SculpSure, CoolSculpting Body Contouring vs. Traditional Liposuction

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Are you wondering what is the difference between SculpSure vs CoolSculpting and the difference between Liposuction vs CoolSculpting because you’ve been struggling with unwanted fat on your back, tummy, or thighs. 

It’s difficult to determine if SculpSure reviews are authentic because most people have only had one or the other but over the last three years I have tried all three procedures. 

Maybe you want to avoid traditional liposuction and try SculpSure or CoolSculpting because they are nonsurgical options if you are considering fat removal from those stubborn areas that exercise alone is just not helping. 

There are multiple non-invasive fat removal procedures and I have tried SculpSure, Coolsculpting and traditional liposuction.  I will discuss the pros and cons of each procedure to help you make an informed decision on which option is best for you. 

CoolSculpting and SculpSure are the leading non-invasive body contouring treatments that reduce stubborn fat without surgery or downtime.

They both claim to be relatively quick, with no downtime, so you can go back to work (or even hit the gym) right away, without anyone knowing you’ve done it.

I teamed up with Dr. Heidi Lakes of Genesys Family Medicine and Spa  to review the SculpSure body contouring a Non-Invasive Body Contouring Treatment approximately 2 years ago. 

The stubborn fat deposits on my back and flanks was preventing me from putting on a two-piece bathing suit for some time so I jumped at the opportunity to try a noninvasive fat removal procedure.

Read on to learn the differences between CoolSculpting vs SculpSure and the difference between  traditional liposuction vs CoolSculpting to discover which body contouring treatment is right for you.

The links in this post may be affiliate links.  That means that if you click them and make a purchase, this site makes a commission.  It will have no impact on the price you pay or the experience of your purchase.

Two years later the fat has deposited back in the exact same spots so I made decision to undergo traditional liposuction as I had already tried Coolsculpting and Sculpsure.

While they both reduced the appearance of the fat rolls it was very minimal for the money. 

I will also discuss the following questions surrounding Sculpsure vs. CoolSculpting and Liposuction:

  • Is CoolSculpting cheaper than liposuction?
  • Is SculpSure cheaper than liposuction?
  • Which is better SculpSure vs CoolSculpting?
  • Do fat cells grow back?
  • How Much does each procedure cost? 


SculpSure vs Coolsculpting which procedure is right for me?

Non-invasive fat removal procedure might be a good choice for you if:

  • You’re within 30 pounds of your ideal weight, or your body mass index is 30 or less
    Like other body-contouring treatments, neither SculpSure or Coolsculpting is a weight-loss procedure.
  • You’re healthy and active
    “The ideal person is active and otherwise healthy but has stubborn areas of fat that no amount of exercise or dieting seems to help.
  • You’re willing to have a series of treatments over several months
    The areas of fat you have treated with SculpSure or Coolscuplting will shrink over weeks and months, and you’ll probably need several treatments may be needed to get the results you want.


How much does SculpSure vs CoolSculpting cost?

 The average cost of SculpSure is about $2,200. Your cost will vary, depending on how big the treatment area is, how many sessions you’ll need to get the results you want to receive. 

It also depends on the location and the experience level of your provider. Some providers recommend two treatments for each area you will have treated.

The cost of CoolSculpting varies between regions, and factors such as the number of applications play a significant role in the final price. The cost for treatment on multiple body areas averages $2,250

What happens during SculpSure?

Before the SculpSure treatment, Dr. Heidi Lakes marked the area of fat that was to be targeted. She then belted one or more applicators to my body which held the paddles steady during the 25-minute treatment.

When the treatment started, I felt a cooling sensation that helped to keep my skin comfortable.

As the laser cycles on and off, I felt heat and tingling. For most people, the sensation isn’t too uncomfortable, but everyone’s pain tolerance is different.

If you’re among the unlucky ones who find it painful, your doctor could give you nitrous oxide (laughing gas). It’s a safe and effective way to help reduce the perception of pain, and one that doesn’t linger as anesthesia would.

