Liposuction or CoolSculpting®?

When people express interest in body contouring, the most common questions we hear are: “Is liposuction or COOLSCULPTING® the right choice for me?”

During a consultation, Dr. Capizzi and his team of knowledgeable health practitioners are able to identify whether a surgical or non-surgical option would be best to achieve a patient’s dream result. But how do you check your needs as a patient? Luckily, we are getting ready to discuss body contouring options and how they help our patients. Although this information does not replace the value of a one-on-one consultation, it can help you see what will likely be the best treatment for you.


Liposuction is one of the most performed procedures in plastic surgery. It provides patients with subtle-to-significant fat loss in areas such as the abdomen, waist, back of the hips, bra roll, arms, or thighs. Liposuction is the removal of excess fat through surgical methods. During this procedure, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions (1-2 cm). Then, they insert a narrow instrument called a cannula that breaks up the fat cells and uses suction to remove them.

Capizzi MD uses a PAL, or power-assisted liposuction, system. This system provides better body contouring results and shorter recovery time for our patients. Performing liposuction under general anesthesia takes 2-3 hours (sometimes more). Length of surgery depends on the number of areas and amount of fat removed.


CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared non-invasive procedure that uses a vacuum applicator to localize and freeze fat cells. When freezing these fat cells, they die and our body removes them naturally. Using CoolSculpting® can reduce fat in the upper arms, abdomen, and thighs. It can also be used to eliminate a “double-chin” but at Capizzi MD we typically recommend an injectable, KYBELLA®, for removal of fat in that area.

Which is the best option for me?

Treatment Goals

  • For patients looking to remove a significant amount of fat, or have more dramatic body contouring, liposuction is likely the best option. It is also a more effective treatment option when a patient wants more immediate results. Initial results of liposuction can be seen immediately, and only improve in the weeks and months following the procedure. Liposuction can also be completed alongside other procedures such as fat grafting, Brazilian Butt Lift, tummy tuck, or breast augmentation, for more extensive body contouring in one surgery.
  • For patients searching for localized fat removal in on area, such as love handles or upper arms, CoolSculpting may be appropriate. This treatment is often the best for those who are already fit. Yet, we all find areas of stubborn fat that are hard to eliminate with a healthy diet and exercise. Patients can expect mild to moderate improvement in areas treated. Results from this treatment begin to appear 2-3 weeks following an appointment. A patient may need multiple treatments depending on their needs. During a consultation, our team helps patients determine how many they would require.

Recovery Time

  • Recovery with liposuction is very simple. Patients are back to their normal routine in the 1-2 days following their procedure. There is often some minor swelling, numbness, or soreness following liposuction. Ibuprofen manages these symptoms and they resolve quickly.
  • CoolSculpting® requires zero recovery time, as it is a non-surgical procedure. There is sometimes some minor bruising or swelling for a day or two following treatment. Patients are able to resume activity as normal after an appointment.

Am I A Good Candidate?

  • An ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in overall good health and experiencing fat deposits. During your consultation, you will discuss your goals with Dr. Peter Capizzi and the Capizzi MD Team. They will recommend the appropriate procedures needed to achieve your goals. Liposuction is not an adequate replacement for a healthy diet and exercise when it comes to losing weight and is not an alternative to weight loss or obesity treatment.
  • An ideal candidate for CoolSculpting® is someone who is already fit and healthy, and experiencing some areas of fat. Patients should understand they will experience mild to moderate improvement in the area treated and that this is not designed for weight loss.

Still not sure about Liposuction or CoolSculpting®?

It’s okay if after reading all of this you’re still not sure which treatment is right for you. We offer consultation appointments so you can get a chance to sit with the surgeon and talk about your goals. Our team wants to hear how you want to feel following your treatment. Then, we recommend body contouring procedures that will fit your needs. If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Capizzi, please fill out or consultation form or call our office at 704-655-8988.

Before & After


Take a gander at Dr. Capizzi’s before and after photos, giving you a visual representation of his stunning results.

Before & After


Take a gander at Dr. Capizzi’s before and after photos, giving you a visual representation of his stunning results.