David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253
HKB Knoxville Staff

CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck: Here’s the Skinny

 Dr. Reath’s Patient Care Coordinator weighs the benefits of CoolSculpting, Liposuction, and Tummy Tucks. All of these body contouring procedures are very effective, so it’s good to have some insider advice. Here’s how to figure out which of the three is right for you. 

Learn about 3 options for fat reduction, including CoolSculpting, in Knoxville.

With so many options out there, it can be tough to figure out which body contouring procedure may be best for you. Should you opt for liposuction, or would a tummy tuck work best? Or should you try CoolSculpting first? Our Knoxville team is here to point you in the right direction while maximizing your time and budget. Let’s start by considering these three things.

YOUR TIME FRAME – If you are trying to decide between CoolSculpting and liposuction, are you looking for a single, intensive treatment with more immediate results and are OK with some downtime for recovery OR.. would you rather have several smaller non- invasive treatments that require no downtime with results in 3-4 months? Hmmmmm.

YOUR BUDGET- For some of us, budget is a significant concern. Are you more comfortable paying in smaller amounts –i.e., per Coolsculpting treatment rather than a Coolsculpting package or liposuction surgical fees? Good question.

YOUR ANATOMY- Muy importante! — Not everyone is a candidate for every procedure, and each of these procedures treats different issues. However, none of these treatments are weight-loss procedures. Most patients come to us after they have lost the weight to help contour small, stubborn areas or remove leftover skin. Speaking of skin—If you have loose or excess skin of the abdomen, unfortunately, it is not likely that Coolsculpting or liposuction will give you great results – you may need a tummy tuck (also known as a Lipoabdominoplasty) instead. Have no fear. We’ve got you covered, read on….

So let’s apply this to some real-life situations:

Patient Number 1: Some patients have a small fatty “roll” that they wish to address (either tummy, hip rolls, upper back, or inner thighs). This area is “pinchable” but without very loose (no hanging skin) – they may have a smaller budget and NO time off for recovery. This situation is perfect for CoolSculpting!  Treatment of 1 area with Coolsculpting runs around $1,400 and takes as little as 1 hour in the office with NO downtime.  Larger and multiple areas may require additional treatments, and we offer packages to make this more affordable.  You will begin to see results within 4-5 weeks.  Full results reduce the area treated by 20-25% and are experienced around four months out.  Here are some photos of patients who have had CoolSculpting done in our office.

Bonus: Since Coolsculpting is a non-invasive procedure with no anesthesia required, patients with health issues that make them poor candidates for surgery often CAN have this treatment.

Patient Number 2: Let’s say that the area you wish to treat is a little larger, or you would rather do it all at once, and your personal or work schedule will allow you to take roughly 5-7 days of downtime. Liposuction may well be a better option (provided the skin is still pretty tight, and you don’t have too much laxity). Depending upon the size and number of areas, your liposuction procedure will run anywhere from $3200 – $6700 and require only one surgery/treatment. Results are immediate but will be most visible after the initial swelling subsides; roughly, 4-6 weeks. Here are before and after photos of some of our liposuction patients.

But what if you do have excess or loose skin?.…Well then, you may need a Lipoabdominoplasty (tummy tuck). You see – if you were to simply remove fatty tissue from a patient who has excess skin, the leftover, wrinkly, hanging skin would make things look worse than before. Although this is the most “invasive” of the three procedures, it is also the most transforming.

Patient Number 3: You have excess skin and separation in the abdominal muscles that no amount of crunches can fix. You are the perfect candidate for a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck targets all three factors that create the rolls you can’t get rid of and the hanging/wrinkly skin. During a tummy tuck, Dr. Reath repairs any muscles that may have separated (muscle separation often occurs during pregnancy), uses liposuction to take away stubborn fatty pockets, and removes excess skin to finish smoothing and tightening the entire abdomen. The fee for this procedure generally runs about $7600, and most folks need 2-3 weeks off from work for recovery.  Although results are also immediate, due to post-operative swelling and recovery, you can expect to wait about six weeks before you are bathing-suit ready. Here are pictures of our patients who have had tummy tucks. You may also be interested in pictures of our patients who have had Mommy Makeovers, tummy tuck, and breast surgery at the same time. You’ll see what I mean by the “most transforming.”

Beware of Clinics With Only One Choice
The bottom line (pun) is that there is no single treatment for everybody! From time to time, you may see a spa or clinic that has one new machine that is supposed to treat all your problems. However, it’s easy to see that that someone is trying to make the patient fit the machine, instead of the other way around. Dr. Reath calls these “one-hit wonders.” He explains more in his blog One-Hit-Wonder Plastic Surgery Procedures Miss The Beat.

One-Hit-Wonder Plastic Surgery Procedures Miss The Beat

Anyone who has been listening to pop music for a while can come up with a list of one-hit-wonders. You know, a band that came out with one great song and then everything else fizzled. I can remember “Vehicle” by the Ides of March from 1970. Cool name. Too bad they didn’t do much else. … Read more »

Having a variety of modalities and options to treat each patient individually is something unique to board-certified and board-eligible plastic surgeons. These are the doctors dedicated to offering choices between the safest and most effective treatments, which ultimately saves you both time and money.

The new 40-page eBook A Very Cool Guide To Coolsculpting is a must-read. It’s a free download.


Download CoolSculpting eBook

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