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CoolSculpting vs EMSCULPT: Which is Best For You?
Apr 4, 2024

Based on their names alone, you might guess that CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT NEO are similar procedures. That’s not the case: Though they have similar names and are both non-surgical options for reducing stubborn fat with no anesthesia, no scarring, and no down time, they use different methods and deliver different results. As with any procedure, details matter; understanding the difference will help you choose the right one for you based on several factors:

  • Your overall aesthetic goals
  • How soon you want to see results
  • How much maintenance you want to keep up with  

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting uses an FDA-cleared, fat-freezing technology called Cryolipolysis. We apply a vacuum-like applicator to the surface of the targeted area and gently draw the skin between two cooling panels, which freezes fat cells without damaging the surrounding tissue structure. Patients don’t feel any pain and simply feel a cool sensation along with slight tugging on the skin. Over the course of 4 to 12 weeks, the lymphatic system continues to eliminate the frozen fat cells. 

body sculpting


EMSCULPT NEO is also FDA-cleared and combines electromagnetic (that’s where the EM comes from) technology with radiofrequency energy. We place a paddle-like device on the targeted area which causes muscles to contract rapidly. One 30-minute session creates 20,000 contractions to build muscle and melt away fat. Patients don’t feel any pain during the procedure, and just have muscle soreness for several days similar to after a tough workout.


Because of its radiofrequency technology, EMSCULPT is not for patients who have internal metal devices such as pacemakers or IUDs.

Which Body Sculpting Treatment is Best for Me?

It’s important to keep in mind that neither body contouring option is a replacement for weight loss. They are both designed for candidates with a Body Mass Index of 30 or lower who have fat deposits that don’t go away with exercise and a healthy diet. To choose which method is right for you, consider how your preferences add up in these areas:

Body Type and Desired Results

CoolSculpting is best for patients who simply want to see a fat reduction in troubled spots including love handles, muffin tops, and fat in the abdomen and above the knees.  

EMSCULPT is best for patients who want to see more muscle definition in the abdomen, love handles, thighs, arms, calves, and buttocks. It’s also great for strengthening weak areas such as abdominal muscles and glutes, and it can make workouts more productive

Time Commitment and Time to See Results

CoolSculpting requires two to six sessions that last between 30 to 60 minutes each, with sessions spaced two weeks apart. The length of each session depends on the size of areas being treated, and each session can sculpt 20-25% of fat away. Because fat continues to be eliminated well after treatment, it takes up to four months to see maximum results.

EMSCULPT treatments require a minimum of four sessions that take about 30 minutes each, scheduled two to three days apart. Patients notice some muscle toning after the first 30-minute treatment, but can expect a 25% increase in muscle mass and up to a 30% reduction in fat in troubled areas after all sessions are completed. EMSCULPT


As long as patients don’t gain weight, the results of CoolSculpting can be permanent.

Since EMSCULPT provides a chiseled look resulting from increased muscle mass, it’s necessary to keep using the affected muscles to maintain results. Some patients schedule EMSCULPT sessions every three months. 


There is no down time after CoolSculpting or EMSCULPT NEO. 

After a CoolSculpting session, patients can expect some slight redness, bruising, or numbness in the treatment area for just a day or two. 

After EMSCULPT, muscle soreness is common for a few days. 

Is CoolSculpting or EMSCULPT Better Than Liposuction?

Both CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT are non-invasive avenues to fat loss, while Liposuction continues to be the gold-standard surgical treatment for excess subcutaneous fat. They are all very effective. It really just depends on your budget, whether you are ready to have surgery, and how much down time you can tolerate. 

During a liposuction procedure, we first ensure that the patient will remain pain-free by using general anesthesia, local anesthesia, or sedation. We then make small incisions in targeted areas of excess fat, then insert a long, narrow tool called a cannula to suction out fat from the abdomen, waist, back, hips, thighs, upper arms, knees, chin, or neck.  

As opposed to CoolSculpting or EMSCULPT, results of liposuction can be seen as soon as swelling subsides. Here are some other advantages to liposuction over noninvasive body sculpting methods:

  • Liposuction allows for more fat to be removed during a single session, so there’s no additional sessions needed. 
  • Using a wand internally allows us to manually sculpt the abdomen, lower back, hips, and flanks to create a desirable hourglass-shape. Other methods remove fat but don’t promise a specific shape.
  • The fat extracted during liposuction can be reinjected into areas of the body where more volume is desired, commonly the breasts, buttocks and face. 

The disadvantages of liposuction versus CoolSculpting or EMSCULPT are that:

  • Patients usually need to take a week off of work to recover.
  • There is some scarring.
  • It’s hard to keep your procedure under wraps since fat loss is obvious right away. With the other methods, results are more gradual.


Our Body Sculpting Experts Can Help You Choose the Best Option for You

At The Breslow Center, our goal is to help you love the body you have. We will discuss the different body sculpting procedures we offer and determine which one will help you achieve your desired look. Schedule a consultation with our experts today.   

About the Author

Dr. Gary Breslow, MD, FACS

Dr. Gary Breslow, MD, FACS

Is a highly regarded plastic surgeon in Paramus New Jersey, known by both patients and peers as a problem-solver with a warm, engaging personality, and an instinctive ability to identify and truly understand the goals of his patients and the patients, themselves. Dr. Breslow has dedicated his efforts to providing results of only the most unsurpassed quality, continually staying abreast of the most advanced techniques in cosmetic surgery for the benefit of his patients. Dr. Breslow is Board-Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is licensed to practice plastic & reconstructive surgery in both New Jersey and New York.

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