People who have stubborn fat usually try anything and everything they can to lose it: They modify their diet, work out, and sometimes even consider surgery. However, while liposuction is both quick and effective, not everyone feels comfortable using an invasive procedure to tackle unwanted pounds. For individuals like these, CoolSculpting—a revolutionary FDA-approved cryolipolysis treatment—provides the perfect compromise, offering a blend of comfort, convenience, and effectiveness.
What is Cryolipolysis?
Cryolipolysis is the medical term for “fat freezing,” an innovative process that uses extreme cold to destroy fat cells. During CoolSculpting, cold is delivered directly into subcutaneous fat cells via a hand-held applicator device. No incisions are made when performing CoolSculpting and the applicator is designed to keep the patient’s skin at a comfortable temperature.
The cold emitted by the CoolSculpting device crystallizes the lipids inside fat cells, forcing them to break down. We can do this without harming surrounding tissue because fat cells are much more delicate than the cells found in our skin or muscles. Otherwise harmless temperatures easily destroy adipose tissue. In fact, CoolSculpting was initially developed after two scientists (Dr. Dieter Manstein and Dr. R. Rox Anderson) noticed that children who regularly ate popsicles developed dimples in their cheeks. The scientists realized that the cold popsicles must be breaking down adipose tissue—without causing the children any discomfort.
What to Expect After CoolSculpting Treatment
Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting works gradually. After your first CoolSculpting treatment, you won’t see any changes in your body right away. Instead, treated areas will slim down slowly throughout one to two months. The body needs time to fully excrete all of the fat cells that were damaged during CoolSculpting, but once your unwanted fat is gone, it will never come back. CoolSculpting results in the permanent elimination of 25% of the fat cells in treated areas.
If you decide to have CoolSculpting, you’ll need to have between one to three hour-long treatment sessions to ensure optimal results. CoolSculpting is painless for most patients and doesn’t require any downtime, but some patients may experience mild redness, swelling, and soreness after treatment. These symptoms can usually be managed with over the counter pain relievers and cool compresses.
Where Can CoolSculpting be Used?
Though CoolSculpting isn’t quite as versatile as liposuction, it can still be used on many of the areas most frequently affected by stubborn fat. In the United States, CoolSculpting has been approved for use on the abdomen, thighs, flanks, back, upper arms, chest, and the submental area (the space just below the chin).
Who Makes a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting?
To have CoolSculpting, you will need to have a BMI under 30 and be in good overall health. If you meet these criteria and you’re ready to seek a final solution for stubborn fat, feel free to contact us. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Maida Parkins will be happy to listen to your concerns and help you assess whether or not CoolSculpting is right for you.