What You Need to Know about Cryolipolysis – aka CoolSculpting® – to Decide If It’s Right for You
You’ve reviewed the facts about CoolSculpting®. You understand that it’s a body contouring procedure that applies cold temperatures to specific areas of the body to freeze fat cells. You’re aware the targeted cooling process crystalizes and kills subcutaneous fat cells under the skin. You know it can subtly reshape and gradually reduce the size of stubborn love handles, muffin tops, banana rolls, belly blips, and other persistent bulges that are resistant to diet and exercise. The non-invasive, no needles, no anesthesia nature of CoolSculpting appeals to you.
With thorough knowledge of how CoolSculpting – cryolipolysis is the medical name – can help you achieve the body shape you’ve always dreamed of, you’ve determined the procedure is right for you. Now what? Following is an overview of what happens before, during, and after your CoolSculpting treatment. Relax – discomfort is generally minimal and you should be able to return quickly to everyday activities. Which is part of the reason for the popularity of this fat reduction technique. Keep reading to discover more facts about CoolSculpting©.
Designing Your Personalized CoolSculpting©Treatment Plan
A thorough pre-treatment consultation with your CoolSculpting partner is essential. Make sure you’re working with a qualified provider – dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or aesthetician – that’s experienced and certified to administer treatments. A number of discussions and decisions need to take place.
- Define what you want to accomplish and why. Your provider should emphasize that CoolSculpting is not a weight loss technique and does not yield dramatic reshaping of your physical profile. Results are often subtle and take a while to appear.
- Complete a medical evaluation of your suitability for CoolSculpting. You need to be at or near your ideal body weight; free of skin lesions, varicose veins, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions; and not pregnant or breast feeding. Those with abnormal cold sensitivity or intolerance should stay away.
- You will designate the areas of your body for treatment. The FDA has approved 9 areas. You will also give your fat reduction goals. To achieve desired results you may need multiple treatments of the same area. If your plan involves two or more parts of the body, see if your provider offers CoolSculpting® Elite. This recent innovation allows simultaneous treatment of two areas, is more comfortable, and produces faster outcomes.
- Determine your budget and talk about possible financing plans. CoolSculpting is an elective cosmetic procedure not covered by insurance, so paying for it is up to you.
Coming up with a treatment plan personalized to your wants and needs is the key to maximizing your investment in improving your look.
A Day in Your Life with CoolSculpting
On the day of your appointment, wearing casual, loose-fitting clothing is best for post-treatment comfort. Eating a light meal or snack is a good idea, as is limiting beverages and caffeine. The technician will provide disposable garments so the thick gel used to protect your skin doesn’t damage your clothes. The area to be treated is photographed for before-and-after pictures, and your skin is marked to confirm the treatment zone. A gel pad is placed over the targeted area and the cryo applicator is applied.
The applicator, which comes in several sizes, is attached to a hose, which is connected to a vacuum-sized box that contains the freezing mechanism. As the applicator clamps down on pinchable fat in the designated area, the technician activates the machine. Software controls the cooling of fat cells to a temperature that destroys them while leaving skin and other tissues unharmed. During the first few minutes of the procedure, you may experience discomfort as tissue is drawn into the applicator and the target area goes numb. Throughout the treatment, which typically takes 35 to 60 minutes, you’ll hear a low hum as you read, nap, or watch movies on your phone. Once treatment is concluded, the technician turns off the machine, detaches the applicator, and massages the frozen area to destroy more fat cells. A compression binder may be used to decrease discomfort but can be removed at your discretion.
That’s it for treatment, although the CoolSculpting process actually continues for some time. Research more facts about CoolSculpting© to decide if it’s right for you.
Follow-Up and Lasting Results
Getting rid of those now-destroyed fat cells takes place gradually. Your body’s lymphatic system naturally eliminates debris for up to four months. Some patients experience occasional cramping, bloating, nausea, or diarrhea during that time. Aching, bruising, itching, numbness, redness, soreness, swelling, tenderness, or tingling in the treated area can also happen, but should go away in a week or so. A very rare side effect is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, which for unknown reasons, causes fat cells to multiply, stay in the body, and expand in size.
The benefits of CoolSculpting are revealed in a gradual reduction in the thickness of a treated fat layer. Changes may start to appear as soon as three weeks, with the most dramatic results showing up after three months. At that point, you’ll want to schedule a follow-up appointment with your provider to have after-photos taken and discuss the possibility of additional treatments to get rid of more fat, either in the previously treated area or elsewhere on your body. While the fat cells eliminated by CoolSculpting are gone permanently and do not return, sticking to a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is essential to maintaining improvements long-term. On average, treated areas show approximately a 25% reduction in fat, leaving a smoother, firmer body contour behind.
If upgrading how you look and feel appeals to you, get the facts and talk to the experts. As the world’s #1 non-invasive fat reduction technique, CoolSculpting may be something you want to pursue.