What is CoolSculpting, and is it effective? Another name for this procedure is cryolipolysis, and it involves removing fat from problem areas of your body. Unlike liposuction, this treatment freezes the fat cells.
If you are fighting to lose those last bits of extra pounds on a particular area of your body, then this procedure will work wonders for you. However, sometimes diet and exercise can only do so much, and people require a little bit of extra help.
What’s excellent about CoolSculpting is that there is no surgery required, so it’s less invasive than liposuction and carries less risk. However, there are still possible side effects that can occur.
Below, I will discuss everything you need to know about this treatment and what results from you can achieve.
What you Need to Know About CoolSculpting
What’s interesting about this treatment is that it breaks down fat cells by freezing them. The best thing is that the cold temperature doesn’t cause any damage to the surrounding cells; only the fat cells are affected. This means that your skin and underlying tissues are left unharmed.
The procedure is short, and there is no recovery period as you will not have any incisions. However, there is an odd sensation after the treatment, similar to the soreness you feel after a good workout or from pulling a muscle.
Results are not instant as it can take 3-6 months for the fat cells to work their way out of your body. However, you can typically expect to lose 15-20% of fat in the affected area during those initial months.
Is CoolSculpting Effective?
The answer is yes! Cryolipolysis is effective, and most patients receive their desired results. In addition, because this treatment can remove areas of fat and it is less risky than alternative procedures, it is proven to be a popular choice.
Although there are so many benefits for this treatment, it is not all sun and roses. Not everyone is a candidate for Coolsculping, and there are potential side effects involved.
If you want to proceed with this treatment, it is essential to note that you have to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep the fat off. Cryolipolysis is just a stepping stone to your beach body, and you will still have to put in some hard work.
Another factor to consider is that this procedure does not tighten your skin, so if your skin has stretched around the fat area you want to lose, you might have loose, sagging skin.
There will be no anesthetic, no needles, and no scalpels. How it works is that your doctor takes two paddle-like handles and holds the target area of fat between them. The paddles create a freezing temperature, staying in place for 30 minutes to an hour.
While the paddles are in place, you can expect to destroy 15-25% of the fat cells in the affected area. Freezing the fat cells kills them, and following your treatment, your immune system will flush them out, which could take a few months.
Who is an Eligible Candidate for CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting won’t be right for you if you need to lose a large amount of weight in multiple areas of your body. CoolSculpting is designed to remove small pockets of fat from problem areas where diet and exercise have not worked.
You are an unsuitable candidate if you have:
- Poor skin tone
- Loose skin
- Anemia that affects your red blood cells when exposed to cold temperatures (Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria).
- If you have a condition that forms hives when exposed to cold temperatures (Cold Urticaria).
- A condition where your blood thickens due to cold temperatures caused by abnormal proteins (Cryoglobulinemia).
If you have any of these disorders, there could be some harmful side effects. Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, it is best to chat to your specialist before deciding on CoolSculpting, as there might be an alternative that is better suited to you.
If you meet all the requirements for this treatment, the areas of your body it can target are:
- Chin, neck, and jawline
- Love handles
- The area around your pectoral muscles
Potential Risks and Side-Effects
Although CoolSculpting is a straightforward procedure that does not involve surgery, there are still potential risks and side effects:
Discomfort during the Treatment
When your doctor places the area of fat between the cooling paddles, you will feel a tugging or pulling sensation that will last for the entire duration of the treatment.
Stinging in and around the Affected Area
The leading side-effect of CoolSculpting is pain, aching, or stinging of the affected area. Most people start to feel this discomfort after surgery, and it can last up to 14 days.
Should you still feel stinging after the initial two weeks, you should consult with your doctor. Doctors believe that the freezing temperature needed to kill the fat cells is the cause.
Inflammation, Skin Sensitivity, Bruising and Swelling
After your procedure, you may experience the following side effects; however, they are temporary:
- Skin sensitivity
Because plastic surgeons use freezing temperatures to kill your fat cells, most people tend to experience the same side effects as frostbite. However, they will dissipate after a few weeks, and the procedure is perfectly safe.
Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia
This is probably the worst side-effect; however, it is scarce, but what is Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia? The fat cells grow more prominent instead of dying or decreasing in size and mainly occur in men.
Doctors don’t know why this happens, and the build-up of fat does not go away on its own. So the risk is that this side-effect does not necessarily occur during your first treatment, it can happen at any stage, and you will need to see your doctor to find a suitable treatment for it.
Is CoolSculpting Permanent?
The whole point of CoolSculpting is to kill the fat cells that are forever destroyed and get expelled from the body.
However, new fat cells can develop, so eating healthily and exercising after your treatment is imperative to avoid putting those pounds back on.
There is no point in spending money on a cosmetic procedure if you will not see it through after the treatment. If you don’t have much self-restraint, this might not be the best option for you.
What is the Cost of CoolSculpting?
There is no exact price for CoolSculpting as there are many factors that can influence the price, which include:
- Your location
- The experience of the plastic surgeon performing the treatment.
- What are you targeting?
- The number of treatments you need, as some areas will require additional procedures.
Generally, the cost of CoolSculpting is between $2,000 – $4,000 per session, and you will need to speak to your specialist about many treatments you will need.
Health insurers consider cryolipolysis a cosmetic surgery as there are no underlying health conditions associated with it, so typically, the procedure won’t be covered. However, it is always best to check with your plan first.
Another option is to chat with your plastic surgeon and see if they offer a payment plan where you can pay off your treatment in small installments each month.
Alternatives to CoolSculpting
Several fat removal procedures can illuminate, shrink or break down fat cells, which include:
- SculpSure, which is a heat treatment using lasers to illuminate the fat
- Zerona, where a doctor uses a cold laser to reduce the fat cells
- Liposuction, which is a cosmetic surgery where a plastic surgeon sucks fat deposits out of your body
- TruSculpt, which is a procedure where a doctor kills the fat cells using heat.
- Kybella uses a deoxycholic acid injection to lessen fat cells but is only applicable to the chin area.
- Emsculpt, which is an electromagnetic treatment that dissolves fat cells and tightens up the muscles.
What are the Benefits of CoolSculpting?
It would be best if you always had Coolsculpting done by a reputable and experienced doctor. To get yourself ready for the treatment, you should plan properly and ensure you can stick to a healthy diet and good exercise routine to avoid putting on the pounds in the future.
Another factor to consider is that you will probably require multiple sessions for your desired goal. However, there are so many benefits to this procedure when compared to an alternative option like liposuction, which includes:
- No recovery period
- No surgery involved
- You can resume your daily routine directly after surgery which includes, driving and going to work.
All in all, if you are a suitable candidate, you can’t go wrong with this treatment.
It is vital to note that cryolipolysis is not a miracle cure for weight loss. However, if you suffer from a metabolic condition like diabetes or eat unhealthy foods, you will regain the fat lost through this treatment.
Always have a thorough examination done by your doctor before deciding on a fat removal surgery. There may be an underlying condition that can make it difficult to lose weight naturally, which may affect the results of CoolSculpting.