Fat freezing and liposuction are both fat removal and body sculpting tools, but they work very differently to one another, despite both being treatments for body recontouring via fat removal.
It can be tricky trying to decide which procedure to have, so here’s an outline of the differences between fat freezing and liposuction to help you decide.
Ways fat freezing and liposuction are the same
- Long-lasting fat removal techniques
- Body sculpting tools
- Not used for weight loss
Ways fat freezing and liposuction are different
- Liposuction is somewhat invasive, while fat freezing devices don’t directly penetrate the skin
- Liposuction can remove significantly higher volumes of fat in a single session than fat freezing.
- Liposuction can offer greater precision for hard-to-reach areas of the body compared with fat freezing, which requires a large handpiece.
- Fat freezing is a good alternative for those who prefer a relaxing in-clinic body sculpting procedure, are squeamish about needles, or are not ready for liposuction.
- Liposuction is ideal for those who want a more extensive or faster body sculpting treatment
An overview of liposuction
Liposuction is a surgery. Fat removal is a process undertaken by a specialist doctor inserting tiny tubes (microcannulas) to pump in tumescent fluid and then extract the fat. Liposuction primarily is for body contouring, not weight loss. The amount of fat removed depends on a patient’s body goals, and results may be very subtle or somewhat dramatic. It is performed under a local anesthetic and is a day procedure in surgery. Tumescent liposuction is the gold standard in body contouring and fat removal.
Most parts of the body can undergo liposuction. As Dr Michael Rich at ENRICH Clinic likes to say, “If you can pinch it, you can lipo it! “
The post-surgery swelling is usually dependent on how many areas are treated and how much fat is removed by Dr Rich. Results should start to show as soon as the swelling goes down. This swelling may take 4-6 weeks to resolve fully, especially if extensive areas undergo treatment. A full appreciation of your liposuction results may not be evident until three months post-surgery.
An overview of fat freezing
Fat freezing is a fat-removal technique whereby the skin is sucked up into the special Cooltech handpiece and cooled to a specific temperature. Fat cells break down when exposed to a significantly cooler temperature than the surrounding skin and fat. This results in the surrounding tissue being left intact while the fat cell walls break, and the cell repair mechanism is then unable to repair the damage. This breakage results in programmed cell death (apoptosis) to remove the broken cell out of the system.
Over time the body gathers the damaged fat cells and escorts them safely from the area. Fat freezing, therefore, takes a little longer to show results compared with liposuction. Fat freezing is slower and gentler than liposuction and an excellent choice for minor reshaping without downtime.
At ENRICH Clinic, we use the Cooltech device for fat freezing.
Recovery times for fat freezing and liposuction
The downtime and recovery period for liposuction is quite different from fat freezing.
Fat freezing is a walk-in walk-out procedure that may require a few repeat treatments to be most effective. Liposuction, on the other hand, is mostly a one-stop-shop.
Recovery from liposuction, while a day procedure, may take a few weeks, and there are some strict instructions to follow for post-surgery care. Fat freezing is a no-downtime treatment.
Possible temporary side-effects from fat freezing
- Short-term bruising
- Skin sensitivity
- Rarely, some numbness in the treatment area
Likely temporary side-effects from liposuction
Although uncommon, a person may react to a medication administered before, during or after the procedure, and unexpected complications may occur during healing. Liposuction is a surgery, and therefore, risks are part of the package.
Dr Rich will explain everything to you beforehand so there won’t be any confusion regarding what to expect and what to do if something unexpected occurs.
How long do liposuction and fat freezing take?
Liposuction is typically one procedure, with multiple areas able to be treated during that one procedure. A double chin can take 30 minutes, while more extensive treatment areas can take up to three hours.
Fat freezing sessions take about an hour, and you may need several sessions a month or so apart for best results.
Differences in cost between fat freezing and liposuction
Each person’s needs are different, so what you can expect to pay will also differ. The more areas you have treated in the same procedure, the more cost-effective per area it will become. Cost is also based on how much fat you are having removed and how significant the area.
The best way to find out what the real costs will be is to make an appointment at ENRICH Clinic and talk it over with Dr Rich. He will be able to advise you which method is more appropriate for your body shape, budget and lifestyle.
How much fat can fat freezing and liposuction remove?
Liposuction can remove more fat in a session than fat freezing. In Australia, safety limits are capped at a maximum of five litres of fat of removed during a routine liposuction treatment. Most people won’t have this much fat removed to achieve their body-shaping goals.
Fat freezing can remove about 20 per cent of the fat from a single area in one treatment, but this depends on your body fat and the size of the handpiece used in the procedure.
This scientific review analyses the different methods of liposuction and liposculpture if you need a little more detailed information.
Should I choose fat freezing or liposuction?
The best way to find out what’s going to work best for your body and budget is to make an appointment and visit us for a consultation.
If you decide to go ahead with ENRICH Clinic, the cost of your consultation becomes part of your treatment fees.
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