SculpSure Vs. CoolSculpting 2018

SculpSure Vs. CoolSculpting 2018

At Juvea Aesthetics we offer the revolutionary SculpSure fat reduction treatment. We recently saw a thread on RealSelf regarding the difference between SculpSure and CoolSculpting; this is a question we’re asked regularly at our clinic. As a result, we thought it would be useful to write an in depth article with some information on the matter from not just us, but other doctors and surgeons around the world.

The question

The author of the original thread wrote:

“What is the difference in results for SculpSure Laser Fat Loss vs. Coolsculpting? Is one better than the other? I recently completed, one “round” of Coolsculpting of flank, abdomen, inner and outer thigh and back, spread out over an 18 month period due to cost. My weight has remained about the same over that time period and I have to say I’m not overly impressed with Coolsculpting. I see some slight changes but the biggest reduction has been in my wallet.”

While there are similarities between the two treatments, there are also many differences. Explaining how SculpSure works, our Medical director, Dr Faz Zavahir says:

“SculpSure works by delivering laser light through the skin on problem areas such as the abdomen, flanks, hips, legs and thighs to direct heated energy to the fatty deposits. By safely heating the temperature of the tissue being treated, fat cells are broken down and then eliminated naturally from the body via the lymphatic system.”

The similarities and differences between the two are listed below:


  1. Purpose – Both SculpSure and CoolSculpting are intended as a non-surgical body sculpting treatment. Both systems have been designed to help target, and encourage fat reduction in stubborn areas of the body.
  2. Fat cell removal method – Fat Cells are destroyed and removed naturally via the bodies lymphatic system
  3. Permanency of fat cell destruction – Fat Cell destruction is permanent using both treatments
  4. Patient satisfaction rate – Both SculpSure and CoolSculpting have a similar patient satisfaction rate on RealSelf
  5. Results – Both treatments achieve a reported 24% reduction in fat in most suitable patients
  6. Number of treatments required – Both devices suggest optimum results will be seen after 2 – 3 treatments


  1. Method – Advanced Laser Technology vs. Freezing: CoolSculpting uses a process called Cryolipolysis to freeze fat cells. The treated areas are exposed to extreme cold. SculpSure utilizes laser technology, a lipolysis method to heat the fat cells.
  2. Treatment time – CoolSculpting takes at least 50 minutes to complete whereas SculpSure takes just half the time to complete a treatment – 25 minutes.
  3. Treatment area coverage – CoolSculpting can only treat one area in 50 minutes this means parts of the body such as flanks, thighs or arms would need to be treated separately e.g. 50 minutes for each arm. SculpSure can treat multiple areas at the same time, meaning in this example both arms could be treated in just 25minutes all together. In fact up to four areas of the body can be treated in the space of half of the time that CoolSculpting can treat just one. Because of this, SculpSure is much more cost-effective than CoolSculpting.
  4. Patient suitability – Because of the difference in applicators, many more patients are suitable for SculpSure. CoolSculpting is only suitable for patients where a substantial amount of fat can be ‘pinched’ and sucked into the applicator. SculpSure is a flat applicator applied to sit on the skins surface meaning many more patients with varying problem areas can be successfully treated.
  5. Skin tightening – The laser technology used by SculpSure also encourages collagen production which can result in the bonus effect of skin tightening. CoolSculpting does not result in a skin tightening effect.
  6. Pain level – While both treatments have some mild to moderate pain reported during the procedure; after the procedure higher pain levels are reported for Coolsculpting, sometimes even requiring narcotic or neuropathic pain relief. Following SculpSure some pain is possible however it is comparable to an ab work out at the gym.
  7. Downtime – No downtime at all is required following SculpSure. CoolSculpting requires aftercare and severe swelling can occur resulting in the need for downtime.
  8. Other observations – CoolSculpting’s suction method cannot separate fat from other parts of the body. Any part of the body which is sucked into the applicator gets frozen, this includes nerves which can cause numbness and discomfort. SculpSure’s 1060nm laser energy targets fat cells only meaning nerves, vessels and skin are not irritated during the treatment.
  9. Post-treatment side effects – A result of CoolSculpting’s suction method is the likelihood of marks left on the skin, also referred to as shelving or “Shark Bite”. The applicator used for CoolSculpting leaves a noticeable difference between the treated and untreated areas on the skin. Some patients have likened it to looking like a shark has taken a bite out of their tissue or a shelf or step appearance between the different areas.
    Because SculpSure’s applicator sits on top of the skin and heat is targeted underneath the skin surface, virtually no difference can be noticed between treated and untreated areas.

