In the past, if diet and exercise couldn’t get rid of stubborn fat bulges, many patients opted for liposuction, an invasive surgical procedure. Or, they turned to radio frequency devices or infrared technology, but these devices provided limited improvement. With advancements in technology, patients can now reduce unwanted fat bulges and enjoy permanent reduction in fat cells during a non-invasive, non-surgical method called CoolSculpting that provides dramatic results.
Developed by ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc., CoolSculpting can reduce areas that are difficult to reach with diet and exercise: love handles, lower belly fat rolls, upper belly fat, muffin top, under bra fat and back fat. It’s an incredibly effective technique that improves the contour of the body.
How is this possible? The FDA-cleared CoolSculpting works through a revolutionary technology called cryolipolysis. During cryolipolysis, literally meaning “cold induced fat destruction,” fat cells are cooled to a temperature that causes them to be eliminated. The procedure is very safe: the temperature required to destroy fat cells is higher than what would cause damage to skin, muscle and nerves. With CoolSculpting, there is no damage to the surrounding structures.
During the procedure, the physician applies a skin protecting gel pad to the skin, and a CoolSculpting applicator is positioned over the desired treatment area. The device draws the fat bulge in, and cools down the fat to induce cryolipolysis, continuously monitoring the temperature and adjusting it as needed.
Unlike liposuction, in which the fat cells are suctioned out of the body, the CoolSculpting treatment causes the body to naturally eliminate the fat cells through the lymphatic drainage system. The cells are then slowly excreted by the body over a period of the next several months.
With CoolSculpting, treatment of each fat bulge typically takes one hour to perform. Love handles may take two to four hours of treatment; the lower abdomen usually takes about one hour using a special larger applicator. However, each case is different the patient/physician should discuss this prior to the procedure.
As opposed to liposuction, no anesthesia is necessary for CoolSculpting. During the procedure, patients can even use their telephone or laptop, read a book or watch a movie. The only discomfort patients may feel while undergoing CoolSculpting is a sensation of someone pinching or squeezing the fat when the device is first applied to the skin. This usually goes away in the first five minutes of the procedure.
CoolSculpting can be performed in the comfort of a physician’s office. Patients go home immediately after the procedure and can resume regular activities; many have been known to work out or do yoga the same day. There may be some mild discomfort in the area of treatment; numbness is usually present afterward and can take several weeks to resolve. Extra Strength Tylenol® can be taken but it’s advised to avoid taking anti-inflammatory agents for the first two months after the procedure.
Many patients start noticing results as soon as three weeks after the CoolSculpting procedure. The majority of the results will be seen at about two months after CoolSculpting is performed; improvement may continue after three months.
In most cases, the skin is elastic enough to contract after the treatment. However, it’s important to know that if loose skin is the cause of the bulge, then CoolSculpting alone will not treat the condition – a surgical procedure such as a tummy tuck may be needed.
Many patients ask if there is a need to start a new diet or exercise program after CoolSculpting. There is not. It’s recommended that patients maintain the same program they did prior to the procedure to maintain their weight.
Most patients need only one CoolSculpting treatment; however, repeat treatments can be performed after three months if additional reduction of the fat bulges is desired. Coolsculpting Before and After Photos show that the results of coolsculpting are impressive and undeniable.
While most people are candidates for CoolSculpting, it’s important to consult with a highly qualified physician.