First approved in 2010 by the FDA, Coolsculpting isn’t exactly new, but it’s not exactly an old, familiar treatment, either. Plenty of people still have lots of questions about the treatment, including how it works and what they can expect. To help answer your questions and help you decide if Coolsculpting is right for you, we’ve put together this Coolsculpting guide. Read on to learn all there is to know about the non-surgical fat removal option.
What is Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting is a treatment that helps to eliminate areas of unwanted fat from the body. The treatment works by freezing away the fat. Exposing fat cells to cold temperatures causes them to burst, so that the body ends up flushing them away. Coolsculpting provides permanent results, in that the destroyed fat is gone for good. It is still possible to gain weight after treatment, though.
Who is Coolsculpting For?
Coolsculpting is ideal for people who are at or near their goal weight and who have areas of excess fat. The excess fat should be stubborn, meaning it hasn’t responded to any exercise or dieting efforts. It’s important to understand that Coolsculpting isn’t for weight loss. You might loose a few pounds as the fat is flushed away, but you won’t notice a dramatic drop in weight.
Both men and women can have Coolsculpting. The important thing is that you have a sufficient amount of fat in the treatment area. The paddles used during treatment need to be able to suction on to the area for it to work effectively.
Who Shouldn’t Have Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting isn’t designed for everyone. There are some people who need to either avoid the treatment or wait to have it. For example, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’re better off waiting until you’ve finished with either before scheduling Coolsculpting, as your body might continue to change.
If you are significantly overweight, Coolsculpting isn’t for you. You might be asked to lose some weight before treatment. On the flip side, Coolsculpting isn’t right for people who don’t have a lot of fat. Since the goal of the procedure is to remove fat, you need to actually have fat for it to eliminate for it to be worthwhile. Your doctor might advise against Coolsculpting if you have a history of eating disorders or if you have other medical conditions that can make it difficult for your body to metabolize the destroyed fat cells.
What Areas of the Body Can Coolsculpting Treat?
Pretty much any area of the body that has excess fat or fatty deposits can be treated with Coolsculpting. Applicators of various sizes and shapes are available to treat specific areas. The area your doctor can treat might depend on the type of applicators he has at his practice. For that reason, it’s a good idea to choose a practice that has a wide range of applicators on hand.
Possible treatment areas include:
- Under the chin (with the CoolMini applicator)
- Inner thighs
- Outer thighs
- Love handles
- Upper back
- Lower back
- Male breasts
What Will Happen During Coolsculpting?
Each Coolsculpting treatment takes one hour. Depending on the number of applicators the practice has, you can treat one area at a time or two areas. Treatment is usually pretty comfortable. You’ll be awake during it, so it’s a good idea to bring something with you to help fill the time. You can read a book, watch a show on Netflix or Hulu, do some work or chat with a friend on the phone.
Before treatment, a practitioner will mark the areas you want treated with a marker. Then, the paddle or applicator will be placed on that area. The applicator will lift up the treatment area using some suction and will begin to chill the area. You might feel the cold or a bit of a sting at first, but after the area becomes numb, you won’t feel much at all. Depending on the number of areas you want treated, you might have to return after the first session.
What Happens After Coolsculpting?
Right after Coolsculpting, the treated area will be raised and red due to the exposure to the cold. Your practitioner might gently massage it to bring down the swelling.
You might feel well enough to head back to work or your other regularly scheduled activities right after treatment. Alternatively, you might want to take the rest of the day off. There’s no real downtime after the treatment, so you should be able to go back to your regular habits and activities pretty much right away.
Seriously, What Happens to the Fat?
Your body doesn’t instantly get rid of the fat after Coolsculpting. Instead, it needs time to break it down and flush it out through the lymphatic system. Once the fat is destroyed, the body treats it like waste and makes an effort to get rid of it. How long it takes to fully flush away the fat depends on how quickly your body metabolizes things.
Usually, people see full results after 16 weeks. You might see results sooner, though.
How Many Treatments Do You Need?
How many treatments you need depends on how much fat you have and how many areas you want to treat. Usually, a single treatment of Coolsculpting can remove up to 25 percent of the excess fat in an area. If you want more dramatic results, you might schedule two treatments in that same area.
The fat removed by Coolsculpting is permanently gone, so you won’t need to schedule touch-up appointments to get rid of “returning” fat.
How Does Coolsculpting Compare to Other Fat Removal Treatments?
The big question many people have when considering Coolsculpting is “how does it compare to liposuction or other fat removal options?” The big difference between Coolsculpting and liposuction is that one is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure and the other is surgery. Liposuction requires anesthesia. It also has a recovery time that can last for as long as two weeks.
The benefit of liposuction compared to Coolsculpting is that you can usually have more fat removed during it. Another benefit is that results are visible much sooner. Since liposuction involves removing the fat right then and there, you can usually see a change right away, or at least, as soon as the swelling has gone down.
At Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, Dr. Paul Vitenas and his staff offer a range of Coolsculpting options, including CoolMini and other applicators. For more info about the procedure and to see if it’s right for you, call 281-810-9083 to schedule a consultation today.