Liposuction vs. Zeltiq

Two popular ways to remove unwanted fat are liposuction and Zeltiq.  There are differences between the two, and understanding them can help you choose which technique is right for you.

Liposuction is a surgical technique where unwanted fat is suctioned out.  Therefore, it is invasive.  When done under local anesthesia, it is minimally invasive.  Zeltiq, on the other hand, is not invasive at all.  The skin is never broken.

Since Zeltiq is non-invasive, there is almost zero downtime and minimal discomfort after the procedure.  When liposuction is done under local anesthesia, there is very little downtime, but there is still some.  Most people take 1 – 2 days off to recover because they are sore and tire more easily.

The trade-off for being less invasive is less impressive results.  The amount of fat removed by Zeltiq is far less than the amount removed by liposuction.  Studies show Zeltiq reduces the amount of fat in a given area by about 20%; whereas, liposuction often reduces it by 60 – 80%.  You can repeat Zeltiq, but it does not often get to the results of liposuction and can become cost-prohibitive to do so many treatments.

Another downside of Zeltiq is that it takes a long time.  It takes an hour to do one area, so if you are doing the lower abdomen and hips (a total of three areas), it takes at least three hours.  That’s 3+ hours every time you do those areas.  Liposuction of the those areas can take several hours too, but it is done in one treatment.

In conclusion, when deciding between Zeltiq and liposuction, there are several considerations.  The most important is the relationship between results vs. downtime.  In general, Zeltiq gives less impressive results, but has minimal downtime.  The amount of downtime can be minimized if liposuction can be done totally under local anesthesia.

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