What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical, noninvasive fat-reduction treatment that originated with a novel discovery. In 1970, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that fat cells in the cheeks died when one frequently sucked on frozen popsicles. This discovery went largely unaccounted for until, many years later, doctors revisited the idea and named it cryolipolysis. In 2010, the research and development into cryolipolysis culminated in the FDA-approval of the CoolSculpting device. CoolSculpting uses freezing temperatures to break down fat cells without affecting the skin or surrounding tissue.
Results only after 1 treatment. Patient received CoolSculpting on the abdomen & under the chin.
Sheena Craig - CoolSculpting & Body Contouring Specialist
Sheena is our CoolSculpting & Body Contouring Specialist at West End Plastic Surgery. With a love for building patient relationships, she strives to understand your cosmetic goals so she can develop a personalized plan to help you achieve them.
With over 12 years of experience within the cosmetic industry, Sheena came to West End Plastic Surgery excited to learn and grow her role into direct patient care as a licensed CoolSculpting Specialist. After experiencing postpartum complications, she became hyper-focused on her own body image and sought out treatment from Dr. Ruff. She was able to get back to feeling as good about herself as she did prior to having her son. Her desire is to provide her patients with the same level of care she received so they can look and feel their best.
CoolSculpting vs. Diet and Exercise
Many people mistakenly believe that cryolipolysis is a weight loss solution. There is no evidence to suggest this is remotely true. Cryolipolysis is intended for cosmetic improvement. A CoolSculpting treatment can achieve visible improvements but does not offer any positive health benefits. This is because treatment removes only subcutaneous fat, not the visceral fat that is associated with health concerns such as insulin resistance and high cholesterol.
What CoolSculpting can do is expedite the elimination of unwanted fat in problem areas that do not respond as expected to healthy lifestyle habits. CoolSculpting, diet, and exercise go together to create the best chance at improving body contours.
CoolSculpting vs. Liposuction
Before fat freezing therapy, liposuction was the primary method of fat-reduction available. The results that are achieved with CoolSculpting and liposuction are similar. Both treatments can permanently eliminate stubborn fat from various parts of the body. Neither is intended for weight loss. Likewise, neither can improve the appearance of loose skin or cellulite.
Where CoolSculpting stimulates the natural elimination of fat, liposuction extracts fat through a small tube. This technique requires patients to receive some form of anesthesia, either local or general. Being a surgical procedure, liposuction generally incurs a recovery period of at least a few days. Patients experience bruising and swelling but can also see improvement relatively quickly. Because CoolSculpting does not involve incisions or the insertion of a surgical instrument beneath the skin, bruising and swelling are very uncommon. However, it does take several weeks to see appreciable improvements. Both CoolSculpting and liposuction are considered very safe.
What areas can you treat with Coolsculpting?
Fat freezing treatment is commonly used on fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. Areas treated include the abdomen, under the buttocks, thighs, bra and back areas, upper arms, and the chin.
Who is a candidate for CoolSculpting treatment?
Many adults are good candidates for CoolSculpting treatment. Those that are near their ideal body weight and have good tissue elasticity achieve the best results. Skin elasticity is what allows the skin to “bounce back” after being stretched. When skin is very loose, reducing fat in the area may make laxity appear more prominent. CoolSculpting patients are ideally committed to ongoing health and wellness and understand that the results they achieve can last many years with good weight management habits.
How does CoolSculpting work?
Cryolipolysis works by sucking body tissue up into an applicator of two cooling panels. These panels expose fat cells to extremely cold temperatures. This could be likened to the way a child may such their cheeks in when eating a popsicle. By exposing fat cells to freezing temperatures, CoolSculpting targets them for destruction.
Fat cells grow crystals and die off over two to three months. The body’s immune system then picks up the destroyed cells and evacuates them through the lymph system. Studies have shown that this fat-reduction method can reduce from 18 to 25% of fat from an area in one treatment.
What should I expect after CoolSculpting treatment?
There is typically no downtime needed to recover after CoolSculpting treatment. Patients may experience stinging, tingling, and cramping in the treatment area. Nausea may also occur. These normal side effects start to diminish right away. However, numbness that affects the treatment site can last up to three weeks, resolving gradually up to that point.
When will I see CoolSculpting results?
It takes a few weeks after fat freezing treatment for crystals to form in fat cells and for those fat cells to be targeted by the immune system. Patients may begin to see a change in contour as early as two weeks after their treatment. Improvements continue to improve for up to 12 weeks.
How many treatments are necessary?
The results of a single CoolSculpting session can reduce fat in the treatment area by up to 25%. The full extent of fat-reduction is typically not seen for 3 to 4 months. However, we can estimate how many treatments you may need by consulting with you about your goals and evaluating the amount of subcutaneous fat you have in the area you wish to target. We have treated many people using CoolSculpting and have the necessary experience to assist you in getting the sculpted body you want.
What are the risks of the procedure?
Being a nonsurgical, noninvasive treatment, CoolSculpting enjoys a high success rate coupled with minimal risk. The most common side effects are lingering numbness and tingling in the treatment area. These sensations can be prolonged in some patients. Though uncommon, there is also a risk of fat cells growing, rather than shrinking, in response to freezing temperature. This condition can be corrected with liposuction.