According to Charlottesville, Virginia-based surgeon Dr. Sara Kaltreider in a RealSelf Q&A, “the nitrous oxide is gone from the body in less than 10 minutes, so patients can drive after the procedure.”

Each treatment area takes 25 minutes, and you can get several areas treated on the same day.

To contour areas like your belly, love handles, back, thighs, and double chin, SculpSure uses targeted laser energy to penetrate the skin and heat only the fat cells until they’re too damaged to survive.

You should start seeing results within six weeks as your body eliminates the destroyed fat cells, with full results visible in three months. I was told the fat cells you lose don’t return but based on my experience that is not true for SculpSure or CoolSculpting. 

My CoolSculting and SculpSure Reviews are based on my personal experience and fat returned in the exact same spots in less than a year.  

What happens during CoolSculpting?

I had the CoolSculpting done approximately one year before my SculpSure Procedure and while the procedures were similar in some aspects the results were very different.

Before the CoolSculpting machine was attached to my love handles, the nurse sanitized the area and applied a very cold goo like pad to the area (think ultrasound gel and honey mixed together and put in the freezer).

The machine was then suctioned on to my love handles. This sounds painful, but this part was not very painful at all. It just feels like you have a light dumbbell resting on your side.

Each side was treated for 30 minutes separately, so the procedure took about one hour. And during this one hour, I was covered in a warm blanket and set up with a T.V. to watch while the procedure was in progress.

After the 30 minutes was up, the machine was removed and the nurse will then massage the area to break up the “fat crystals.”

When the machine was first taken off of my side, I was in a little pain, but once the nurse massaged the area it felt a little better!

This is the difference between SculpSure vs CoolSpulting:  I was not in any pain whatsoever after the SculpSure procedure but it took approximately 4 months before I regained feeling in my upper back and flanks with the CoolSculpting. 

I was in pain every day and husband was constantly massaging the area and the area stayed completely numb for months and it itched really bad.

The itching was underneath the skin so no amount of scratching made it better.  I would never get the CoolSculpting procedure again because it was just too painful afterward.

When will you see results from SculpSure?

You should start to see your body contouring results as soon as six weeks after your treatment, with final results at 12 weeks.

Each treatment reduces the targeted fat by about 24%, so most people see the best results when they have a series of treatments, about six weeks apart.


How long will CoolSculpting and SculpSure results last?

Treated fat cells are destroyed and while both procedures claim results will be permanent as long as you maintain your weight.

I gained weight back in the same targeted areas but I was not working out or eating right.  The SculpSure results lasted longer and the results were almost immediate.

What is SculpSure recovery like?

Like most nonsurgical fat reduction treatments, SculpSure doesn’t require any downtime or pain medication. Most people leave the doctor’s office and go right back to work.

You might feel a little sore the next day, so a relaxed elastic waist will probably feel more comfortable than jeans.

Hydrate especially well for up to a week after your treatment, to help flush out the fat cells. And massage the treated areas up to four times a day for three days after the procedure, to minimize any chance of lumps.

The Results From SculpSsure

12 weeks after the initial treatment I was back at Dr. Lakes’ office for my first follow-up appointment. I was definitely starting to see a difference in my stomach.

It wasn’t until she pulled up the before-and-after pictures, that I knew it was working (mind you, this was all before, I decided to get serious and get me a personal trainer.



I was so impressed with the results, that when Dr. Lakes suggested going for round two I said yes!  The mild discomfort was not enough to prevent me from having round 2 and I am considering round 3 as I write this blog post.

24 week Follow up

As with most women, I am more critical of myself and in my opinion, you can still see my love handles but I do have a waist which I didn’t have before the procedure.

 My pants fit looser in my stomach and I see the fat is starting to whittle away.

 I’m so excited to see what the Sculpsure results will be after my 3rd procedure and if it’s anything like what I saw after rounds one and two I will be 2-piece ready in no time.

