HealthWatch: Tummy Tuck Vs. CoolSculpt

Hagerstown, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The number of tummy tucks has risen by more than 100 percent over the last ten years. But this surgery, which targets stubborn belly fat, is expensive and can be risky.  Here are details on how traditional surgery stacks up against a topical treatment that literally freezes the fat away.

CoolSculpting is a freezing treatment that works like a vacuum cleaner. While the canisters suck in fat, the tissue chills to 39 degrees, causing it to crystallize.

"They found a way to cool the fat, but not kill the skin," said Salvatore Dimercurio, M.D., a Maryland-based plastic surgeon. 

Jerra Feaga was treated on her thighs and stomach.

"It's like a numbing feeling that continues to get colder and colder to the point of probably what hypothermia feels like," detailed Feaga.

The pain generally lasts about seven minutes of the hour-long treatment.  

"Even though we have some good results four to eight weeks post treatment, we find that if we treat that area again, we get better results," Dr. Dimercurio told Ivanhoe. 

"It's only up to a 30 percent decrease, so it's not going to be a wow factor," said Feaga.

For more dramatic results, some patients consider the tummy tuck , sometimes called the "yummy mummy" surgery.   

"Typically it's the woman who's had children; she goes to the gym five days a week, she doesn't understand why she can't remove this loose flabby skin," said Henry Garazo, M.D, another Maryland-based plastic surgeon.

Like Christine Rosenthal, a mom, who after two C-sections, still had overhanging skin. But she said after surgery, she physically improved by 90 percent. 

"Everything isn't going to be perfect, but it's better than it was," said Rosenthal. "That's how I viewed it."

Dr. Garazo said detailed, "It's transformational. For women when the walk in the office, you can literally see them at the front desk walking down the hall and they're a completely new person."

Neither procedure is covered by insurance. CoolsSulpting costs about $2,000-$3,000 and tummy tucks from $5,000 on up.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath Supervising Producer; Donna Parker, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Marty Jenoff, Videographer.

COOLSCULPTING: CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is a procedure that selectively damages subcutaneous fat cells by freezing them. The body eliminates the dead fat cells, which results in a more sculpted appearance. There is no damage to the overlying skin which makes this a generally safe and non-invasive fat removal procedure. The treatment includes the application of a gel pad and applicator, which delivers controlled cooling to the targeted fat. Typically it takes anywhere from one to three months to see results and often requires several procedures.                                                    Source: ( 

TUMMY TUCK: "Tummy Tuck" surgery (abdominoplasty) is the removal of excess skin and fat and can restore weakened or separated muscles. If diet and exercise do not get rid of certain problems areas, such as a pouch of fat on the stomach caused by pregnancy or prior surgery, then a tummy tuck might be a good option. The procedure consists of making a horizontally-oriented incision between the pubic hairline and belly button. The abdominal skin is lifted and the muscles underneath are repaired. Excess skin is trimmed off, and the upper abdominal skin is pulled down before closing the incisions. Results should be visible within 1-2 weeks but scars may be present up to a year. This is a surgery so there are risks that include the possibility of infection, bleeding, looseness of skin, unfavorable scarring and more. There were about 120,000 tummy tucks in the U.S. last year.                                                                            Source: ( 


WHICH ONE IS BETTER?: Deciding on a tummy tuck or CoolSculpting comes down to an individual's wants and needs. If budget is a factor CoolSculpting costs $2-3,000 because multiple procedures are necessary. Tummy tucks are usually $5,000 and up, but will probably only be required once. IF time frame is a consideration CoolSculpting requires little to no downtime, while a tummy tuck requires 2-3 weeks off from work. If there is excess skin on the stomach, a tummy tuck is the best option because CoolSculpting will not help that. Also if you want instant results go for the tummy tuck but if there is time to wait then coolsculpting might be the best option. Source: ( 




Heather Hoover 




If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at


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