Though Liposuction and Coolsculpting help remove unwanted fat from various areas of the body, they are nothing alike. Liposuction, or lipoplasty is a surgical procedure, while coolsculpting uses a peculiar fact about fat cells to remove them. Here is how they differ:
Traditional lipoplasty has undergone several technological advances since it became very popular in the 1980s. One of those advances is laser lipoplasty, or smartlipo which uses the heat of a laser filament to melt unwanted fat in various parts of the body. This cuts down on bleeding, bruising, swelling and the recovery time that people who underwent traditional lipoplasty had to endure. For example, instead of general anesthesia, an overnight stay in the hospital and a recovery that could take weeks, people who have laser lipo have only local anesthesia and remain awake and aware during their treatment. They can be driven home shortly after their procedure and recover completely within a week.
If you want smartlipo, you will have a consultation with a plastic surgeon to make sure you are a good candidate and to let them know what parts of your body you would like treated. As with traditional lipoplasty, laser lipoplasty can be used to remove fat from the hips, tummy, buttocks, thighs, underarms, jowls, breasts and other areas. If you are a good candidate,the doctor will tell you to stop smoking in the weeks before the operation and may tell you to discontinue certain medications and supplements that can interfere with your healing.
On the day of your operation, the doctor takes pictures of the area you want treated and will mark them. These marks will guide the surgeon during the procedure. You may be given a sedative beforehand. Then, the doctor injects lidocaine in the treatment area, makes tiny incisions and fills the area with a solution of more painkiller and a medication to cause your blood vessels to narrow. This cuts down on any bleeding. If the doctor does this correctly, you will feel no pain at all during the lipoplasty.
The doctor inserts a laser filament into the incisions to melt the fat. The laser has three types of wavelengths. One melts the fat, the other tightens the skin, and the other cauterizes your blood vessels. When the fat is melted, the surgeon uses a slender cannula to suction out the fat. You will see it flow through the tubing attached to the cannula and enter a container. Instead of yellow globs that would be seen in traditional lipo, the emulsified fat from laser lipoplasty is pinkish.
Afterwards, the surgeon may simply put bandages over your incisions, fit you with a compression garment and allow you to rest for a while. You can then go home.
Coolsculpting works because fat cells are destroyed at different temperatures than regular cells. In the case of Coolsculpting, fat cells develop ice crystals and burst at around 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Other cells are not damaged at this temperature.
During Coolsculpting, you will recline in a chair. The specialist places a gel over the place where you want to lose fat, then attaches a suction device that pulls the fat and skin into it and cools it down. You will not need even local anesthesia for this procedure, though some people find the tugging a little uncomfortable and feel a sort of prickling sensation while the device is working. The treatment last about an hour, then you can go home. You won’t even need anyone to drive you home.
Over time, the body simply absorbs the damaged fat cells, and you’ll notice that the area that was treated is more slender and tighter than before.