So what, in a nutshell, is CoolSculpting exactly? And can you really reduce the size of problem areas on the body by freezing fat? The answer? Yes. Yes, you can.
CoolSculpting was founded in 2005 and then was approved by the FDA in 2010. CoolSculpting uses “Cryo-lipolysis” to target and kill fat cells, which are permanently and naturally removed from the body. Most patients start to see results in as little as 6-8 weeks, and full results at 12-16 weeks. ( I’m what I call a “slow responder,” and don’t usually see my full results until around the 16th week.) One of the truly awesome perks to CoolSculpting is that it’s non-invasive and no downtime is needed. As with any “corrective” treatment, however, the typical “no pain, no gain” rule applies. There will be some tenderness, soreness, and swelling of the treatment areas for the next several days, and in my personal opinion, a small price to pay for the results!
When receiving CoolSculpting, you will be comfortably seated upright on a treatment table with pillows and blankets. Many of our patients take this time to binge-watch their favorite shows, catch up on emails, or even take a nap. The actual treatment I would honestly not even describe as uncomfortable! To begin, your CoolSculpting clinician will review your treatment plan with you, take “before” photos, and mark you with the appropriate templates. A sticky pad will be placed over the individual area of treatment, and the applicator’s suction will be engaged and applied to the pre-marked area. Then, the next 35 minutes is all yours! After treating each area for 35 minutes, the treatment will shut off, and the clinician will perform a two-minute manual massage (a “deep tissue massage,” as I tell my CoolSculpting patients.) This part can be rather uncomfortable, depending on the area of the body being treated. After all areas in your treatment plan for the day are completed, you’re free to go and do as you please!
It sounds kind of hokey though, right? It might! But it works… And what happens if someone gains a little weight down the road after being treated with CoolSculpting?
This is how I like to explain it: We are born with a certain number of fat cells spread out all over our bodies. Let’s say we gain 1lb of fat. That 1lb of fat is evenly distributed into every fat cell in our body and each of those fat cells expands. If we lose 1lb of fat, our fat cells evenly shrink. That being said, we have way more fat cells in our abdomen than, let’s say, our ankles. Those stubborn areas contain more fat cells to expand when we DO gain a couple of pounds. These are the areas that get CoolSculpting!
About 20-25% of fat cells are targeted and killed each time we treat an area, therefore that area will reduce by the same percentage. Many patients ask me, “how many treatments will I need in each area?” The answer depends on a couple things: 1. How large the area is, to begin with, and 2. What is your desired amount of reduction? I will always make suggestions of how many treatments a patient might want in a certain area, but often times, patients are happy with their results from one or two!
Another common question asked during consultations is “how long will my results last?” When receiving any sort of fat reducing treatment, whether it’s liposuction or CoolSculpting, we cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining your healthy lifestyle! If you stay right around the same weight you were when you received your CoolSculpting treatments (or even lose some weight), then those results will last! Fluctuating a normal 5lbs throughout the year will not cause the areas you had treated to just go back to the size they were before! Think about the logic behind it: the areas treated have many less fat cells to enlarge when weight is put on, so 5lbs gained certainly won’t send that area back to square one!
Most likely you’ve been hearing and seeing a lot more about CoolSculpting recently. Maybe it’s when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, or on a commercial during the 2018 Winter Olympics! Well, that may be because CoolSculpting was recently bought by Allergan. What does that mean to you, our amazing patients? BRILLIANT DISTINCTIONS POINTS!!! You can use your Brilliant Distinctions points towards any CoolSculpting treatments! And just as with Botox and Juvederm injectables, you will receive Brilliant Distinctions points for all of the CoolSculpting you receive, as well!
I have been performing CoolSculpting for the past six years, and have treated hundreds of patients throughout those years. I have also received several treatments myself. I can personally attest to the remarkable and amazing results that CoolSculpting gives. I love seeing a Coolsculpting follow up patient, and looking at their “before” and “after” photos together because I get to share that “OMG!” moment with them… The very same “OMG!” moments I have had myself when seeing my “after” photos for the first time!