Noninvasive fat procedures exist in abundance nowadays, but in reality they are all more similar than different. All of these procedures promise to eradicate your stubborn fat without the need for stitches or needles and allow you to return to your daily routines right away.
Despite sharing many common characteristics, some essential details are unique to each individual technique. To help you assess whether CoolSculpting or EmSculpt, two of the most prevalent noninvasive procedures, is best for you, we put together this outline to highlight their most important differences.
How They Work
CoolSculpting procedures, as you probably gathered from the name, use extreme cold to freeze and destroy fat cells, which your body naturally eliminates. The cold is applied through suction-based handpieces curved around the area targeted for fat removal.
Comparatively, EmSculpt not only eliminates unwanted fat, but also builds the muscles in thanks to the high-intensity electromagnetic energy emitted by the flat panels applied to your treated areas.
Both procedures are completely noninvasive, but they do vary slightly in terms of how much pain they can cause among patients.
Because neither procedure requires any cutting, needles, or stitches, you will not be administered anesthesia during CoolSculpting or EmSculpt. The lack of a need for anesthesia does not necessarily make for a perfectly pain-free experience, however,
CoolSculpting procedures are slightly uncomfortable and cause patients to feel some numbness during and after the treatment. Most are able to handle this numbness easily, but don’t expect the procedure to be completely pain-free.
EmSculpt treatments will feel like you’re in the middle of an intense workout, as the electromagnetic pulses cause your muscles to contract thousands of times during a single session. Overall, since EmSculpt doesn’t alter the temperature of your skin, we conclude that this treatment is a bit more comfortable than CoolSculpting.
CoolSculpting sessions (about an hour) take a bit more time to complete than EmSculpt (roughly 30 minutes to an hour). Still, these times can vary according to the area treated and whether the machine is a newer model or not, so don’t treat these as exact estimates.
Both procedures require several sessions to achieve optimal results, but the amount of time between sessions varies. With CoolSculpting, you will need to receive between two and six treatments at least one month apart from each other. EmSculpt treatments can be completed with far less time between sessions, about two or three days, but you will still need to receive four or more procedures to complete the process.
CoolSculpting patients can expect to see results in about a month to a month and a half after their procedure. It will take roughly three months after the final treatment for your full results to become apparent.
With EmSculpt, the results come a bit more quickly, with patients seeing a marked improvement after as little as two weeks. Full results take about a month after the last treatment to show.
Regarding the amount of fat removed by both procedures, CoolSculpting has been clinically proven to remove slightly more fat than EmSculpt (22 percent in the treated area versus 19 percent). That being said, CoolSculpting does not offer the benefit of increased muscle mass (approximately 16 percent) EmSculpt provides.
Both treatments are FDA-approved, making them quite safe and effective for eligible patients. Furthermore, both claim to cause so few aftereffects that you will not require any time.
With CoolSculpting you may have a lingering numbing sensation and redness in the treated area, whereas with EmSculpt it may feel like you just completed an intense workout. Another safety concern with CoolSculpting is the occurrence of paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, an extremely rare reaction that can cause your treated area to swell rather than diminish in size. There is less than a 1 in 130 chance of this happening to any patient, and there is no real way to tell if you are predisposed to suffering from PAH.
Which is Right for You?
CoolSculpting procedures can be done on more body parts than EmSculpt, which can only be done on the abs and buttocks. So, if you’re looking to eliminate stubborn fat from regions like the arms or thighs, CoolSculpting will be the move for you.
Coolsculpting is intended for patients within 20 pounds of their ideal weight, while EmSculpt’s slightly different criteria require patients to have a BMI of under 25. EmSculpt seems to use more broad language when defining eligible patients, however, so don’t take the BMI recommendation as a strict cut-off.
EmSculpt typically comes in four-session packages, which, on average, run around $4,000. CoolSculpting sessions vary according to the applicator and body part treated. For a procedure on the abdominal region, also areas treated by EmSculpt, it will cost about $3,000 per session. Keep in mind CoolSculpting usually requires more than one session to achieve optimal results.