Remember Claire, my friend who had CoolSculpting? Months after her initial results started to develop, Claire is still loving her new look. Taking a few inches off with CoolSculpting has motivated her to take even better care of her body than she did before — an impressive feat, considering she was always the friend who was preoccupied with juice cleanses and her daily yoga flow. But writing about Claire’s story inspired another one of my friends — we’ll call her Laura — to share her own story of aesthetic enhancement with me.
About 3 years ago, just before I met her, Laura had surgical liposuction on her thighs and hips. Like Claire, Laura was in relatively good shape already. But she inherited her mom’s “saddlebags” (her term, not mine) and found that even weekly sessions with a personal trainer weren’t giving her the results she wanted. She set up a few consultations with plastic surgeons in town and eventually settled on one she felt like she “clicked” with. As an aside, I’ve talked to a lot of friends about plastic surgery, and whether they’ve previously had some work done or they’re still just considering it, the one thing I keep hearing is how important it is to find a doctor who gets you and your vision.
I loved listening to Laura’s story. After her surgery, she went home the same day. She’s blessed to live near her mom, so she had plenty of help around the house in the immediate days after surgery. She was back to work in about a week and a half, wearing a SPANX®-like compression garment under her regular clothes. It took some time for her swelling to go down, but once it did, Laura says her curves were smoother, with no more bumps and bulges, and she loved the way she looked in clingier clothes. Her scars have faded into a few small marks on her skin, and most people wouldn’t even notice them unless they were looking for them specifically.
With friends who have undergone 2 distinct forms of fat reduction procedures, I started to wonder what exactly the differences were. Claire and Laura are both pretty similar. They’re health-conscious, and although they don’t have model-perfect bodies (who does, really?), they’re both in good shape. But like most of us, they struggled with areas that just didn’t let go of fat. So why choose one procedure over the other?
The first consideration is precision. As Claire’s doctor explained to her, CoolSculpting is good for localized fat reduction. Its treatment heads are designed for specific areas of the body, including the arms, abdomen, and thighs. Although CoolSculpting patients can’t specify exactly how much fat they want removed, they can expect to see a decrease of about 25%. This makes it great for patients who are in search of a general improvement of these areas.
On the other hand, liposuction can be tailored to your exact specifications. This makes it a better choice for patients who have fat deposits in areas CoolSculpting can’t treat (such as the neck or chin, for example). It can also remove larger volumes of fat, which is definitely appealing for many people.
Of course, there’s also the surgery factor. Liposuction is surgery, and in most cases, it requires general anesthesia and at least a few days of rest at home. Patients who smoke or have pre-existing medical conditions may not be able the undergo surgery safely. Others may not be able to take the time off from work that recuperation requires. According to the liposuction page of Naples plastic surgeon Dr. Kent Hasen, most people get back to work in about a week. CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive and can be completed in a couple of hours. Although some discomfort afterward is normal, most people go back to work or their other everyday activities as soon as their treatments are over.
Obviously, both treatments have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, and you may already have a good sense of which one is better for you. If you still have questions, get in touch with a surgeon you trust! A good doctor can guide you to the right choice for you and your body.
This conversation today was brought to you by Dr. Kent V. Hasen – (239) 262-5662