Most people can relate to having unwanted fat that is tough to get rid of. Even for those of us who try to live a healthy lifestyle, there may still be a bit of extra fluff that stays put.
Tortuous, risky procedures like Liposuction and lasers are not the only way to permanently get rid of unwanted fat. You may have heard of CoolSculpting, or “Fat Freezing,” but are unfamiliar with how it works. CoolSculpting is the one and only FDA cleared treatment to permanently reduce unwanted fat using a patented technique that involves freezing the fat cells.
How It Works
The CoolSculpting procedure works by delivering controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells underneath the skin, while leaving the skin itself unaffected. The treated fat cells are crystallized (frozen), then die. Over time, your body naturally processes the fat and eliminates these dead cells, leaving a more sculpted appearance.
When the fat cells reach a certain temperature, the contents of the cells (lipids) will crystalize (freeze) which triggers a natural response in the body to eliminate these cell. The contents of the dead fat cells are then eliminated from your body through the lymphatic system.
What Happens During Treatment
The treatment itself is almost entirely painless! To get the fat layer under the skin exposed to the cold necessary to induce cellular death, the CoolSculpting device uses a vacuum-assisted applicator to pull the tissue in contact with the Cooling Cup. In other words, what you feel when it is placed on your body is minor tugging.
After the technician has the applicator attached and supported, she will start the treatment. At this point you will feel the cold. It may feel as though there is someone holding an icepack against you a little longer than you’d prefer. After about 5 to 8 minutes, the area goes numb and then you will not feel anything else. Most sessions are between 35 to 45 minutes depending on the applicator used, but the procedure may range up to 75 minutes. Once the treatment is over, the applicator is removed and a brief massage is performed by the technician to the area. This is the part of the treatment that is most uncomfortable because the tissue is so cold that your body may ache and sting as it is re-warming and massaged. Overall the procedure is extremely tolerable with minimal discomfort.
After the treatment, patients are encouraged to go right back to everyday activities as soon as they want. There are no restrictions or special instructions after treatment. The most common side effects are numbness, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. All of these side effects range in intensity, but resolve themselves within a few days to a few weeks after treatment. Results are seen as early as 3 weeks, but best results are revealed between 1 and 3 months.
The best candidates are people who are within about 15 pounds of their ideal body weight, and have resistant pockets of fat that resist diet and exercise. If this resonates, then this may be the procedure for you!
Learn more about CoolScupting at the Medical Spa.
Written by Amber Gudas, MHS, PA-C.