When you’ve done all that you can with diet and exercise and you still aren’t satisfied with your love handles, it might be time to consider getting a body contouring procedure. How do you decide if you should choose Coolsculpting, Liposuction or an Abdominoplasty? They all can be effective so deciding can be tricky without the advice of an expert.

There are many factors involved in choosing Coolsculpting vs liposuction vs abdominoplasty. I consider it my number one priority to help you weigh all of the the factors to decide which body contouring procedure is your best option. The primary areas I have patients look at are the expected results, recovery times and of course the cost involved.

Time Frame for Results

An important aspect to consider is how quickly are you looking for results? Each body contouring procedure is effective in it’s own way, but some have more immediate results than others. The most dramatic and immediate results occur with abdominoplasty, but there is a much longer recovery time. In general, an abdominoplasty will require at least a 3 week recovery time where you will be unable to work. You must be in excellent health to have aesthetic surgery because it requires anesthesia and patients can expect surgical pain and swelling.

Coolsculpting procedures are completed over several office visits with results being more gradual. There is no recovery time but final results might not be seen for several months. Patients should not expect to feel any discomfort. Since Coolsculpting is a non-invasive procedure with no anesthesia required, patients with health issues that make them poor candidates for other types of surgery often CAN have this treatment.

Liposuction results fall somewhere in between an abdominoplasty and Coolsculpting. Recovery from the procedure typically lasts at least one to two weeks and the majority of patients results are seen within a month. Patients will likely see post operative swelling immediately following the surgery and for several weeks.

Your Anatomy

There is no single procedure that is right for everyone. I will listen to your goals and evaluate your body anatomy to see what procedures make sense.

Example Case Scenarios

Patient 1: After undergoing an amazing weight loss over a year, a patient has loose, sagging skin that will not go away no matter how many crunches she does. The only recommended option would be to undergo a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty procedure. Although it is the most invasive, the other procedures could actually make our patient look worse if I only removed the fatty tissue. During a tummy tuck, I repair any muscles that may have separated that might be causing any bulges, I will use liposuction to take away stubborn fatty pockets and removes excess skin to finish smoothing and tightening the entire abdomen.

Patient 2: Some patients have smaller areas they’d like to address, like a tummy roll. There is not a significant amount of loose skin. This patient is a great candidate for Coolsculpting. Treatment can be accomplished in an hour office visit with no down time.  All patients who have subcutaneous fat in problem spots can benefit from spot Coolsculpting to those areas. I brought Coolsculpting into my practice for all patients who are afraid, or just don’t have time for surgery, but still want some improvement in their contours.

Patient 3: This patient has several areas that she’s like to address, including her hips, thighs and buttocks. She is looking for more immediate results than Coolsculpting can provide and would prefer to have it all taken care of at one time. Liposuction might be the best choice in this case.


Surgical procedures like a tummy tuck or liposcation can cost a lot. In general, patients should expect to pay out of pocket around $7000-$14,000 in total. That number doesn’t take into account any lost pay from taking time off work during the recovery process.

Coolsculpting can cost anywhere from $2800- $10,000, depending on how many areas are treated and how many times they are treated.

Depending on what you are looking to accomplish, I know that I can help you look and feel your best. I personally do each initial, no charge consultation for all procedures.