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SculpSure® VS. CoolSculpting®

Serving New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut (the mid Atlantic states)
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon Sheila A. Bond, M.D., F.A.C.S.

 

Patients love the idea of losing inches without surgery. Many companies are competing in the market for newer and better methods of non-invasive fat removal. After many calls from patients desiring a non-invasive alternative to liposuction, our office and Dr. Sheila Bond began the process of researching the most popular methods on the market.

The two major contenders were CoolSculpting® and SculpSure®. Since fat cells can be destroyed by either heat or intense cold, both seemed to be viable alternatives worth looking into. In 2015, CoolSculpting® made a big impression in the cosmetic surgery market.
CoolSculpting®’s claim was to non-invasively freeze areas of the body to destroy underlying fat (cryoliplysis). In 2015, Cynosure, the SmartLipo company, launched SculpSure®, a Diode Laser (light-based energy) fat melting process. Since we wanted the most unbiased opinions, we relied on the reviews and opinions of patients and physicians who administered the procedure or had it done themselves.

We based our study on 5 criteria: Treatable Area, Comfort Level, Time, Cost and Outcome.

  SculpSure® CoolSculpting®
Treatable Area The SculpSure® treatment has 4 separate, cell phone sized applicators. An average abdomen can be treated in one session, and the number of applicators increases the versatility of areas that can be treated simultaneously. The CoolSculpting® device has a single applicator which is applied to a small area of the body. It basically sucks in as much fat as possible and compresses it before the freeze. A larger area like an abdomen would require multiple treatments to cover all of the surface area, and any bilateral areas (thighs, arms, love handles, flanks) would require 2 treatments, one at a time.
Comfort Level Even the cowards among us found it reasonably easy to tolerate the level of heat. The heat ascends in alternating heating and cooling cycles; just when you think it’s getting too warm, it cools down and starts the cycle again. Most patients complained that they were uncomfortable during the treatment and more so when the device was removed to reveal the “butter stick”, a reddish, purplish- rectangle of frozen fat and flesh. The area must be massaged uncomfortably after the treatment and remained tender to the touch for weeks.
Time SculpSure® treatment is 25 minutes per area. One SculpSure® treatment can treat almost 4 times the size of one CoolSculpting® treatment in a quarter of the time. CoolSculpting® treatment takes one hour per area.

Discomfort Level

All of us in the office had the opportunity to try SculpSure®. The applicators are strapped on snugly before the laser attachments are applied. Even the cowards among us found it reasonably easy to tolerate the level of heat. The heat ascends in alternating heating and cooling cycles; just when you think it’s getting too warm, it cools down and starts the cycle again.

We did not have the opportunity to demo CoolSculpting®, so we relied on the experiences and testimonies of patients who tried it. The CoolSculpting® applicator is placed on the appropriate are to be treated. When the machine is turned on, vacuum pressure sucks in as much fat as possible and then applies the freeze. The area remains frozen and pinched for one hour. Most patients complained that they were uncomfortable during the treatment and more so when the device was removed to reveal the “butter stick”, a reddish, purplish-rectangle of frozen fat and flesh. The area must be massaged uncomfortably after the treatment and remained tender to the touch for weeks.

Cost

Depending on the area treated, CoolSculpting® may require multiple treatments to complete an area. An abdomen, for example, would probably need a treatment for upper, one for lower and possible two more to include both sides of the waist. Because of the versatility of placing the four SculpSure® applicators, the same area could be treated in one or two treatments. One SculpSure® treatment can treat almost 4 times the size of one CoolSculpting® treatment in a quarter of the time!

Outcome

Both procedures claimed to destroy up to 25% of the underlying fat cells. Results are seen as early as 6 weeks following the treatment with optimal results at about 12 weeks. Since the SculpSure® applicators enclose more surface area; a larger area of fat can be removed in one treatment. Also the SculpSure® treatment “feathers out” beyond the perimeters of the applicators for a smoother effect. Since CoolSculpting® can only treat the fat that is sucked into the single applicator; it can result in a “sharkbite” effect (lumpy or ridged areas) which may require more treatments to adjacent areas to create smoothness.

Neither procedure is a substitute for liposuction which has the ability to remove much larger numbers of fat cells and truly flatten an area. Two SculpSure® treatments may be necessary for a more noticeable result. But for the patient who refuses an invasive procedure, we feel that SculpSure® is the better alternative and a good way to start the process of moving toward a slimmer appearance.

If you want to see if SculpSure® is right for you, contact us online or call (973) 509-0007 for your consultation with Dr. Sheila Bond. We look forward to meeting you in person.

We look forward to meeting you in person.

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