Dr. Lakes is offering my readers 50% off of SculpSure for the next 2 months, just mention Passports and Grub. Click on the link and schedule your consultation today with Dr. Heidi Lakes in Murfreesboro, TN


Why Choose SculpSure vs CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting Cost vs. SculpSure Cost: SculpSure and CoolSculpting provide similar results but you will not experience pain with SculpSure and it’s a slightly more affordable price per treatment.

Treatment Areas: SculpSure can treat up to four different treatment areas at one time. In contrast, CoolSculpting can treat only one treat one area at a time.

This make comprehensive body contouring with CoolSculpting a far more extensive, expensive and time demanding process compared to SculpSure.

Treatment Times: In addition to treating more areas at one time, SculpSure provides shorter treatment times compared to CoolSculpting. SculpSure is called the “lunch time lipo” because it can be done 25-minute treatments.

CoolSculpting Side Effects vs. SculpSure Side Effects: SculpSure’s flat applicators do not require suction, unlike CoolSculpting, which uses a vacuum mechanism to attach the applicator to the treatment area.

Bypassing this suction also eliminates many of the side effects associated with CoolSculpting, such as tenderness, redness, bruising, and swelling at the treatment site.

CoolSculpting Pain vs. SculpSure Pain: Flat applicators also make SculpSure a painless treatment.

This stands in sharp contrast to CoolSculpting that can be painful and I complained about the suction and sensation of extreme cold at the treatment site during the fat freezing procedure.

Downtime and Recovery: CoolSculpting is a more invasive technique for eliminating stubborn fat, and therefore requires a longer recovery compared to SculpSure. CoolSculpting side effects lasted about 4 months following my treatment. 

In comparison, SculpSure required no downtime or recovery and I returned to my normal activities immediately after my treatment. I personally would not suggest spending your hard earned money on CoolSculpting. 

You might as well just paypal me those funds because it’s a useless procedure.

NonInvasive Procedures vs Traditional Liposuction


  • CoolSculpting, SculpSure and liposuction are all used to reduce fat.
  • Both procedures claim to permanently remove fat from targeted areas.


  • CoolSculpting and SculpSure are noninvasive procedures. Side effects are very minor.
  • You may experience short-term bruising or skin sensitivity after CoolSculpting and the side effects usually resolve within a few month
  • SculpSure in my opinion offer better and more long term results with minor discomfort. 
  • Liposuction is an invasive surgery done with anesthesia. Side effects may include blood clots, negative reactions to anesthesia, or other serious complications.
  • You should avoid liposuction if you have heart problems or blood clotting disorders, or are a pregnant woman


  • CoolSculpting and SculpSure are done as an outpatient procedure.
  • Each CoolSculpting session takes about an hour, and you may need a few sessions spread out a couple weeks apart.
  • Each SculpSure session takes about 25 minutes and you will need a few sessions spread out a couple weeks apart.
  • Liposuction can often be done as an outpatient surgery. The surgery takes 1 to 2 hours, and recovery may take several days. You typically only need one session.
  • You’ll begin to see results from CoolSculpting and SculpSure after a few weeks. Full results from liposuction may not be noticeable for a few months. (Typically 5 to 6 months before you see the final results.

Cost of Sculpsure vs Coolsculpting and Traditional Liposuction vs CoolSculpting

  • CoolSculpting and SculpSure usually costs between $2,000 and $4,000, though prices may vary based on the size of the area and your geographic location.
  • In 2019, the average cost for liposuction was $5,000 which includes the surgery center and anesthesia.


  • CoolSculpting and SculpSure can eliminate up to 25 percent of the fat cells in any given part of a person’s body.
  • You may be able to remove up to 5 litters, or about 11 pounds, of fat with liposuction. Removing more than that is generally not considered safe.
  • One study found that one year after liposuction, participants had the same amount of body fat they had prior to the procedure, it was just redistributed to different areas.

Liposuction procedure

Liposuction is an invasive surgical procedure that involves cutting, stitching, and anesthetizing. The surgical team may use local anesthesia (such as lidocaine), or you’ll be sedated with general anesthesia.

