What Is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses controlled freezing to remove stubborn fat deposits from the body.
The procedure is an FDA-cleared alternative to liposuction.
It is clinically proven to be safe and most effective in treating areas of the body that are resistant to exercise and diets, such as the abdomen, thighs, and arms.
Read on to learn more about how CoolSculpting works, if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, the costs, and get tips on how to prepare for your treatment.
How Does CoolSculpting Work?
CoolSculpting freezes and destroys fat cells through a technique known as cryolipolysis.
During cryolipolysis, fat cells are exposed to freezing temperatures causing them to break down and die.
Once the fat cells have been broken down and destroyed, the lymphatic system eliminates them from the body.
CoolSculpting procedure is non-surgical and requires no anesthesia.
It is also an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day.
What Does the Research Say?
According to a study published by the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser, cryolipolysis effectively reduces fat in the treated area.
The study included 22 patients who underwent CoolSculpting on their abdomen. After two treatments, the average fat reduction was 21.2%.
Another study, published in the Journal of Obesity, looked at the effect of CoolSculpting on 30 patients.
The patients underwent a single treatment, and the results showed that cryolipolysis reduced subcutaneous fat by an average of 19.5%.
Clinical trial published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in 2014, CoolSculpting showed impressive results –up to a 25% reduction in subcutaneous fat in the treated area.
Also, according to research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, when measured by a caliper, it shows that people lose 14.67-28.5 percent of fat in areas treated by CoolSculpting.
On the other hand, if measured by ultrasound, it indicated that people were able to lose 10.3-25.5 percent.
Last but not least, research published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal reported an average fat reduction of 19.55 percent.
All the research and studies show that CoolSculpting works well and is a safe and effective treatment for reducing fat.
Am I a Good Candidate?
You are a good candidate for CoolSculpting if you have stubborn pockets of fat resistant to diet and exercise.
Cryolipolysis is not a weight-loss procedure. It is best suited for people at or near their ideal body weight.
Considering CoolSculpting, you should have good overall health and realistic expectations for the procedure’s results.
Below are areas that can be treated with CoolSculpting.
- Love handles/flanks
- Under the neck/ double chin
- Back/bra area
- Male chest /pseudogynecomastia
- Under butts/ banana roll
How Do I Prepare for Cryolipolysis?
There is no special preparation required before CoolSculpting.
You should avoid taking over-the-counter or prescription medications that can thin the blood or increase bleeding.
It would be best if you also avoid sun exposure before the procedure.
What Happens During a CoolSculpting and Body Sculpting Treatment?
During a CoolSculpting treatment, a plastic surgeon will apply a gel patch to the area of your body they will be treating.
They will then place the CoolSculpting device on top of the gel patch.
The device will cool the area to a temperature that targets and destroys the fat cells.
Most treatments take about an hour. After the treatment, the plastic surgeon will remove the device and the gel patch.
They will then massage the area to help break up the frozen fat cells.
After the treatment, you may experience some redness, swelling, bruising, and tingling. Still, these side effects will resolve independently within a few days to weeks.
How Much Does CoolSculpting Cost?
CoolSculpting is an affordable alternative to liposuction and other surgical fat-reduction procedures.
The price for CoolSculpting varies depending on the treated areas, the number of treatments needed, and the provider performing the procedure.
A single CoolSculpting treatment typically costs between $2,000 and $4,000.
Most providers recommend 1-3 treatments per area so the total cost can range from $6,000 to $12,000.
There is no insurance coverage for this procedure. Also, prices vary depending on geographic location, the skill of the treatment provider, and the size of the applicator used.
In addition, areas with more fat, such as the flunk, cost more than areas with less fat, such as the chin.
Procedures done using small applicators cost less than those done using larger applicators.
To learn more about CoolSculpting costs, we have a detailed article that covers everything you need to know.
Check out various financing options to make your Cryolipolysis more affordable.
Does CoolSculpting Have Side Effects?
CoolSculpting is noninvasive it does not involve surgery, cuts, or anesthetics.
As such, it has less risk than liposuction –another alternative to fat reduction which is invasive. Less than 1 percent of people who have undergone the procedure have reported complications.
It’s scientifically proven that cold temperatures do not damage cells other than the fat cells –they only numb the area; Most people report feeling a cooling sensation after CoolSculpting.
This procedure takes around one hour and has no recovery time as there is no damage to the skin or tissue.
Some people report soreness at the site of Cryolipolysis similar to the one felt after an intense workout or minor muscle injury.
It takes 4-6 months for the fat cells to leave the body after the procedure.
