What is the Difference Between Liposuction and Non-Invasive Body Contouring?

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With nearly 90% of Americans reporting frustration with excess body fat, it’s no surprise that the popularity of liposuction continues to rise – the number of liposuction procedures in 2016 increased by 6% from 2015*.  At the same time, non-surgical alternatives to liposuction, such as CoolSculpting and SculpSure, are becoming increasingly popular, seeing a 50% year-to-year increase.  These treatments are being used more and more to reduce stubborn fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercises.  At Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz, located in Leawood, KS, we offer both minimally-invasive liposuction, as well as non-surgical body contouring procedures, such as SculpSure and CoolSculpting.  As these very different types of procedures have a few similarities, as well as many differences, patients are often, understandably, confused about their fat reduction options.

Liposuction & Body Contouring Similarities:

There are many similarities between minimally-invasive liposuction and non-surgical body contouring, as they both:

  • Destroy fat cells in stubborn pockets of fat
  • Can be used in various areas, such as the stomach, flanks, thighs, buttocks, chin, arms and around the knees
  • Complement a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise
  • Are performed right in the comfort and convenience of our medical practice – NO HOSPITAL
  • Do not require the use of general anesthesia
  • Have options that use different types of energy (laser, ultrasound, cryolipolysis, etc.)
  • Provide optimal results in patients with good skin elasticity

Minimally-Invasive Liposuction

For years, liposuction procedures were only performed in the hospital, under general anesthesia, and were traumatic to the body, involving weeks of pain, recovery and downtime. About 10 years ago, a procedure called SmartLipo (created by Cynosure laser company, the brand behind SculpSure) revolutionized the field of liposuction, providing surgeons with an effective alternative to hospital-based liposuction. Surgeons could now offer liposuction procedures to their patients in the comfort and convenience of their office using just tumescent anesthesia. Since that time, many different types of in-office liposuction have been introduced to the fat reduction market, using different types of energy, such as laser, ultrasound, radiofrequency, etc.  to melt and destroy fat cells.  Although Premier Vein & Body offers several different types and brands of in-office lipo, our preferred method is called Tickle Lipo, which we have found to offer the most comfort to patients with the best results.

  • Performed in the office using local anesthesia
  • Requires small incisions where cannulas are inserted – may or may not leave very small scars
  • Some immediate results noticeable
  • Full results within 3-6 months
  • Only one procedure, per area, typically, needed
  • Compression garments must be worn after procedure
  • Some downtime is typical – generally 2-5 days
  • Some pain, bruising and swelling
  • Lengthier treatment time
  • More expensive per treatment
  • Fat can be harvested for fat transfer

Non-Surgical Body Contouring  

Although the CoolSculpting procedure has become synonymous with non-surgical body contouring, we, actually, prefer the newer SculpSure body contouring procedure that uses laser energy to melt fat in targeted areas.  Although we offer both CoolSculpting and SculpSure to our Kansas City body contouring patients, we, generally, recommend SculpSure over CoolSculpting because it is a shorter, gentler treatment with better results, greater versatility, some skin tightening, and less discomfort during and after the treatment.

  • NO anesthesia required
  • Does not require incisions
  • No immediate visible results
  • Full results noticeable within 8-12 weeks
  • Multiple procedures required per treated area for optimal results (each treatment will, typically, reduce up to 24% of unwanted fat in the target area)
  • Compression garments do not need to be worn
  • No downtime
  • Only minimal discomfort during and after procedure
  • Shorter treatment time (25 minutes)
  • Less expensive per treatment, although packages can run close to price of a liposuction procedure
  • Fat cannot be harvested for fat transfer procedure

Fat reduction using non-surgical body contouring is best for patients who want to avoid any of the aggravation associated with in-office liposuction, including potential scars at point of entry, downtime and post-treatment pain, and are willing to wait for results.

Ready to schedule your liposuction or body contouring consultation? Call (913)-451-8346 or fill out the form on this page!

* Data from American Society of Plastic Surgeons

** Results vary by patient and are not guaranteed

*This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects.  The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician.

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