Surgical vs. Non Surgical Procedures

When it comes to physical cosmetic enhancement through fat reduction, individuals tend to research the best procedure to meet their aesthetic needs. Taking into consideration costs, downtime, recovery experiences, and results associated with any given cosmetic procedure, a potential patient may opt for alternatives that seem favorable at first glance. Achieving significant fat reduction without surgery may sound like a no-brainer, however, what would you be compromising if you chose this route?

Dr. John A. Millard and the knowledgeable staff at Millard Plastic Surgery are here to help you achieve your best aesthetic results! Whether you desire a flatter midsection, sculpted arms, or a chiseled chin, consider working with the best in the industry. Dr. Millard is an innovator and pioneer changing the scope of body contouring. 

If you are a little overwhelmed about your surgical and non-surgical fat reduction options, this concise, comprehensive guide can help you make the best decision for your body contouring goals.

What is Fat Reduction?

Fat reduction is the process of addressing the pinchable fat under your skin. Fat reduction procedures are not weight loss treatments. Rather they are body contouring solutions. Most notably, many people struggle with diet- and exercise-resistant pockets of fat around their abdomen and flanks. Fat can collect anywhere on the body, despite your best efforts.

Fat can be reduced or removed through various surgical and non-surgical methods, leaving you looking leaner, slimmer, and more toned.

Non-Surgical Fat Reduction

The notion of not needing to “go under the knife” to achieve slimmer contours may sound appealing to many. But there may be plenty of trade-offs that make this option less than ideal.


CoolSculpting is a popular noninvasive fat reduction procedure. CoolSculpting technology utilizes cryolipolysis, or fat freezing, to induce fat cell death. From there, the destroyed fat cells are removed from the body through the lymphatic system as waste. To achieve optimal results, you must undergo multiple CoolSculpting sessions. Many people do not see their results until months after their last CoolSculpting session. 

What happens during a CoolSculpting session?

As feeling returns to the site, you may experience further discomfort many describe as “pins and needles.”

When you go for CoolSculpting treatment, the person working with you will place an applicator connected to the CoolSculpting machine onto your skin at the treatment site.  As the device suctions to your skin, you will feel tugging, pulling, pinching, cramping, aching, and intense cold. During treatment, your skin will become numb as the device delivers low temperatures to the area. Most CoolSculpting sessions can last from 30 to 45 minutes. After application of the cold temperatures to your skin and targeted fat, the area gets massaged to help break down the pockets of fat. This can be uncomfortable as the skin is numb and hard.

If you require more than one area treated, including the same area on the opposite side of your body, you will need to go through the process again to achieve symmetrical results.

What areas can I treat with CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared to treat 9 areas of the body: submandibular (under the jaw), submental (under the chin), upper arms, abdomen, flanks (“love handles”), bra roll, back, banana roll (under the buttocks), and thighs. The CoolSculpting applicators for each of these areas are not all-inclusive. Meaning, the applicators can only target a small area of the treatment area at a time. This results in many sessions to achieve your goals. For example, if you want to slim your arms with CoolSculpting, you may need to undergo 4 rounds of treatment in the same session to treat the entire area on both arms. One round may be under your arm, closest to your armpit. The next will be under your arm closer to your elbow, and the third and fourth rounds repeated on the opposite arm. The same may be true for other treatable areas.  

Who performs CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting requires no specialized education and training, except on how to use the equipment effectively. The individual performing your CoolSculpting treatment can be just about anyone without a medical degree and training. They may not understand the nuances of your medical history to properly determine if CoolSculpting is appropriate for you. 

When will I see results from CoolSculpting?

Cryolipolysis is not an immediate solution for fat reduction. It is advertised that after each Coolsculpting session, you can experience up to 25% fat reduction in the treated area. This occurs after many weeks, and possibly months, as your body processes the damaged fat cells. Depending on your unique needs, this may not be sufficient for you and your body contouring goals. You will need to return for additional CoolSculpting sessions. 

How much does CoolSculpting cost?

At first sight, CoolSculpting sessions may seem like they are reasonably priced. However, you may need multiple sessions to achieve your specific goals. Because of this, the price tag can add up over time. 

Surgical Fat Reduction

When it comes to getting rid of stubborn fat under the skin, nothing is more effective than liposuction. VASER Hi-Def liposuction can provide not only fat reduction, but also body sculpting with immediate results

VASER Hi-Def Liposuction

VASER Hi-Def Lipo is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedure that physically removes unwanted fat from the body. VASER Hi-Def Liposuction uses ultrasound technology to help break up the targeted fat deposits which are then removed with gentle vacuum suction. You can achieve optimal results with only one procedure. VASER can also sculpt your body, allowing you to see your six-pack abs or tone your arms, while tightening your skin

What happens during VASER liposuction treatment?

