CoolSculpting vs Aqualyx Injections – Which is right for me?
Once upon a time, surgical procedures such as Liposuction were the only way to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat which refused to shift through diet and exercise alone. Today, technology has come a long way, and non-invasive procedures such as CoolSculpting and fat dissolving injections are widely available in the UK. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a non-invasive fat-reduction procedure and are wondering “what is the difference between them, and which treatment is right for me?”
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting, also known as Cryolipolysis, is an FDA-approved treatment which essentially freezes and kills fat cells in various areas of the body. During treatment, an applicator is applied to the chosen area which releases carefully regulated cooling plates to bring fat cells down to a temperature at which they’re permanently destroyed.
After treatment, the fat cells will eventually die, and your body will eliminate them – a process which takes up to three months. Results become visible after just a few weeks with the final effects revealed at the twelve-week stage.
CoolSculpting can tackle just about any unwanted bulge – it’s FDA-approved for treatment of the abdomen, flanks (love handles), thighs, upper arms, back and bra fat, banana roll (underneath the buttocks) and double chin.
What is Aqualyx?
Aqualyx is a non-surgical fat dissolving injection treatment. The procedure uses a solution of deoxycholic acid to safely eliminate small, stubborn pockets of fat which resist diet and exercise.
It works by liquefying fat cells in the chosen treatment area, destroying them for good. The fat/lipids are then released and eliminated naturally by the lymphatic system.
As multiple injections are required to treat larger areas, Aqualyx is generally recommended for small, hard-to-treat areas, such as double chins or fatty deposits above the knees or ankles. Therefore, CoolSculpting may be more appropriate for larger treatment zones.
You’re likely to see full results of Aqualyx within a couple of months after several treatment sessions, and swelling has dispersed.
Which one should I get?
Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your practitioner, but it also depends on the treatment area and how much fat you’re hoping to erase. As previously mentioned, CoolSculpting is generally more appropriate for larger treatment zones. Aqualyx is unlikely to be used to treat fat deposits on the abdomen or thighs, but it can be very useful in treating small areas such as a double chin.
That said, Dr Sophie Shotter will only consider treating a double chin with Aqualyx when there isn’t enough pinchable fat in the area for the CoolSculpting applicator. CoolSculpting involves considerably less downtime than Aqualyx and usually requires fewer treatment sessions, so it is more cost-effective for the patient.
Also, consider your pain sensitivity. Usually, two injections are given during an Aqualyx treatment session. The practitioner will use a long lipoinject needle to thread the product within the fat pads. CoolSculpting is far less uncomfortable since the cooling action has a numbing effect.
Aqualyx vs. CoolSculpting Chart
|Procedure type||Non-surgical, injected||Non-surgical, applied on the skin’s surface|
|Cost||From £350 per treatment||From £500 per CoolSculpting cycle|
|Pain||Pain results from injections into the skin.||You may experience a cold sensation and tingling in the first few minutes of the procedure before the skin numbs.|
|Number of treatments needed||No more than six sessions||One or more sessions lasting an hour in length.|
|Expected results||Permanent reduction in fat in the treatment area.||Permanent reduction in fat in the treatment area|
|Who this treatment is not recommended for||People taking blood-thinning medications and people who are pregnant or lactating.||People with cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disorder, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria|
|Recovery time||A few days to a few weeks||Hours to days|
Do they actually work?
Both treatments can produce excellent results for the right candidate. In a clinical trial published in Clinic, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in 2014, CoolSculpting showed pretty impressive results – up to a 25 percent reduction in subcutaneous fat in the treatment area. CoolSculpting is also considered the safest and most effective fat reduction treatment on the market.
There is less data available on Aqualyx. A study published in a European academic journal in the field of Aesthetic Medicine and Dermatology showed that cells exposed to Aqualyx treatment exhibit maximum cellular degeneration when compared to other types of fat dissolving injections.
The good news is, the results of both treatments are theoretically permanent. When you lose weight through exercise and healthy eating, your fat cells shrink – when you gain weight, they expand. But with both Aqualyx and CoolSculpting, fat cells are eliminated, which is a lasting change.
That said, we always recommend that our patients maintain a healthy lifestyle post-procedure to maintain the results as gaining weight can eliminate the slimming effects.
If you’d like to discuss your concerns with a practitioner to determine the right treatment for you, click here to book a complimentary consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.