CoolSculpting and Vanquish are popular body contouring procedures that work by reducing fat in treatment areas without surgery. CoolSculpting is the most well-known and popular fat removal treatment in Greater Toronto. Vanquish is a lesser-known treatment that is often compared to CoolSculpting, although there are several differences between the two. Here’s how CoolSculpting and Vanquish actually work and how they compare.
CoolSculpting is a popular non-invasive fat reduction procedure. This FDA-cleared non-surgical treatment uses controlled cooling or “cryolipolysis” to freeze fat cells to a specific temperature which causes them to die without harming other cells. The CoolSculpting attachment suctions in the tissue of the treatment area and chills it to a specific temperature for about an hour. This precise cooling causes fat cells to crystallize. Over a period of weeks, the body naturally removes the dead fat cells as waste.
During a CoolSculpting treatment, areas of the body are treated with a device that resembles a small vacuum. The applicator draws up the tissue of the treatment area between cooling panels. The area will feel very cold for about 4 to 5 minutes and then go numb. During the one-hour treatment, you can read, watch a movie, or even nap. When the applicator is removed, the treatment area will be red and raised. It will be massaged for about two minutes by the treatment provider. Only one area can be treated at once, but some providers use two machines to treat two areas at once.
What to Know About CoolSculpting Treatments
CoolSculpting is the leading technology for fat reduction and older than Vanquish. It uses a different process to reduce fat in treatment areas. When comparing the two options, here’s what you should know about CoolSculpting:
- CoolSculpting offers faster results with fewer treatments. CoolSculpting requires just 1 to 2 treatments to achieve dramatic results.
- CoolSculpting can treat small areas about the size of a stick of butter or smaller. This makes it a good choice for smaller problem areas like the love handles or thighs.
- CoolSculpting is ideal for targeting smaller stubborn fat deposits such as under the buttocks, under the chin, love handles, thighs, and arms. It can also be used on the abdomen, male chest, and more.
- CoolSculpting only works on fat that can be pinched or suctioned into the applicator. You cannot treat fat that can’t be pinched.
- FDA studies found CoolSculpting eliminates up to 20-25% of fat cells treated per session.
What Is Vanquish?
Vanquish is a body contouring procedure that targets fat cells with heat at a specific temperature and length of time. As fat cells are sensitive to not only cold but heat, Vanquish uses radiofrequency technology to heat up fat tissue until it triggers apoptosis or death. This causes the fat cells to die without harming other cells. Because Vanquish uses heat instead of cold temperatures, the treatment itself is more comfortable than CoolSculpting with a sensation similar to a dry sauna or sitting under a warm blanket.
During a Vanquish treatment, you will lie beneath the device while sensors assess your body fat to determine the correct energy level. The device will emit focused-field radio frequency (RF) which heats the skin to 101 degrees and the underlying fat to 120 degrees. No portion of the device will touch your body. Treatments are usually 30 to 45 minutes long.
What to Know About Vanquish Fat Reduction
Vanquish was FDA-approved for fat reduction in 2015 and it uses heat to target fat cells. Vanquish offers its own benefits over CoolSculpting as well as some drawbacks to consider.
- Vanquish requires more treatments to achieve your desired results. Most people require 4 to 6 treatments once a week.
- Vanquish treats larger areas. Vanquish treats areas that are a larger half circle which can include the entire abdomen, including the sides and front. This makes Vanquish a good choice for reducing the waist circumference.
- Vanquish treatments are more comfortable than CoolSculpting for most people. CoolSculpting can cause discomfort when the suction is first applied and after it’s removed and the treatment area is massaged. Vanquish feels more like a warm blanket over your body.
- Vanquish was designed to target the core with a panel that fits over the flanks and abdomen to treat love handles and abdominal fat. A new applicator can target other areas like the posterior waistline, thighs, and back.
- Vanquish can treat areas that can’t be treated with CoolSculpting, which requires “pinchable” fat. With CoolSculpting, this can cause obvious demarcations or boundaries between treatment areas that are difficult to remove, although this is uncommon. Vanquish does not have this problem thanks to large treatment areas and feathering the edges of treatment areas.
- Vanquish uses RF technology which is also used to tighten the skin. Radiofrequency heat stimulates the production of collagen to cause some amount of skin contraction or tightening after a Vanquish treatment.
- FDA studies have found that Vanquish destroys 25-30% of fat cells treated.
CoolSculpting vs Vanquish Cost
Vanquish and CoolSculpting are comparable in terms of per-treatment cost. A 60-minute CoolSculpting session may cost the same or slightly more than a 45-minute Vanquish treatment. However, CoolSculpting only requires 1 or 2 treatments per treatment area while Vanquish requires 5 to 6 treatments. If you are only concerned about targeting smaller areas, CoolSculpting will likely have a lower cost. If you want to target your entire abdomen and flank, Vanquish will likely be more affordable because CoolSculpting would break down this area into at least four treatment areas instead of one.
Side Effects of CoolSculpting vs Vanquish
CoolSculpting is a very safe procedure with a high patient satisfaction rate and a long history of use. Side effects are common but typically very mild. You may experience temporary aches, stinging, pain, or a tugging sensation at the treatment sites that goes away on their own within a few days. The treatment area may be somewhat numb for a week or two. Temporary swelling, redness, and bruising may also occur. A rare side effect is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia which occurs in about 1 out of every 20,000 people. This delayed side effect causes the fatty tissue in the treatment area to swell and enlarge instead of shrink.
Vanquish can also cause minor side effects such as minor redness and swelling and that may feel a bit more tender and warm than usual. These side effects go away on their own over the course of the day.
Results of CoolSculpting vs Vanquish
Vanquish and CoolSculpting both achieve permanent results as long as you modify your exercise or diet to avoid regaining the fat. Once treatments are complete, the treated fat cells are permanently destroyed and flushed from the body.
Vanquish is newer technology and capable of destroying a slightly higher percentage of fat, or 25 to 30% compared to 20-25% per treatment with CoolSculpting. With both options, subsequent treatments in the same area improve results.
Which Option Is Best for You?
CoolSculpting and Vanquish are designed for people close to their target weight and neither can offer the same results as surgery. Still, Vanquish and CoolSculpting both have a lot to offer. Vanquish is far newer technology without some of the limitations of CoolSculpting because it’s comfortable and treats large areas. Still, Vanquish requires four to six sessions per treatment area at a similar cost to CoolSculpting and it can’t be used on smaller areas like the chin or male breasts.
CoolSculpting has a long track record and reliable results. It can be used to treat areas small and large, even though large treatment areas do require the use of several applicators. It also produces maximum results after no more than two treatments.
An experienced treatment provider can help you explore your options to decide which fat reduction method is right for you.