How to Convey the Advantages of Liposuction over CoolSculpting to Patients

“Fast and easy” has a way of winning over plastic surgery consumers, and when it comes to weight loss, CoolSculpting has “fast and easy” locked up.

“Effective,” however? Not so much.

When the patient sitting in front of you is a clear candidate for liposuction, be on the ready for their inquiries about non-invasive fat removal. If you’re in the midst of making the case for liposuction over CoolSculpting, use this evidence to reassure them that liposuction is their best choice. This list of talking points will help any new surgeons who join your practice, as well as any staff who pre-screen your liposuction patients.

Concern: CoolSculpting is fast and easy!

Strategy: Acknowledge but pivot

Answer: It is. There is zero downtime and no recovery with CoolSculpting. Most patients undergoing liposuction must avoid work, any exercise, and much movement for three days to a week.

Once liposuction is done, however, it’s done. Compare that to Coolsculpting, where many patients must get anywhere from two to five more treatments per area at intervals one to two months apart. You may end up spending six months to a year before you get your desired results. A portion of liposuction’s results can be seen immediately. Most results manifest by one month and all are visible by three months. (Since results are mostly permanent for both liposuction and CoolSculpting, there is no reason to compare on permanence.)

Concern: CoolSculpting is so much safer because no anesthesia is involved!

Strategy: Acknowledge but inform more thoroughly

Answer: CoolSculpting doesn’t require surgery, but by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon that uses TLA prior to liposuction, there is no need to undergo further anesthesia at all. Make sure that your surgeon will use an AAAHC-accredited facility, which sets very high safety standards.

Concern: CoolSculpting is more affordable!

Strategy: Inform

Answer: The CoolSculpting manufacturer, Allergan, has structured pricing so that it’s competitive with liposuction. Still, they want to capture as much profit as possible and so keep their prices on the same level with a liposuction procedure. Patients who receive all costs upfront will find, once all treatments are completed, the two procedures have very similar costs.

While international prices vary too widely for the International Association of Plastic Surgeons to aggregate, in the United States, the average surgeon’s liposuction fees and CoolSculpting fees are comparable. The following fees are involved in liposuction:

  • surgeon’s fee
  • facility fee
  • post-surgery compression garments
  • anesthesia
  • medication

Total fees vary depending on the size of the area(s), the difficulty of the surgery, and your location. Adding a tummy tuck to liposuction saves patients money on both procedures.

CoolSculpting costs, on the other hand, begin with lower—but “per area”—costs. At first glance, this low initial price structure can lure patients. Be aware that charges vary depending on whether the practice considers each area to be small, medium or large. Of course the stomach counts as a large area. Most patients get at least three CoolSculpting procedures and some get five. Patients opting for several repeat treatments of two areas—say, stomach and hips—quickly rack up bills close to or more than those undergoing liposuction.

Concern: CoolSculpting doesn’t leave you with sagging skin!

Strategy: Acknowledge but pivot

Answer: That’s true because the amount of fat removed is so minor that the skin does adjust to the slow excretion of the fat cells after cryolipolysis. When a tummy tuck is performed together with the liposuction far more excess fat and skin can be removed.

You just get more with liposuction. Advances in liposuction equipment technology mean plastic surgeons can remove over five liters or 10 to 11 pounds of fat safely. Not only can a surgeon also remove extra skin with the tummy tuck creating a flat stomach, but they can also add extra contouring like a taper between the waist, hips, and lower back. Surgeons can use the fat removed to graft fat to breasts or butt. With liposuction, you’re able to get a more curvaceous figure without additional surgery or recovery time.

Concern: People are loving CoolSculpting!

Strategy: Inform

Answer: Not as much as they love liposuction. Liposuction typically ranks as one of the top three most popular surgical cosmetic surgeries worldwide with more than 1.7 million opting for the procedure in 2018 (the most recent data.) Just 473,000 got non-invasive fat reduction globally in the same year. More, 88% of reviewers on RealSelf rank liposuction as “worth it,” the publication’s highest ranking. Just 84% of RealSelf reviewers believe CoolSculpting is “worth it.” Remind patients that they may be hearing messages from CoolSculpting manufacturer, Allergan, which markets CoolSculpting aggressively.

Concern: CoolSculpting looks like a gradual weight loss. Liposuction occurs all at once and I don’t want people to know I got surgery.

Strategy:  Acknowledge but pivot

Answer: CoolSculpting results appear gradually, almost as if you’re losing weight naturally. But, liposuction results don’t manifest for a month or more either. The swelling initially masks fat removal. The best way to keep your liposuction secret is to not tell anyone. If they ask you directly, feel free to say, “why do you ask?”

Liposuction Is an Easy Sell, Particularly for Patients Seeking More Aggressive Fat Loss

No matter how clear it is that liposuction is the most fitting procedure for a patient, when you sit down with him or her, you will be battling the widespread, pro-CoolSculpting messages Allergan keeps putting in front of consumers. This list readies you, your new surgeons and your staff for the most common CoolSculpting messages patients will present. Consider posting it in your breakroom for frequent reminders.

Need Help Choosing the Right Equipment?

Sharing with patients that you use only the most cutting-edge liposuction and fat-grafting equipment will help to ease their fears about liposuction. It’s more than the elite plastic surgeons who insist on using Moeller Medical’s state-of-the-art German-engineered liposuction and lipofilling instruments. You’ll find our precision instruments hard at work all over the world.