CoolSculpting Risks and Complications
The most common complication reported as a result of cryolipolysis is having less sensation than beforehand in the treated area. Other complications reported include:
- Temporary numbness,
- Skin Redness
- Localized pain
- Tingling at the treatment site.
These side effects typically resolve independently within a few days to weeks.
No serious complications such as bleeding, skin pigment changes, or scarring have ever been reported.
Rare but serious side effects may include nerve damage and tissue death.
Also, an isolated case of a condition called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia has been reported following a CoolSculpting procedure.
PFH is a condition where the fat cells in the treated area grow larger rather than being destroyed.
It is unclear why it occurs. If you experience this side effect, you will need another treatment to destroy the fat cells.
If you are considering CoolSculpting, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to get all the facts about the procedure and ensure that you are a good candidate.
Benefits of CoolSculpting
There are so many great benefits to using CoolSculpting to shed some fat. Some of them include the following:
- A non-invasive procedure, so no surgery is required.
- FDA-cleared and clinically proven to be safe and effective.
- A great alternative to liposuction for those who are not ready for surgery.
- Quick and easy, with most procedures taking less than an hour.
- Affordable, with most procedures costing between $2,000 and $4,000.
- It has minimal side effects, the most common being temporary numbness, redness, swelling, bruising, and tingling at the treatment site.
What Are the Results of CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting results take time. The results are visible within a few weeks and continue to improve for up to six months.
However, you may see results as soon as three weeks after your treatment.
CoolSculpting results are long-lasting. Studies have shown that CoolSculpting can reduce fat cells by up to 25 percent in the treated area, which are then permanently removed from your body.
There are several alternatives you can opt for if you are not happy with the results of CoolSculpting.
Some alternatives to choose from include:
- Zeltiq: A new non-invasive fat reduction treatment that uses cool temperatures to target and destroy fat cells.
- Liposuction: A surgical procedure that removes fat from the body using suction.
- SculpSure: This is an ideal alternative to CoolSculpting for those seeking a non-invasive body contouring treatment. It is an FDA-cleared laser treatment for body contouring that selectively destroys fat cells without harming the skin.
- Vanquish: Uses radiofrequency energy to heat and destroy fat cells. The procedure is minimally invasive and does not require anesthesia.
- TruSculpt: A non-surgical option that can help contour your body. TruSculpt uses radiofrequency energy to heat the tissue and cause collagen contraction. This process can help improve the appearance of cellulite as well as tighten the skin. There is no recovery time required after treatment, and you can typically expect to see results within a few weeks.
- CoolTone: Is a new FDA-cleared, non-invasive body contouring treatment that uses magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS) to strengthen, tone, and firm the muscles. MMS is a safe and effective technology that has been used for over 20 years to treat a variety of medical conditions. Various studies have clinically proven that CoolTone increases muscle mass by up to 16% and reduces fat by up to 25%.
CoolSculpting is a cosmetic procedure, so it will not tackle the fundamental cause of unwanted fat.
A person with a metabolic condition such as diabetes or any other unhealthy lifestyle may quickly regain the fat lost through the procedure.
Furthermore, do not eat an unhealthy diet, remain sedentary, and expect a massive fat reduction.
Destroying existing fat cells will not prevent new fat cells from appearing; a healthy lifestyle is vital to preserving the results of CoolSculpting.
Also, Cryolipolysis cannot tighten loose skin. And before you choose to have this procedure, always talk to a doctor.
- Realself. (May 16, 2016). CoolSculpting: The Cool Way to Sculpt Your Body. realself.com/news/coolsculpting-the-cool-way-sculpt
- Harvard Health. (Oct 30, 2018). CoolSculpting: What You Should Know. health.harvard.edu/blog/coolsculpting-what-you-should-know-2018101015533
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (Sept 25, 2018). CoolSculpting: Is It Worth the Money?. mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/coolsculpting/faq-20058101
- American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. (Dec 2016). Consumer Guide to CoolSculpting. asds.net/ASDS-Skin-Care-Guide/Consumer-Guide-to-CoolSculpting.aspx
- WebMD. (April 6, 2017). CoolSculpting for Fat Reduction. webmd.com/beauty/coolsculpting-for-fat-reduction#1
- American Academy of Dermatology (2016). Consumer Guide to CoolSculpting. aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/cosmetic-treatments/cool-sculpting
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. (April 2017). The Science Behind CoolSculpting. surgery.org/sites/default/files/ASAPS-The-Science-Behind-CoolSculpting.pdf
- The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. (Dec 2017). Efficacy of Cryolipolysis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674736/