Which Is Best – SmartLipo or CoolSculpting?

Summer is just two short months away – are you swimsuit ready? If you’re envisioning a sleek body in that bikini, now is the time to consider a body contouring procedure. Results can be seen within 2-3 months. But which of the two non-surgical options is best – SmartLipo or CoolSculpting? The answer may not be obvious, and there are a few key considerations. Sometimes it’s not an ‘either or’ decision, as both SmartLipo and CoolSculpting can be paired to reduce fat and improve your shape. Following are a few questions to ask yourself to get sense of how SmartLipo and CoolSculpting can work for you.

SmartLipo or CoolSculpting: How Do They Compare?

SmartLipo laser
SmartLipo is an effective procedure for multiple and larger areas of the body.

Diet and exercise merely shrink fat cells, and our bodies often have diet and exercise-resistant areas. That’s why there are two effective solutions that permanently remove fat cells: SmartLipo (laser lipolysis) and CoolSculpting. Both are performed in the office, are safe, have minimal downtime, proven results and a quick recovery period. A key difference is that CoolSculpting is completely noninvasive – no anesthesia, needles or incisions. SmartLipo is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses local anesthesia and very small entry incisions that don’t require stitches. 

Which Areas Do I Want to Treat?

The CoolSculpting treatment freezes away fat cells without surgery.
The CoolSculpting treatment freezes away fat cells without surgery.

To determine which procedure is right for you – SmartLipo or CoolSculpting – first consider the areas of focus. SmartLipo is effective for all areas of the body, and particularly excels in the back, arms, chin/neck/jowls areas and areas with sagging skin. Small trouble spots in the abdomen, flanks and inner thigh are options for CoolSculpting because of the subcutaneous fat in those areas. Some patients opt for both SmartLipo and CoolSculpting to accomplish their goals. For example, the Lumen Tight is our go-to lipo procedure for the chin and neck area and could be paired with CoolSculpting for abs.

How Many Areas Do I Want to Treat?

If you want to shrink one or two stubborn fat bulges, CoolSculpting is a very effective option. However, if you have multiple areas or want to lose a larger amount of fat, you may see more effective results with SmartLipo, and it can be more cost-effective. 

How Immediate Do I Want to See Results?

SmartLipo can remove the majority of fat in a specific area, and you’ll start to see results within a week. Since SmartLipo has the added benefit of applying heat to help the skin retract, you’ll continue to see results over the next 4-6 months as that area tightens further. CoolSculpting reduces the number of fat cells in treated areas by 20-25%. Results may be seen in three weeks and will continue over 2-4 months as fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body. CoolSculpting may need 1-3 treatments, spaced out 1-3 months between treatments. 

How Much Downtime Can I Afford?

Downtime is minimal with both SmartLipo and CoolSculpting. SmartLipo patients are usually back to work in 3-4 days and typically need a compression garment for 1-4 weeks. A benefit to CoolSculpting is that normal activities can resume immediately – pick up the kids or return to work right after your treatment!

There’s Still Time to Look Your Best by Summer!

At the Lumen Center, we help you choose the best body contouring option, customize your treatment plan and deliver the best results possible. We take the time to understand your needs in a personal consultation, educate and discuss expectations, and monitor you closely after the procedure. Whatever procedure you choose for natural-looking results – SmartLipo or CoolSculpting, or perhaps both – we’ll help you get ready for the pool and beach. 


Call us at 610.525.0606 today, Contact Us via our website or email info@lumenlasercenter.com to schedule your no obligation consultation in our Bryn Mawr, PA office. We can have you looking and feeling your best by summer!

At a Glance: Sizing Up SmartLipo and CoolSculpting

  SmartLipo CoolSculpting
Type of Procedure Minimally-invasive in-office procedure with local anesthesia In-office, nonsurgical procedure, no anesthesia
Most Effective For… All areas of the body, and best for back, arms, chin/neck/jowls and areas with sagging skin. Effective for multiple and larger areas. Small trouble spots in the abdomen, flanks and inner thigh.
Expected Results Results seen within one week and the majority of fat is removed from the area receiving liposuction; full results in 4-6 months after skin reaches optimal tightening. Results seen within 3 weeks; 20-25% of fat is reduced in 3-6 months.
Number of Treatments One session lasting for at least 3 hours per area, depending on the size and treatment area. In one day, treatments can be performed on 1-8 areas.  Sessions typically last 45 to 60 minutes. If repeat sessions are needed, they are given 1-3 months apart.
Recovery Most patients are back to work in 3-4 days and need to wear a compression garment for 1-4 weeks. Normal activities can be immediately resumed.
Pain Some pain/discomfort that can be relieved with Tylenol; pain medication is given for larger areas.  Minimal discomfort in first few minutes and then numbness; some temporary sensitivity or bruising after.
Added Benefits Laser heat stimulates the growth of collagen, which continues to tighten the skin and helps with sagging skin. Perfect for the busy professional or mom who can’t afford any downtime. 
Cost Starting at $4,000 Starting at $649