There are so many web pages floating around the Internet that attempt to explain weight loss and body contouring options. You’re willing to read up and discover which one is right for you — but where do you even start?
While diet and exercise are logical solutions to many health and beauty concerns, they’re not a perfect fix. That’s where plastic surgery comes in — but don’t let the word “surgery” scare you. Beyond invasive surgeries like traditional liposuction, there are safe, non-invasive fat removal options that produce incredible, long-lasting results.
Emerald Laser and CoolSculpting are both non-invasive fat removal procedures. Read on for a thorough comparison of these two popular laser fat loss techniques.
Emerald Laser is a low-level laser therapy (LLLT). It’s most commonly spoken of in relation to acne treatment or pain relief. The technology was officially FDA cleared for fat reduction services in 2010.
A laser is shined through your skin toward the targeted area. This laser weight loss technique is also known as “cold” therapy because the laser is at an intensity that won’t harm the fat cells. The goal is to induce a reaction in the cells, not to kill them. This type of laser functions totally differently from lasers designed to kill tumors, for example.
When the fat cells react to the light, they develop small, pore-like openings. The fatty liquid inside the cells seep out, leaving the cell empty. Because a cell shrinks once it is empty, the target area shrinks as well. The fatty liquid leaves the body naturally.
LLLT can be confused with radiofrequency lipolysis. While laser fat loss deliberately preserves the integrity of the tissue, radiofrequency lipolysis uses heat to intentionally kill cells.
Similarly, don’t confuse this laser fat loss procedure with ultrasonic liposuction. Also called ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL), it uses ultrasonic waves to obliterate fat cells. The surgeon uses a cannula to suck up the liquefied mass. The process parallels regular liposuction, only the substance is easier to suck out because it’s less solid. UAL is an invasive surgery, quite different from laser treatment for weight loss in terms of increased recovery time, side effects, and risks.
While Emerald Laser is a “cold” therapy, CoolSculpting is actually cold! The procedure is also called cryolipolysis, or the “fat freezing” method.
CoolSculpting cools the targeted area so much that fat cells break down and die. Because fat cells are more sensitive to cold than other cells are, the procedure can target them without damaging the whole area.
Those dead, frozen cells need to be processed by the body. Exercise and drinking plenty of water stimulate this crucial expulsion step, which can take 4 – 6 weeks.
Because both Emerald Laser and CoolSculpting are non-invasive procedures, they are significantly safer than many other fat removal treatment options. It comes without the risks associated with surgery such as risk of infection, scarring, nerve damage, etc., and without the pain of recovery and its side effects.
Laser weight loss does use lasers, but this technology is incredibly safe and effective.
Emerald Laser uses 532 nm (nanometer) green lasers developed by Erchonia. 532 nm is the same intensity used in commercial items, and it is the brightest laser available to humans. It appears 88% as bright as 555 nm, the maximum level, which the human eye cannot handle. While you should never shine a light directly into your eyes, when a 532 nm laser is operated for its intended use, it is completely safe and FDA-cleared.
Because CoolSculpting isn’t a laser treatment, light levels aren’t a concern. CoolSculpting’s safety issues center on the fact that the procedure deliberately kills cells, which can compromise tissue and metabolic function.
You will lie on a table for about 30 minutes; ten of Erchonia’s 532 nm green lasers will be pointed at all the parts of your body you want to target. And it’s that simple! Just come back for a total of six treatments.
The facility will first assess the spot you want to treat. Then they’ll choose the size and shape of suction best suited for that spot, which will be placed on your body. The equipment will suck up your skin like a vacuum would. This causes your skin to lay flat against cooling instruments that will cool the target area for up to an hour.
You may come back for another session if you desire further results.
Laser fat loss causes no pain or discomfort.
When the vacuum pulls on your skin, you will feel some tugging or pinching that can be bothersome, depending on your pain tolerance. The feeling should subside after a few minutes when the cooling panels will have sufficiently numbed the area. Patients report tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping sensations.
No preparation is required, and there are no side effects. You can go on with your day as soon as the session is over.
Nothing is required in preparation for CoolSculpting, but after the session you will likely experience bruising or soreness that should clear in a matter of hours.
Further, it is possible that your results will be lopsided. While both sides of your body will be treated equally, there’s no way to guarantee that each side will have the same exact reaction to fat freezing.
Studies show that 1% of patients experienced an increase in fat cells. This happens more in men than in women, mostly of Hispanic or Latino descent.
There is also a rare chance the treatment area will grow. This will be noticeable two to five months after the procedure. This enlargement would need to be surgically removed.
Results are noticeable after a few treatments. You’ll see it happening as you continue to come in for your prescribed number of sessions.
Harvard conducted a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical investigation on Erchonia lasers with a study group of 67 people. The participants who didn’t receive a placebo treatment lost an average of 3.51 inches in their waist, hips, and thighs in two weeks.
Participants didn’t change their diet or exercise during the study. The fact that the results stand on their own is compelling. Our own clinical trial saw clients lose an average of 5.9 inches over four weeks.
Cryolipolysis produces significant results as well. A study showed a 23% reduction of fat in one treatment. However, results don’t appear immediately. The body needs to first eliminate the dead fats cells. This will typically take two to four months.
Emerald Laser is the only laser treatment for weight loss cleared for full-body treatment. It’s also the only treatment cleared for people that have a body mass index over 30. Additionally, it doesn’t necessarily require exercise or dieting. Emerald Laser is available to anybody, at any size or level of fitness.
CoolSculpting is more limited in its reach. It’s best for people who are close to their target weight and is FDA cleared for nine specific areas: abdomen, flank, under the buttocks, thigh, upper arm, back fat, bra line, under the chin, and under the jawline.
It isn’t a weight loss option; it’s a purely body contouring procedure targeting lifestyle-resistant stores of fat on otherwise fit individuals. Because CoolSculpting equipment involves a vacuum, it won’t work for people who have saggy skin or aren’t somewhat toned.
Finally, CoolSculpting is not available to people who have cold-related medical conditions.
A full laser weight loss treatment package starts at $1,500.
One session of CoolSculpting will cost about $1,300, but it’s possible you’ll want more than one session. Also, while side effects are rare, you may consider the cost of possible follow-up doctor visits and prescriptions.
Emerald Laser and CoolSculpting have a lot of similarities — both are non-invasive, which means that they won’t require preparation or anesthesia.
Neither is terribly painful, but CoolSculpting is uncomfortable. Additionally, post-treatment irritation for CoolSculpting is possible, as well as rare but possible side effects that may amplify this discomfort, even leading to surgery in the worst cases.
Cost is comparable initially, but you may want to schedule a follow-up session with CoolSculpting, while Emerald Laser offers a package deal of several sessions.
Both Emerald Laser and CoolSculpting are FDA cleared as a safe procedure. However, while laser treatment for weight loss works to preserve cell and tissue integrity, cryolipolysis kills cells intentionally.
The starkest difference between the two techniques is who can take advantage of them. There are no limits to who can try laser treatment for weight loss. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, requires that patients be close to their goal weight, have some tone, and not have any cold temperature-related issues.
Laser fat loss with Emerald Laser is an accessible, risk-free, and low-hassle choice. If you’re ready to give it a try, find an Emerald Laser provider near you.