CoolSculpting® is the trademarked name for a fat-reduction procedure that uses cryolipolysis therapy. The procedure is non-invasive and FDA-approved. CoolSculpting® is frequently used as an alternative to surgical fat-removal methods like liposuction, as it requires no cutting or anesthetic. CoolSculpting® is particularly effective at reducing stubborn fat cells and cellulite.
How Does CoolSculpting® Work?
In plain terms, CoolSculpting® works by literally freezing the fat away. The procedure is known generically as cryolipolysis, which works by subjecting fat cells to freezing temperatures.
During a CoolSculpting® procedure, the skin above the fatty area is placed between panels that convey cold temperatures to the cells. Patients may experience slight discomfort during this portion of the treatment, including tugging or pinching sensations, and numbness in the area being treated.
Subjecting fact cells to freezing temperatures causes them to die off. The body then eliminates the dead cells through its natural response.
The procedure takes roughly an hour for each body part being treated. The area will likely feel tender or sore directly after, but symptoms should only last a few weeks. Results will be visible after around four to six months.
How Effective is CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® has proven effective at treating stubborn fat pockets. The procedure can be used to treat areas including:
- Lower back
- Hips/love handles
CoolSculpting® is also frequently used to treat cellulite and reduce facial fat.
Although the success rate is high, results vary by patient, and some may see minimal results from the procedure. Patients should also be aware that CoolSculpting® will not eliminate all of the fat from the desired area. In general, fat will decrease by about 20% in the treated area, with some patients seeing up to a 40% reduction in fat.
CoolSculpting® is not a cure-all. To maintain results, CoolSculpting® should be accompanied by a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Is CoolSculpting® Safe?
CoolSculpting® is a low-risk procedure that involves no incisions or anesthetics. The technology is made to target fat cells specifically, so the skin in the surrounding area remains intact after the procedure. It is much less invasive than liposuction and does not involve medications, so complications are rare.
Possible Risks and Complications
While not necessarily a risk, CoolSculpting® can leave an excess of loose skin where fat has been reduced. Other side effects can include:
- Pain or sensitivity in the area
- Reduced sensation in the area
Serious complications are rare. Side effects like bleeding or scarring are rarely reported.
Recovery time is minimal. Most people can return to their everyday tasks immediately after treatment. Side effects like pain or numbness may complicate work, especially if your job is physically demanding, but taking time off work is generally unnecessary.
How Long Will CoolSculpting® Last?
CoolSculpting® is meant to be permanent. Generally, only one treatment is needed for each part of the body. Once fat cells are destroyed, they cannot regenerate themselves. However, CoolSculpting® technology is relatively new, and there is little research about the long-term effects of the treatment.
Fat cells may have been destroyed, but new ones can still appear. Changes in diet and physical activity, or even hormonal or stress-related changes, can cause new fat cells to develop. For increased results, patients can return for multiple treatments in the same area, but it is not necessary or integral to the procedure.
For added contouring and muscle definition, patients can follow up with a CoolToning treatment to firm muscles in areas such as the thighs, stomach, and buttocks. Consult your doctor before receiving CoolToning. The procedure has slightly more possible complications.
Who is a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® will not result in significant weight loss. The procedure is made to reduce fat and contour the body but cannot cause someone to shed weight in pounds. For this reason, CoolSculpting is ideal for those within range of their recommended body weight who wish to reduce excess fat pockets or cellulite.
You should not receive CoolSculpting® if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- Cold Agglutinin Disease
- Paroxysmal Cold Hemoglobinuria
Before treatment, advise your doctor of any medical issues or concerns, or if you recently underwent surgery.
How Much Does CoolSculpting® Cost?
Treatment costs vary depending on how many areas are being treated and how large each area is. Smaller areas like the arms are often less costly to treat, but the more of your body you choose to treat, the higher the cost. Treatment prices can vary depending on where you live and on your practitioner’s set prices. As CoolSculpting® is technically a cosmetic procedure, it is not covered by insurance. To help reduce the cost of treatment, you can keep an eye out for coupons and promotions from your practitioner’s office. Schedule a CoolSculpting Consultation today!