But which treatment is safer?

There are certainly less risks associated with SculpSure. Dr Peter Chien (MD, PhD, FAAD) a New York Dermatologist explains:

“Our practice was approached by both CoolSculpt and SculpSure.  We decided to go with SculpSure because of the shorter treatment time (25 minutes instead of 60), and also less risk factors… With any laser there is a risk of heat damage but that is already taken care of with the sapphire cooling built into SculpSure, plus the machine’s lasers will turn off if its sensors detect loss of epidermal protection cooling.  With cryolipolysis (the method which CoolSculpt uses), there is no way to predict or reduce the risk of nerve damage from freezing the fat, nor to prevent paradoxical fat hyperplasia if it happens. You can be the best dermatologist or plastic surgeon in the world and there is no technique you can do to prevent these side effects of CoolSculpt. Although these risks are rare, I just don’t like using devices in which I can’t manage the reduction of the side effects, and that is why we decided to go with SculpSure.”

Dr Scott Chapin (MD, FACS) a Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon backs this up by explaining:

“Many CoolSculpting patients have reported numbness, pain and bruising that can last for weeks post treatment. Also, research is now revealing that CoolSculpting can cause more severe complications such as delayed onset pain and nerve damage. Delayed onset pain typically occurs a few days post CoolSculpting treatment and causes neuropathic symptoms such as stabbing, burning, and shooting pain within the treatment areas that is unresponsive to medications. To date, SculpSure patients have not reported pain or discomfort following treatment.”

Dr Joubin Gabbay, MD a Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon also explains in the thread why he chose to replace CoolSculpting with SculpSure in his clinic:

“I think the most important differences between Coolsculpting and SculpSure come when you look at the potential downsides. In my eyes, Coolsculpting has many potentially serious complications that I do not want to risk.  These include:

  1. Long-term nerve pain or nerve damage – I have seen many Coolsculpting patients who have had pain that has lasted for several days, weeks or even months… SculpSure is targeted only to your fat and does not interfere with anything else except the fat under your skin.  

  2. Step-off / Shelf effect- Coolsculpting is performed with a suction cup that grabs all of the fat in the area of treatment. Any fat just outside of the suction cup will not have the cold treatment and will not be reduced. That has resulted in a step off effect where some patients can literally have a shelf or line demarcating the border of areas that were treated and those that were not. SculpSure has a diffusion effect where the laser energy has a gradient and smoothes out the boundaries of treatment, resulting in an even contour, and, often, a wider area of fat reduction.  

  3. Coolsculpting can create more fat!?!? There is a complication of Coolsculpting known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). That means that a treatment with Coolsculpting can actually result in the development of fat rather than its removal! I have, unfortunately, treated patients with this condition after cool sculpting… There is no incidence of PAH with SculpSure.

  4. Significant pain with treatment.  Many of my patients who have had both Coolsculpting and sculpture note that cool sculpting is significantly more painful than SculpSure. In some cases they could not complete the Coolsculpting treatment due to the severe pain associated with the procedure. In most cases, SculpSure is very tolerable.”

So which is better?

Although similar levels of patient satisfaction rate and results are seen by both methods it seems SculpSure trumps CoolSculpting for many reasons. If you can achieve the same (if not better) results in at least half the time (87.5% less time if you wanted to treat four areas) with less risk, less expense, less pain and discomfort, quicker recovery and a higher chance of suitability all while enjoying the bonus effects of tighter skin… it certainly seems that SculpSure is the winning treatment.

Before introducing SculpSure to our clinic we thoroughly researched any possible negatives or adverse effects and it seems the only negative which can be noted even by competitors is the fact that it is a reasonably new to market treatment. However, as time goes by the treatment is gaining more and more popularity and that argument is nearing obsolescence.

SculpSure at Juvea Aesthetics

If you would like to book in for your free consultation, have any questions regarding SculpSure, or would like to talk through the differences between the two treatments give one of our expert practitioners a call on 0207 291 4554 or email [email protected] today!

The thread can be found here for your own perusal: https://www.realself.com/question/berkeley-heights-nj-difference-results-sculpsure-laser-fat-loss-coolsculpting

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