A plastic surgeon makes a small incision and uses a long, narrow suction tool called a cannula to vacuum fat out of a specific area of your body.

How long does each procedure take


Most people only need to do one liposuction procedure to see results. Surgery takes one to two hours, depending on the size of the treated area.

It’s usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you should be able to go home the same day you have surgery.

Recovery time is usually a few days. Always follow your provider’s recommendations for recovery, which may include wearing a special bandage or limiting activities.

You may need to wait 2 to 4 weeks before you can safely resume strenuous activity. It may take several months for the full results to be seen as swelling goes down.

After previously trying both CoolSculpting and SculpSure I decided to get traditional liposuction about 2 months ago in Nashville.   My backfat just would not go away after working out and trying both noninvasive procedures.

Comparing results

While experts day the results of SculpSure vs CoolSculpting and liposuction vs CoolSculpting are very similar I find that not be accurate.

I am currently 2 months post op from my liposuction and I still have some swelling in my upper back which is where most of the fat settled as I got older.

I had liposuction on my upper and lower back along with my flanks and bra fat.  The most visible results at the 60 day post op mark are my bra fat and flanks.  As I stated earlier my upper back is still swollen and I have a tiny roll of fat.

I will update this post in 60 more days with my final results.

Both procedures are used to permanently remove excess fat from specific body parts such as the belly, thighs, arms and chin, although neither is intended for weight loss.

Both procedures are comparably effective when it comes to removing fat. Neither procedure can improve the appearance of cellulite or loose skin.

pre liposuction back fat


A 2009 studyTrusted Source found that CoolSculpting can freeze and eliminate up to 25 percent of the fat cells in any given part of a person’s body.


During the first few weeks after surgery, people who’ve had liposuction will experience swelling. This means that results aren’t immediately apparent, but you can generally see the final results within one to three months after your surgery.

What To Expect After Liposuction

For most, it feels like having a giant bruise in the area that was treated.  The pain will not be so severe that it keeps you from doing your daily activities like cooking, cleaning, reading, watching TV, walking, etc.). 

For people who have realistic expectations of pain (i.e., there will be some because you just had surgery, but it shouldn’t be 10/10 pain), and who don’t spend the recovery period lying in bed or on a couch for long periods of time, the pain is usually less than they expected.

Will I see results right away?

Liposuction can cause significant swelling. In some cases, this lasts a few months, and your final result will not be visible until then.

The majority of swelling does improve after four to six weeks, though. You will wear a compression garment for the first four to eight weeks after your procedure to minimize swelling, and help with pain control.

Are there scars with liposuction?

The liposuction equipment is inserted into the skin through tiny incisions. Each incision is typically about as long as your pinky fingernail is wide. 

How many of these incisions you have will depends on the number of places you are having treated, and how easy it is to remove the fat in these areas.

Whenever possible, the incisions are hidden in a natural skin crease or fold.

How much fat will be removed?

There is a limit to how much fat can be removed without requiring an overnight stay in the hospital. This amount is five liters, which is roughly equivalent to 10 pounds.

Whenever possible, this amount of fat will be removed. Sometimes, however, it is not possible to remove five liters. Some of the reasons to stop liposuction before removing five liters of fat include:

  • The desired result has been achieved before reaching five liters
  • You don’t have five liters of fat present in the area being treated
  • The area being treated starts to bleed

It can be hard to predict in advance how much fat will come out. Sometimes it is possible to remove a very large amount of fat from relatively lean individuals.

Conversely, it can sometimes be surprisingly difficult to remove fat from an individual who looks like they have enough to reach the five-liter limit.

Liposuction Results

How many clothing sizes will I go down?

This one is impossible to predict. You should see a reduction in fatty tissue in the area treated, but whether or not this translates into a drop in clothing size cannot be predicted in advance.

Consequently, no guarantee can be made as to what size clothing you will wear after the procedure.

Will liposuction get rid of the roll of skin I have in my abdomen, arms, thighs, or other areas?

Although you will have a reduction in the amount of fatty tissue in the treated area, the skin itself that remains will often only tighten up minimally, if at all.

