Do you have a few stubborn pounds to lose? Diet and exercise not helping? Well, now you can freeze stubborn fat to get the smooth contours that have been out of reach! Find out how this non-invasive procedure works and its limitations.
In This Article:
- What is CoolSculpting?
- How CoolSculpting Works
- Where Does the Fat Go?
- Is CoolSculpting Right for Me?
- What to Expect During the Procedure
- What Results Can I Expect?
- What Are the Risks?
- How Much Does CoolSculpting Cost?
- Does CoolSculpting Replace Liposuction?
A majority of us have a minimum of one area where fat deposits won’t budge, no matter what we eat or how often we exercise. Before giving up or considering an invasive procedure like liposuction, you might want to try CoolSculpting. CoolScultping is a non-invasive procedure the freezes fat to slim and tone key areas. You will look slimmer and shapely in no time!
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that freezes excess fat cells. The fat cells then die and gradually is removed by the body. It appears that extreme cold affects fat cells in a way that leads to improved body contours. First a little history is in order.
The idea of cold affecting fat cells was first noticed in the 1970s. This is when a group of children in Russia who often sucked on popsicles developed fat loss in their cheeks.Doctors could not understand why these young, healthy kids had lost youthful fat in their faces. It was not until they realized the constant popsicle habit was to blame. Over many years, this finding was analyzed and eventually caught the attention of scientists who studied the process of cryolipolysis, which specifies to freezing fat. Years of testing and research steered these doctors to develop the CoolSculpting machine as a safe method of reducing small accumulations of excess fat.
How CoolSculpting Works
CoolSculpting requires the use of a small or large (or both) paddle like applicator attached to a hose that provides the cold. Each applicator has two panels with 3,000 sensors per side. A gel pad is placed over the area being treated to help protect your skin. Then the CoolSculpting device is applied. After applied the applicator firmly pulls up the treated area between the two panels, where it remains for the course of the treatment. A few minutes later you will began to feel moderate cold. This cold sensation might be followed by a stinging, tingling, aching or cramping feeling. These sensations are normal and will lessen (if not go away completely) as the area becomes numb. Your practitioner will assure you are comfortable and help get you situated. Then they will leave you alone to relax as the procedure continues on its own.
After one hour is over the device is removed. Then the practitioner will massage the treated area to restore normal blood flow. This area may feel sore and might feel a little stinging or cramping. You might also see a brief whitening or reddening of the treated area. This may also feel stiff. On the other hand, you can resume your normal activity immediately after treatment.
Where Does the Fat Go?
You might be asking, where do the frozen fat cells go? This is a great question! CoolSculpting works by targeting fat cell by calibrated temperatures. Making contact with the cold temperatures causes the fat cells to crystallize. After two months, these crystallized cells die. This then stimulates the immune system to send enzymes out that break down the dying fat cells. Which is easily and safely removed by the body.
A fascinating factor of CoolSculpting is that once the fat cells are destroyed, they don’t return. If you gain weight, those pounds will not be deposited in the treated areas.
Is CoolSculpting Right for Me?
If male or female regardless of your age, you are considered a good candidate for CoolSculpting if:
- You are within a few pounds of your ideal weight range. You can "pinch an inch" (or two)
- You have obvious fat bulges in the abdominal area.
- You’re not expecting instant results. It takes two months for full results to be seen.
- You’re willing to maintain your current weight. You have to continue with exercise and a healthy diet.
- CoolSculpting does not work to improve cellulite. This is because cellulite is not so much about the build-up of fat. It is rather about how the fat gets deposited in the underlying support structure of skin on the thighs of women.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Make sure you have set aside enough time for the procedure. Each area takes one full hour. If getting more than one area done, add an additional hour to the procedure time. Other considerations include:
- Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. Do not forget warm footwear, you will get cold.
- Bring something to read, work on, or listen to. Most of the procedure time requires you staying in one position.
What Results Can I Expect?
At first you will not see any results, just be patient. The effects of using cold to destroy fat cells takes time to work. A few weeks after Coolsculpting treatment, you will start to notice small improvements as the fat cells reduce. Full results are visible after two months. At that point you and your doctor can decide if another treatment is needed. Most patients see 20-30% fat reduction. This may not sound like a lot of fat loss, but visually it can mean the difference between a flat stomach and a belly.
What Are the Risks?
Even though CoolSculpting has received clearance by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), there are risks to be aware of before you receive treatment.
The most common side effects of CoolSculpting are redness, swelling, and bruising. These generally last 1-3 weeks. You might also have reduced sensation in the treated area, which is temporary. CoolSculpting does not harm skin or muscle tissue. The cold temperature individually targets fat cells.
How Much Does CoolSculpting Cost?
CoolSulpting like most cosmetic procedures is not cheap. Nonetheless you might find it a bargain, as it is less expensive than liposuction.
The cost depends on where you live and, the medical office offering the procedure. Here is what you can generally expect:
- Upper abs, between the ribs and hip with the small applicator: $700–$800
- Lower abdominal area with a large applicator: $1200–$1500
- Upper and lower abdominal areas. This includes love handles: $2500–$3000
- Love handles only: $1300–$1500
CoolSculpting is not covered by health insurance plans. Nonetheless it might be worth saving for if you have tried everything.
Does CoolSculpting Replace Liposuction?
Considering the temporary discomfort related with CoolSculpting you might be wondering if it’s a good alternative to liposuction. This depends on how much fat you have to lose, and in what area.
CoolSculpting is a good option for decreasing small amounts of excess fat in the abdominal area. It is not ideal for larger deposits of fat. This would be include weight gain from pregnancy, or patients who are 20 pounds overweight. CoolSculpting is not not liposuction, which can be done almost anywhere fat is a problem. It is currently only limited to the abdominal area.
CoolSculpting is an option for reducing minor accumulations of excess fat in the abdominal area. It is not suitable for larger deposits of fat, such as from obesity, weight gain during pregnancy, or patients who are more than 20 pounds overweight. Also, unlike liposuction, which can be done almost anywhere excess fat is a problem, CoolSculpting’s use is currently limited to the abdominal area.