How Does Coolsculpting Work?
Years ago, scientists at Harvard University observed that some children who ate popsicles got dimples in their cheeks. The scientists—Dieter Manstein, MD and R. Rox Anderson, MD—realized that the popsicles were freezing and eliminating small pockets of fat cells.
The idea that cold can target fat cells—without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue—was the insight behind Cryolipolysis®, the proven science on which the CoolSculpting procedure is based.
CoolSculpting, also known as cryolipolysis, is a cosmetic procedure developed to remove areas of body fat. Similar to liposuction, it works through freezing fat cells from specific and desired areas of the body where it is more difficult to remove fat by diet and exercise.
CoolSculpting® is the only FDA cleared procedure that uses advanced cooling technology to safely target fat cells and destroy them. It is a non-invasive procedure, meaning it does not involve surgery, cuts, or anesthetics, carrying significantly less risk than its counterpart procedures such as liposuction. It has been shown to have no downtime after every procedure, saving you more time to attend to activities of daily life immediately. More than that, once treated, the fat cells have been observed to have little to none regeneration. Hence, results are proven not only to be aesthetically noticeable but also long-lasting, making sure you will look and feel great from every angle for a long time.
Despite following a strict diet plan and rigorous exercise routine, it is very common for our bodies to have areas of fatty tissue that just do not seem to go away no matter how hard and dedicated we work with our weight loss program. Now, with the modern advances in science and technology, fat bulges that linger around the stomach in the form of love handles and muffin tops as well as extra fat on the inner and outer thighs can finally be removed. If you have been working out for a long time, yet it seems like the fat in certain areas of your body are not going away anytime soon, a new approach could make a lot of difference.
CoolSculpting and other forms of cryolipolysis use freezing temperatures to break down fat cells. One of the amazing things about this procedure is that it does not damage other cells in the way that it does with fat cells, hence making sure that here is no damage to underlying skin cells or tissue cells. This form of treatment is a target-specific type to only fat cells.
To give you a background of the procedure, the practitioner vacuums the skin above the area of fatty tissue into an applicator that cools the fat cells in each treatment session. The cold temperature numbs the area. Patients will usually feel a cooling sensation at this point of the treatment.
Most CoolSculpting procedures take around an hour. Because the procedure does not damage the skin cells or the underlying tissue, there is no recovery time and downtime, giving patients the benefit of immediately going back to their personal tasks of the day. However, some people report soreness at the site of CoolSculpting, similar to that they might have after an intense workout or minor muscle injury.
This known body contouring procedure slims the treated areas, making your clothes fit more comfortably, which makes your silhouette more striking and aesthetically pleasing. More than that, you will see lasting results – once the treated fat is gone, it’s gone for good. Available for the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and now under the chin, CoolSculpting treats fat in those tough problem areas. The most exciting addition to our practice is the ability to freeze fat on the neck, reducing a double chin.
Area of Treatment:
Under the chin and jawline
Back and sides
Under the butt
Along the bra line
About the Procedure
A licensed and trained doctor or healthcare provider is the only allowed personnel to do the procedure. They will perform the procedure using a handheld device. The device has applicators that look similar to the nozzles of a vacuum cleaner.
During the treatment, the healthcare provider will apply a gel pad and applicator to the targeted area. After that, the applicator will deliver controlled cooling to the targeted fat. The provider will then move the device over your skin while administering suction and cooling technology to the target area. Some offices have several machines that allow them to treat multiple target areas in one visit.
It is common to experience some feelings of pulling and pinching during the process, but overall the procedure involves minimal pain to no pain at all. The provider typically will massage the treated areas immediately after treatment to break up any frozen deep tissue. This will help your body begin to absorb the destroyed fat cells. Some people complain that this massage is slightly uncomfortable.
Each treatment can take anywhere between one and three hours. Patients frequently listen to music, read, or even work on the computer during the procedure.
The results of CoolSculpting can be long-lasting. Once the treated fat cells are eliminated, they do not return. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help ensure lasting results.
There is usually no downtime after CoolSculpting treatment. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately after the procedure.
It is good to note that even if CoolSculpting is a great procedure to remove excess fat in certain areas of the body, Cryolipolysis is not the primary way to lose weight. Your doctor might suggest it if you have tried diet and exercise and have not been able to get rid of certain fat bulges in your body.
You should avoid cryolipolysis if you have:
Poor skin tone
Cold urticaria – a skin condition that occurs when your body gets cold producing hives on your skin
Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria – a type of anemia that destroys your red blood cells when your body is exposed to cold temperatures.
Cryoglobulinemia – a condition where abnormal proteins in your blood thicken in cold temperatures
Results from CoolSculpting are not immediate. It takes a few weeks to several months for the body to eliminate the treated fat cells. Gradual fat reduction and contouring can be observed over time.
CoolSculpting is not without side effects, just like all other medical procedures. However, they are commonly and relatively minor compared to other fat reduction treatments. These usually include swelling of the treated area, temporary redness or blanching, bruising, and skin sensitivity including tingling, stinging, tenderness, aching or itching.
Compared to liposuction, which is a more invasive procedure, the side effects can be more harsh and severe due to the nature of the procedure itself. However, it is good to note that rare cases of more side effects can occur with CoolSculpting and are discussed more thoroughly in the following sections below.
CoolSculpting and Sculpsure both have the same primary goal of eliminating fat cells using a targeted device but vary based on temperature settings. Sculpsure is reliant on the use of heat (42 degrees Celsius) to target fat cells, while CoolSculpting uses a cooling sensation to freeze fat cells (4 degrees Celsius).
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