Liposuction vs. Coolsculpting Review
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
Hi I am a 39 year old mother of 2 who has been completely selfless over the past 12 years since I had my first child. Needless to say I have not taken the best care of my body, however it was worth it since my boys are growing up to be great young men. Both of my pregnancies were delivered via a c-section and I had put on 40 lbs during each of them.
The weight gain and c-sections left my mid section quite unattractive which led to lots of sweatshirts to hide the fat. I rarely let my husband see me naked because I even found my body to be hideous. When I was about 35 I decided that it was time to make a change and went to my local LA Fitness and got a membership. I started working out with a trainer 3 times a week to see if I could promote some weight loss and get my body back to feeling strong and healthy.
My trainer also helped me with my nutrition because that was a huge part of my issue. Having 2 boys usually means lots of stops to fast food restaurants before or after a soccer practice/game. My new diet combined with my training schedule resulted in major fat reduction.
So I eventually got down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but my shape did not seem to be the same that it was when I was in my late 20's. I understand why since I had beaten my body up pretty good over the past decade. I made sure to do lots of ab and oblique work at the gym but my lower abdomen and love handles did not seem to change.
My trainer told me that we just had to keep working hard to see more changes but I was certain that there was nothing more that I could physically do to change my body. I never thought that I would ever get a cosmetic treatment but I continued to see commercials for a procedure called coolsculpting. The way they described the procedure seemed to be a non-invasive way to freeze the stubborn fat in places like the lower abs and flanks. This seemed perfect for me so I decided to do some research.
Long story short, after a consultation I scheduled my Coolsculpting treatment. I was very excited to get it done and fix my lingering body issues. The plastic surgeon set me up with the esthetician and I was scheduled to have 5 procedures done. They made it clear to me that I probably would not see results for a few months. That was not the best news but I figured it was all just part of the process and I was happy to at least doing some sort of body contouring procedure no matter how long it took.
My treatment area was to be my love handles at first. Of course if this ended up working I was going to address some of my other problem areas. I have to be honest I was a bit skeptical of this procedure at first because it seemed just to good to be true.
When I arrived for my first treatment they brought me into this dimly lit room that was playing zen type music. They had me sit in a very comfortable recliner and my feet were placed in a foot massager. They placed a cold gel on my one side and told me to relax as to this would take 30 minutes. Then they placed the applicator on my other flank for 30 minutes. It actually was a very relaxing environment and I did not mind the Coolsculpting procedure.
When I was done I noticed that my sides were completely numb. The esthetician said if I was in pain later at night I could take an Advil if needed. She sent me on my way and I scheduled my next appointment for 4 weeks out.
I repeated this same process for the next five months. What I found out after all of this was that i was $4,500 poorer and still had love handles. Coolsculpting didn't do much except squeeze my sides until they were numb each month. I expressed my unhappiness with the plastic surgeon and he said that the fat reduction treatment doesn't work on all patients.
I knew it was too good to be true when I heard about the procedure, however I did hear from a friend of a friend that they had great results from the procedure. Also I did read a lot of coolsculpting reviews and they seemed to be relatively positive. My plastic surgeon wanted to make sure I went away happy and felt bad that I did not see the results I expected. If I was okay with it, he offered to do liposuction on my sides for free. I thought this was very kind and I was quite appreciative so I took him up on his offer.
Lipo did scare me a little since it was invasive, but I would at least be able to see fat being removed. With great gratitude I scheduled my liposuction procedure and went on my way. When I arrived for the procedure the doctor took me back to his office first to make sure that I had realistic expectation, but also to reassure me that he had great confidence that this would be the fat removal that would make me happy.
I was then brought to pre-op to get the procedure done. I was happy to know that I did not need general anesthesia but instead since it was a small area they injected a solution which I think contained some sort of lidocaine to numb the area. I was also given a morphine drip so I did not feel any pain. During the procedure I could actually see the fat cells being removed from my body. It was gross but satisfying to see that something was actually happening. It took about 30 minutes and they then brought me to post-op.
I wasn't in the recovery room for that long - maybe an hour or so - before I was able to leave. They gave me a compression garment to wear for the next few weeks. When I got home I noticed that there was quite a bit of swelling on my flanks but this was all expected. I was told it would probably be a couple weeks before I started see noticeable results.
They did prescribe me some pain killers for the first week but after 2 days I stopped taking it because I was experiencing extreme nausea. Let me add that I was instructed not to do any physical activity for the next 6 weeks so instead I challenged myself to keep my diet super strict.
After the first week I started seeing results and by the second week I finally started to see my healthy curves come to form. I was still a bit swollen but good things were happening. By the time I went back to the doctor 6 weeks after the procedure I was a new woman.
Let me be clear this wasn't a cure for obesity, it was just some assistance that I needed because it was impossible to lose the fat on my sides. Eventually I may look to do some liposuction on my lower abs because it seems I still have some sort of a c-section pouch.
My personal experience with liposuction was tremendous, while on the contrary my experience with Coolsculpting was very underwhelming. I know that a lot of people see the allure of Coolsculpting because it is "non-invasive" but that doesn't mean its going to get you the results that you want. If I were to recommend a procedure for sculpting your body I would choose liposuction over Coolsculpting.