Thanks to improving technology, non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments have come a long way in the last decade; reducing downtime and providing impactful results. Non-surgical body sculpting is no different and shows no signs of slowing down, now that more and more manufacturers in the aesthetic space are releasing their own versions of fat-melting, fat-freezing solutions. While all not all are suited for everyone, these treatments have been proven effective for the right candidates.
However, sifting through the differences between treatments can be difficult so that’s why we did that for you. Keep reading to learn the difference between CoolSculpting and EmSculpt.
This one is a tie! Both treatment systems are FDA-approved. This means that the FDA deemed both treatments to be safe and effective when performed by a qualified practitioner. While CoolSculpting has been available for over 5 years now, the EmSculpt system has been studied for over 2 years and was proven to be safe and effective by 7 clinical trials before being released to the public.
EmSculpt is the only treatment that builds muscle while also reducing fat at the same time. These treatments are typically done 4-5 times in a span of two weeks. Patients will start to notice results after 3-4 weeks and also have the option to continue treatments to maintain their results. Since this treatment is so new, there’s not a lot of information about maintenance treatments yet. EmSculpt is said to remove up to 19% of fat in the treatment area but also increase muscle mass by 16%.
CoolSculpting is FDA-Approved to remove up to 22% of fat in the treatment area, after a couple of weeks post-treatment. What gives CoolSculpting a more competitive edge is its release of multiple handpieces throughout the last few years. This allows patients to have fat reduction in all sorts of areas, big and small.
Results from these 2 treatments are pretty different, and hard to compare. For those looking for a more shredded or ripped look (and who are already fairly lean), EmSculpt is the clear winner. For those looking to remove “pinch-able” rolls of fat, CoolSculpting is the clear winner. But most patients fall somewhere inbetween these 2 extremes, and that’s where a doctor’s analysis of the underlying issues (skin, fat, or muscle) will help you to determine which is the better option.
Emsculpt is said to be painless and there is no downtime. So far there are no known adverse reactions to the treatment. After treatment, most patients will feel muscle soreness the next day just like you would after a good workout. The panels used in EmSculpt do not use any hot or cold temperatures to remove fat or use suction to stay in place making the treatment very comfortable.
CoolSculpting works by killing fat cells with cold temperatures, using a curved suction-based handpiece. Some patients experience numbing during the procedure due to the cold temperatures. Some patients find this numbness during and after treatment uncomfortable but not unbearable. However, a new CoolSculpting CoolAdvantage system has been released citing more comfortable treatments with less tingling or numbness after the session.
Overall, it sounds like EmSculpt may be the more comfortable treatment due to its lack of temperature changes.
Each CoolSculpting treatment cycle is 35-60 minutes depending on the size of the handpiece used. Some newer handpieces are now providing shorter treatment times of 35 minutes. Most CoolSculpting providers will recommend between 2-6 treatments spaced approximately one month apart for best results. Emsculpt treatments take approximately 30 minutes and require a minimum of 4 sessions performed 2-3 days apart.
EmSculpt seems to be the winner for time commitment, by 5-30 minutes per treatment.
With CoolSculpting, patients will experience some redness and possibly a numbing sensation for a couple of hours to days post-treatment. If a patient is bothered by this they may find some restrictions in their clothing choices. According to the manufacturer, EmSculpt does not have any physical signs post-treatment but patients may feel muscle soreness similar to post-workout soreness, which could range in intensity depending on the muscle mass of the patient.
This one is a tie depending on what is important to each patient. While both muscle soreness or a numb treatment area are not serious side effects, depending on a person’s lifestyle they could be bothered by either one.
CoolSculpting has come out with several different handpieces over the last couple of years to cater to smaller more unique areas of the body. However, all of the handpieces are rounded working on “pinch-able” or “rolls” of fat. In general, CoolSculpting is intended for patients who are within 20 pounds of their ideal weight.
EmSculpt uses flat panels to treat the abdomen or the buttocks and can be performed over clothing. There is some mixed information regarding who is a candidate, according to the manufacturer anyone who wishes to decrease fat and increase muscle mass is a candidate. However, according to RealSelf patients looking to have EmSculpt should not have a BMI higher than 25 for best results.
Overall, CoolSculpting seems to be the more versatile treatment due to its ability to treat areas all over the body while EmSculpt only currently treats the abdomen and buttocks (though more treatment areas are on the horizon for FDA-Approval).
Since the abdomen is the only area both treatments can be used, we’ll compare the costs for this treatment area only. With EmSculpt, you can expect to pay $4000 for the standard four-treatment protocol. With CoolSculpting, there are typically 2-4 handpieces used to cover both upper and lower abdomen. Each of these handpieces runs $750 – 1500. In total, you can expect about $3,000 per session, with a recommendation of 2 sessions for best results.
Emsculpt is clearly less expensive for the abdomen. But it also creates very different results than CoolSculpting does, so this is a tricky comparison.
If you are curious about any body sculpting treatment, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a physician at Reflections Center. During your consultation, you will be able to ask your provider any questions you may have, received feedback and create a treatment plan that is customized to you and your needs.