Before any procedure, you will need to attend a consultation to ensure you are an appropriate candidate for the treatment. Your health and medical history will be thoroughly reviewed at this appointment. You will also need to have lab work done and possible clearance from your primary care physician after a physical. From there, you will attend a pre-operative appointment with your surgeon to review the results of your labs, receive instructions on how to prepare for surgery, and receive any prescriptions. 

What happens during VASER liposuction treatment?

On the day of your VASER procedure, you will meet with your plastic surgeon to review your treatment plan and mark the treatment areas. Once you are in the operating room, you will be given the appropriate anesthetic to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. Small incisions will be made at the treatment site and tumescent fluid will be injected into the area. A specialized thin hollow tube, called a cannula, will be inserted and emit ultrasound waves. This vibration will create air bubbles in the tumescent fluid which will help dislodge the fat. The cannula then vacuums out the fat at the treatment site, sculpting your body as it is guided along the area. Once adequate fat is removed and your surgeon has achieved your body contouring goals, the incisions will be closed and you will be taken into a recovery room until you are ready to go home.

What areas can I treat with VASER Liposuction?

VASER can be used in just about every area of your body where you have unwanted bulges. Anywhere from the neck, down, can ultimately be treated with liposuction. Generally, patients undergo VASER Hi-Def Liposuction to slim and tone the male chest (gynecomastia), female breasts (breast shaping and/or reduction), arms, abdomen, flanks, mons pubis, hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, back, axilla (armpit), and buttocks. VASER can be combined with other procedures to achieve ideal results.

Dr. Millard has also perfected 4D VASER Hi-Def Liposuction! With 4D VASER, fat removed from your problem areas through VASER Liposuction is purified and reinjected into areas you would like more volume, such as the buttocks in a Brazilian Butt Lift

A holistic approach can be utilized in one VASER Hi-Def Liposuction procedure, targeting all areas requiring fat reduction for a comprehensive solution and seamless results!

Who performs VASER Hi-Def Liposuction?

Only qualified physicians should perform VASER Hi-Def Liposuction and other surgical procedures.

To ensure your safety and optimal results, you should only consider a board-certified plastic surgeon for your aesthetic surgery. This person is a doctor who has completed extensive training in the area of plastic surgery and is continually learning about advances in the field.

When will I see results from VASER?

The results of your VASER Hi-Def Liposuction procedure are immediate, however it may take some time for them to become apparent. During the procedure, fat deposits are removed from your body, immediately slimming and shaping the area. After surgery, you will experience swelling. It may take a few weeks for swelling to subside, revealing your new contours. 

How much does VASER Hi-Def Lipo cost?

VASER Liposuction is a highly customized procedure that takes into consideration a variety of factors. Because of this, your surgeon will prepare a treatment plan that caters to your individual needs and aesthetic goals. This will inform the final price of your procedure.

The only way to receive an accurate quote for VASER Liposuction is to attend an informative consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. 

CoolSculpting vs. VASER Hi-Def Liposuction

CoolSculptingVASER Hi-Def Liposuction with Millard Plastic Surgery
Utilizes cryolipolysis to aid in fat reductionUtilizes state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to physically remove fat from the body during the procedure
Results can take months to appearResults are immediate
Requires multiple sessions to achieve desired resultsRequires one procedure to achieve optimal results
Can be performed by non-doctorsIs only performed by a highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeon who is a leader in the field
Treats one small area at a timeCan contour the body in a holistic manner in one procedure
Can be costly after multiple treatment sessions for minimal resultsWell worth the price tag for comprehensive, immediate, impressive fat reduction, body contouring, and skin tightening

Your Fat Reduction with Millard Plastic Surgery

At Millard Plastic Surgery, you will receive the best care while on your fat reduction journey. You will be in the hands of a VASER pioneer and innovator, US Air Force veteran, highly sought-after, internationally renowned, author, instructor, and board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. John A. Millard, MD.

Before and After Photos

There is no comparison when it comes to delivering excellent fat reduction and body contouring results. CoolSculpting from your local med spa can only do so much. VASER Hi-Def Liposuction with Dr. Millard is a transformative experience where art and beauty meet precise skill and experience. Dr. Millard has scores of satisfied patients! You can be among them by scheduling an informative VASER Liposuction consultation today. Special financing is available for patients who qualify to help make your body sculpting goals a reality. Contact Millard Plastic Surgery and our helpful staff will be glad to assist you as you begin your fat reduction journey!

Additional Resources

  1. Hoyos, A. E. & Millard, J. A. (2007). VASER-assisted high-definition liposculpture. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 27(6), 594–604.
  2. Soto, J., Aguilar, H. A., & Barajas‐Gamboa, J. S. (2016). High Definition Liposuction: A Challenge for a Perfect Body Contouring. In Nikolay P. Serdev (Ed.), Body contouring and sculpting. IntechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/65811

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