Over 7 million Americans have had stubborn fat removed by a nonsurgical procedure called CoolSculpting since 2010. But the question of its efficiency is still a debate among many: Can “freezing” your fat off really work? Here’s a quick rundown of CoolSculpting:
What is CoolSculpting?
It is a non-invasive fat reduction procedure that aims to get rid of stubborn fat in certain parts of your body. This is made feasible through cryolipolysis, a scientific method that was approved by the US FDA in 2010. Cryolipolysis was discovered by examining what happens to fat following frostbite.
It was seen that the temperature at which fat freezes is higher than the temperature at which skin freezes. As a result, a cryolipolysis device was invented. It works by freezing subcutaneous fat cells to the point where they are destroyed and then absorbed by the body. As such, CoolSculpting involves cooling your fat to a degree that destroys it while causing no harm to your skin or other tissues.
How does CoolSculpting work? — Procedure for CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting does not require any anesthetic, needles, or incisions. The cryolipolysis device is used to hold the part of your body that contains stubborn fat. Your doctor holds the area between two paddles that apply suction and cool quickly. After that, they’re left in place for 35minutes to 1 and a quarter hours. During that period, the procedure destroys roughly 20% to 25% of the fat cells in the targeted area.
Through this process, all energy in the fat cells is extracted. By extracting energy from the fat layers, the process enables fat cells to die gradually while leaving nearby muscles, nerves, and other tissues intact.
Where Does the Fat Go?
You’re undoubtedly wondering where the fat goes after the fat cells are frozen and killed following a CoolSculpting procedure. Well, the digested fat cells are normally transferred to the lymphatic system to be filtered out as waste in the months following treatment. In layman’s words, they are cleaned up by your body’s immune cells and eventually expelled through urine.
Which Areas of the Body Can I Use This Technique On?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for treating:
• Submental fat (commonly known as a double chin)
• Inner and outer thighs
• Flanks (aka love handles)
• Back fat
• Bra fat
• Upper arms
• Buttock rolls (also called banana rolls)
• Doctors also commonly use it to tone hips, knees, and other stubborn fat bulges that fit into the applicator.
Is CoolSculpting Safe?
CoolSculpting is a reasonably safe non-invasive technique. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in 2010. So far, about 4,000,000 procedures have been performed all over the world.
Are There Any Side Effects?
During the clinical studies by the FDA, no major adverse effects were reported. Nonetheless, typical side effects during treatment include extreme cold, cramping, hurting, pulling, stinging, and tingling. These should all subside once the treatment area is numb. After treatment, you may also experience temporary side effects that usually go away within the next few days. These include pain and discomfort, redness, swelling, bruising, and sensitivity in the treatment area.
Does it hurt?
The technique is relatively painless and takes a short time. More so, incisions, anesthesia, and pain relief drugs are not required.
How long does it take? How many sessions will I need?
Depending on the region to be treated, the procedure should take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Plan on getting at least two treatments for the best results. In principle, you can observe a fat loss in regions like your stomach, sides, and chin after just one session. However, two sessions are recommended for more long-term results. For larger areas like your abdomen, you might want to schedule 3 treatments.
How long will the results last?
The effects of CoolSculpting should continue indefinitely. This is because once fat cells are killed, they do not return. However, if you gain weight following your CoolSculpting procedure, the fat in the treated area or areas may return.
How much does it cost?
The cost depends on the size of the treatment area, the desired output, the applicator size, and your location. A multi-area operation costs between $2,000 and $4,000 on average. Smaller areas, such as the upper belly or chin, require a smaller applicator and can be less expensive (about $900). Larger areas, such as the lower abdomen, necessitate a larger applicator, which can cost up to $1,500.
Is it right for me?
CoolSculpting is best for those who are typically healthy, have a stable, healthy weight, and have excess fat in their thighs, arms, hips, chest, stomach, neck, or chin. It’s not a weight-loss treatment, and it shouldn’t be utilized to get rid of a lot of fat. It is merely a fat removal technique for people who don’t want to undergo invasive surgery.
It’s important to note that it’s not suggested for people who have cold-related diseases like cold urticaria or Raynaud’s disease. It should also be avoided in infected areas like those with skin issues, cutaneous lesions, dermatitis, and severe varicose veins.
CoolSculpting gives your body the final push it needs to look the way you feel! It is a safe non-invasive procedure that helps people reach their body goals. That said, schedule an appointment today to know whether it is ideal for you!