of the body that persists even with the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits. The amount of fat that can be removed during a liposuction procedure is affected by factors such as, the individual’s body type, skin elasticity, and the surgeon’s expertise. The goal of liposuction is to improve the contours of the body, not to produce significant weight loss. 

Additionally, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after liposuction to ensure that the results of the procedure are long-lasting. This includes eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. 

It is best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss whether liposuction is right for you and to discuss your individual goals and expectations. 

Who Wins on the Cost, CoolSculpting or Liposuction? 

The cost of CoolSculpting and liposuction varies and depends on the amount of fat being removed, the location of the treatment, and the surgeon’s fees.  

Cost of CoolSculpting  

The cost of CoolSculpting varies depending on the number and the area of the body that is to be treated. The average cost ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. CoolSculpting is typically less expensive than liposuction, but the exact cost will be determined at your consultation with the plastic surgeon.  

Cost of Liposuction  

The cost of liposuction in Ontario varies greatly, ranging from $6000 to $8,000 per area. Again, this depends on the surgeon’s fee, procedure, facility fees, and other considerations. It is important to obtain a complete quote before undergoing the procedure, which should include the surgeon’s fee, anesthesiologist’s fee, operating facility fee, and the cost of compression garments for recovery. 

Alternative Procedures to Consider for Fat Loss  

There are alternatives to both CoolSculpting & liposuction. It is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine the best option for you based on your individual needs and goals. Each of these alternatives has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to carefully consider all factors before making your decision. 

Alternatives to CoolSculpting  

  1. Ultrasound fat reduction: This is a non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound energy to break up and eliminate fat cells. 
  1. Radiofrequency fat reduction: This is a non-invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to melt and remove unwanted fat cells. 
  1. Laser lipolysis: This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser energy to melt and remove unwanted fat cells. 

Alternatives to Liposuction  

  1. Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL): This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultrasound energy to break up fat cells before they are removed through a small tube. 
  1. Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL): This procedure uses laser energy to melt and remove fat cells. 
  1. Radiofrequency-assisted liposuction (RFAL): This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to melt and remove unwanted fat cells. 

CoolSculpting Vs Liposuction: Which One Should You Choose?  

CoolSculpting and liposuction are both effective ways to remove fat cells, permanently. CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure with no recovery time and minimal discomfort, while liposuction is an invasive procedure with a few days of recovery time and potentially, moderate post-operative pain.  

It is ideal to consult your doctor before planning. The cost, effectiveness, and invasiveness of each procedure should be carefully considered before choosing one over the other.  

For more information book your consultation at any of our cosmetic clinics in Ontario 

Brantford * Collingwood * Embrun Kincardine * Orillia * Ottawa West * Owen Sound 

You may also call us at +1-866-333-3305 and book your appointment

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