Back in 2010, the Food and Drug Administration approved Coolscupting as a fat removal procedure in the US. In the 13 years since then, the number of Coolsculpting procedures performed has increased by more than 800 percent. Although this non-surgical body contouring treatment has proven to be popular, there are still a few people who are skeptical.
On the surface, Coolsculpting does seem too good to be true. But the treatment is backed by research and has a track record of results. If you’re wondering whether Coolsculpting is worth it, here’s what you need to know.
What Coolsculpting Does
Coolsculpting is a completely non-invasive cryogenic fat reduction procedure that uses cold temperatures to destroy stubborn pockets of fat. During a treatment session, the area of the body with unwanted fat is suctioned up into an applicator, which is lined with cooling panels. The panels expose the area to freezing temperatures for about one hour.
Since different areas of the body require larger or smaller panels, there are a variety of Coolscupting applicators available. Some clinics and spas only offer one applicator size, which can limit the areas that can be treated. Others offer a full range of choices, including the CoolMini, which allows providers to remove unwanted fat from the neck and chin area.
Once the fat is exposed to freezing temperatures for a certain period of time, the frozen fat cells are permanently destroyed. The body doesn’t instantly flush out the destroyed fat cells, though. It can take a couple of weeks or months for the dead cells to be absorbed, creating a slimmer silhouette.
Who Coolsculpting is For
A common misconception about Coolsculpting is that it’s a miracle fix or an easy alternative to dieting or other weight loss efforts. The truth is that Coolsculpting isn’t meant for people who are very overweight or who still have a ways to go on their weight loss journey.
Instead, it’s meant for people who are looking for a slight improvement. The treatment can generally remove about 25 percent of fat in a given area, so it’s not going to provide dramatic results. But for someone who is looking to get rid of an extra inch or so of stubborn fat or who just wants to go down one waist or dress size, Coolsculpting is a great option.
It’s not just size that determines who is a good match for Coolsculpting and who isn’t. The quality of a person’s skin can also influence whether or not the treatment is appropriate. People with very thick skin might not get the results they were hoping for from the procedure since the panels might not be able to fully suction up the fat or get a good grip on it.
Skin elasticity is another determining factor. If the patient has loose skin, there’s a chance that it will droop or sag as the body flushes away the destroyed fat cells. That might leave a person feeling more self-conscious about their results than they were before CoolSculpting.
CoolSculpting: Pros and Cons
CoolSculpting is an FDA-authorized non-invasive procedure with many benefits as well as potential drawbacks to take into account. It has been tested extensively and is the only non-surgical fat reduction approach authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.
The benefits of this treatment plan have been studied in over 50 medical journals and clinical reports, and here we will explore the main benefits and advantages as well as the side effects and potential drawbacks.
CoolSculpting is a popular fat cell removal treatment because it is effective and capable of reducing up to 27% of fat in the targeted area during the initial treatment. Some doctors offer this non-surgical cosmetic procedure as an alternative to liposuction.
The procedure is also highly versatile, having been approved to treat 13 different areas of the body. Think the stomach and bingo wings, and even the knees and “cankles.” This makes it a highly useful treatment that over 11 million patients worldwide have had.
Patients looking for a more toned and contoured physique may choose Coolsculpting as an alternative to a cosmetic surgical procedure, but certainly, possible drawbacks should be considered before making this decision.
CoolSculpting is not suitable for people who have significant amounts of fat across multiple areas of their body and require major weight loss.
Common CoolSculpting Side Effects
Patients undergoing CoolSculpting can continue their daily activities immediately after the procedure, but some mild side effects may be experienced.
Common side effects of this cosmetic treatment include:
- Potential bruising
- Numbness and a loss of feeling at the site of treatment
Potential side effects, such as redness and swelling, may be present after treatment but typically last only a few hours or days. No skin cells or muscle tissues are affected because there is no penetration of the skin with any invasive device.
Although no permanent tissue damage or scarring will occur on the skin, patients may experience numbness or tingling at the treatment site following the procedure.
When cooling an area of the body, nerve endings may become inflamed, causing an unusual sensation. This is a fleeting issue and should not cause any long-term effects. In rare instances (about 2 percent of patients), individuals may experience mild bruising in areas such as the face or arms. This is temporary and resolves within a few days or weeks.
What Happens After Coolsculpting
For some people, it’s business as usual after the Coolsculpting treatment. They might have already been on a healthy diet and might already have an established exercise regimen. Others use Coolsculpting as the kick-off to leading a healthier lifestyle. They start to eat more healthfully and get into the habit of going to the gym.
It can take as long as 16 weeks before final results appear. How long it takes all depends on how quickly a person’s system is able to flush out the fat.
There are cases when a person is completely satisfied with their results after just a single treatment session. There are also instances when a person needs two or three additional treatments in the same area to get the results they hoped for.
Is CoolSculpting permanent?
CoolSculpting permanently eliminates excess fat cells, however, in order to retain the effects it is important to manage your weight. New fat growth can still occur in areas that have been previously enhanced by CoolSculpting if there is an increase in weight. Thus, CoolSculpting provides long-term benefits but does not guarantee that the results will remain indefinitely.
Is Coolsculpting Worth It?
So, is Coolsculpting worth it? For the ideal candidate, the answer is yes. For those who aren’t a good candidate for Coolsculpting, there are still other excellent options available for fat removal, such as liposuction or weight loss surgery.
If you’re interested in Coolsculpting, Dr. Paul Vitenas and the staff at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, are happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you understand if it’s a good option for you. To learn more, call 281-810-9083 to schedule an initial consultation today to discuss your body sculpting goals.