Liposuction does not treat excess skin. Only surgery to remove excess skin (tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, etc.) can do that. I still have a roll even though I had liposuction because I have excess skin on my back.

When fat is removed from an area of loose or hanging skin, this can sometimes make that area look worse. Imagine removing the water from a water balloon. With the water gone, you’re left with the same amount of balloon, but now it appears deflated.

Depending on the quality of your skin, the same thing can happen after liposuction.

Individuals with firm, undamaged skin that has no stretch marks may see adequate tightening of their skin after liposuction.

People with thin, sun-damaged skin or stretch marks may feel like their skin looks deflated after liposuction, as it is unlikely to tighten up completely once the fat is gone.

Will the fat grow back?

Once the fat is removed from an area, it does not grow back. The fat cells that remain can get bigger with weight gain.

Because there are fewer fat cells in the treated area (as compared to before the procedure), other areas of your body which were not treated may appear to increase in size.

Conclusion of NonInvasive procedures vs. Traditional Liposuction

SculpSure body contouring is non-surgical procedures performed under local anesthesia that involves using a SculpSure laser device to heat the fat beneath the skin of the treatment area and destroying the fat cells targeted.

The SculpSure procedure is best for smaller, stubborn pockets of fat in the abdomen, thighs, and love handles.

Most patients undergo more than one treatment to achieve their desired results. There is little to no recovery involved and results can be seen between six and twelve weeks after the procedure. 

When the body flushes out the dead fat cells revealing a slimmer body contour.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure performed under general or local anesthesia that involves removing excess fat from your body via suction through a small tube.

The surgeon sculpts a slimmer body contour by strategically moving this tube throughout the fat deposit.

Liposuction is best for larger deposits of excess fat in the abdomen, arms, thighs, buttocks, back, face, and neck. Recovery can be anywhere from four days to six weeks and results can be seen immediately.

An important point to note is that neither SculpSure body contouring nor liposuction is meant for actual weight loss.

Both of these procedures are methods of permanent fat removal and will affect the body’s shape, resulting in lost inches. However, to maintain the body contours achieved by the procedure, a healthy diet and exercise regimen is recommended. 

I just want to look cute in a bathing suit! I hope my reveiw of Sculpsure vs CoolSculpting and liposuction vs CoolSculpting helped you decide which procedure is best for your needs. 

After Liposuction photo

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  1. Wow, you went there!

    I know this has been a popular thing among men, allegedly a few celeb men have done it. Not about that life, but my interest is certainly piqued.

  2. I love that this is a non invasive procedure that actually works and you are so right when you say diet and exercise can’t cure everything.

  3. Wow it actually worked! Sometimes I guess you have to keep trying to find the right procedure. I can def see a difference between the before and after pictures! Looking good!

  4. Congrats on the accomplishments. I have a few pounds I would like to get rid of, but nothing serious. I wish I could blame it on the kids but it would be a total lie. I’m going to get back to working out soon.

  5. Awesome results! I have never heard of this before. Thanks so much for sharing and I’m looking forward for more pictures if you go back for round 3!

  6. I had never heard of SculpSure before, but it seems like a cool concept. Your results are awesome! And what a great deal for your readers who are in your area!

  7. I am intrigued. It’s funny, just yesterday my aunt told me that if I do crunches I would lose my pooch. I’m starting my crunch routine tonight, but if they don’t work out. I will check out something similar, I can’t wait to hear more after your follow up session!

  8. I was on the fence if I wanted to try lipo or coolsculpting. After looking at the new Skinney Medspa offerings though I was sold. I was able to meet my goal after a single treatment and I feel great! There was no pain, no down time and it was really affordable. I told my friends that are struggling to give it a try and get a consultation because it was a game changer for me. I hope that this helps anyone else who is trying to choose!

  9. SculpSure is a laser system that is designed to help with body contouring for those who can’t get rid of stubborn belly fat. In just 25 minutes this system is able to target and kill fat cells. At the start of your procedure you will feel a cooling sensation.

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