If you’ve heard of someone literally freezing away their fat via a noninvasive treatment called CoolSculpting, you’re probably doubtful. Numerous concerns come to mind: Is it secure? Is it truly effective? Is it costly? If cold can be used to freeze fat away, why don’t we all take long trips to Antarctica?
Celebrities such as Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian, Molly Sims, and Malin Akerman (see below) have marketed CoolSculpting as a means to erase fat rapidly and easily without diet or exercise, saying the procedure requires no downtime or restrictions following the surgery. However, can we truly believe these famous claims?
With the resumption of social gatherings and events — hello, 2020 weddings! — and the arrival of swimsuit season, some people may crave a quick fix like Coolsculpting which claims to erase 25% of fat in the targeted area (which can be anywhere from the thighs, the lower belly and even arms). As a result, HuffPost spoke with specialists to determine whether CoolSculpting is truly worth the hype.
TL;DR: The specialists HuffPost spoke with agreed that CoolSculpting can be beneficial, but only for the proper candidate, and that anyone considering the process should consult with a reputable physician beforehand.
“It will work well for the right people; it will fail miserably for the wrong ones,” Hao Feng, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health’s department of dermatology, told HuffPost. “You absolutely want to ensure that you are a good candidate for this treatment before you commit.”
What Happens During A CoolSculpting Treatment
CoolSculpting technique was developed by experts at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital after they noticed that when children nibbled on popsicles, the insides of their cheeks developed a little dimple due to the cold preferentially targeting the fat cells in that area. They recognized that criolipolisis — the technique of utilizing cold temperature to break down fat cells — might be used in a controlled manner to achieve fat freezing dubai and developed CoolSculpting.
To begin, you must determine which portion of your body you wish to treat. CoolSculpting has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of noticeable fat bulges beneath the chin and jawline, as well as on the thighs, abdomen, flank, upper arms, buttocks, back, and bra line.
On the lower body, such as the sides of the hips or flank area, as well as the abdomen, providers often utilize big applicators. Small applicators are typically utilized on the upper body, and the smallest CoolSculpting applicator, the CoolMini, is designed to target fat loss in the chin, armpit, and bra line. During therapy, more than one applicator may be used; for example, two big applicators may be used on the lower stomach region. However, the actual size and quantity of applicators utilized per treatment region are determined by the patient’s dimensions and intended effect.
The total cost of the operation will vary depending on the areas treated and the number of rounds administered, although CoolSculpting predicts that “a customized treatment plan” will cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
Your physician (who is frequently a dermatologist or a medi-spa technician) will begin by putting a layer of protective gel to the treatable tissue in the chosen location, followed by attaching the applicator to the area. Then the cooling action begins.
Mara Weinstein Velez, a dermatologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, noted that the applicator targets fat cells specifically by freezing them to roughly -11 degrees Celsius, without affecting blood arteries or the underlying skin. While “some individuals feel nothing,” Denise Kayler, CEO of Synergy Spa at The Guyer Institute, which offers CoolSculpting, explained, “approximately half of the folks we’ve treated feel like they’re being pulled and tugged.” She compared the experience to a sting, “almost as if you stepped outside and your fingers became extremely cold and then returned [inside].”
CoolSculpting sessions last approximately 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the region being treated, and fat is flushed out via the lymphatic system to the liver and removed through the feces. “A lot of folks wonder, ‘Do I pee more?’ Do I poop more frequently?'” Kayler remarked. “No, none of that matters. Without a doubt, it is via the lymphatic system.”
How CoolSculpting Will Make You Feel
Following that, “the area will feel strange because it will feel like a cold stick of butter,” Feng said. “It must be massaged manually or with the aid of automated instruments. This can be a little uncomfortable, but it aids in the outcome.” A two-minute massage on the affected area helps minimize swelling and/or bruising and can speed up the process of fat cell elimination.
Although the skin may be numb for many hours following the operation and redness, swelling, numbness, and minor discomfort may linger for up to a week or longer, patients should be able to resume normal activities and wear tight-fitting clothing. Weinstein Velez noted that when a patient undergoes CoolSculpting on their stomach, for example, “you have this sensation in your gut as if you performed a bunch of sit-ups.” It’s similar to the sensation of muscle soreness.”
Individuals who have had failed CoolSculpting procedures complain of applicator marks and areas appearing bigger following the operation, a condition known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). According to Feng, the former could be the outcome of a supplier that is inexperienced and/or not as detail-oriented. “Experience is critical with any medical or cosmetic operation,” he explained. “And how you apply the applicator, whether you’re using the correct applicator and if this is the appropriate region to do so, is critical. That is when experience, education, and the ability to accurately determine whether you are the best candidate come in handy.” PAH typically arises when the incorrect person elects for CoolSculpting (more on that below.) Feng noted that the bulge occurs more frequently in men who have CoolSculpting on the belly, “although it is a really unusual adverse effect” – occurring in fewer than 1% of patients.
The majority of people require numerous rounds of treatment to acquire their desired appearance. “It is uncommon to require only one therapy,” Weinstein Velez explained. Additionally, it takes 12 weeks to see the full effects, so anybody hoping to present at a specific event should plan properly.
So What Qualifies As A Good Candidate For CoolSculpting?
“It’s particularly well-suited for those who are close to their optimum body weight but have persistent pockets of fat that resist dieting and exercise,” Weinstein Velez said. “In essence, the ideal applicant is someone who is already quite fit and practices healthy behaviors but just needs a little extra assistance losing that stubborn fat. This is very emphatically not a weight-loss procedure.”
Kayler explained that CoolSculpting “really only works on subcutaneous fat,” or the squishy type that resides just beneath the skin, as opposed to visceral fat, which she compared to “a man with a large belly that’s hard as a rock.”
While CoolSculpting can destroy up to 25% of fat cells in the area treated, those that remain can grow in size if a patient gains weight in the future. To sustain results, “all we ask is that you do not gain weight,” Kayler explained. “If you gain weight, you will have an increase in fat that has nothing to do with your treatment.”
“If you revert to unhealthy habits,” Feng emphasized, “you will lose your results since the remaining fat cells will continue to grow in size.”
What To Consider When Choosing A CoolSculpting Provider
To begin, here is some information regarding safety. In 2010, the FDA approved CoolSculpting for the removal of flank and abdominal fat, the first time the agency approved a noninvasive fat-reduction device. CoolSculpting was also approved by the FDA in 2014 for the treatment of subcutaneous fat in the thighs.
Anyone considering CoolSculpting should consult with a physician prior to signing up, as the treatment is highly customized to your body. “There are some individuals who wish to bypass the consultation, and that is perhaps one point I would emphasize,” Kayler added. “There is no obligation to participate in a consultation. Ascertain that everyone you consult has sat down with you and explained exactly what would occur.”
At that point, the doctor or technician should also be candid about the number of CoolSculpting sessions you’ll likely need to get your desired result, as well as whether CoolSculpting makes the most sense for your case in comparison to another body sculpting process.
“At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring that you’re seeing someone who truly understands all of your options and who has the expertise and knowledge to say, ‘Look, you may be considering CoolSculpting, but CoolSculpting is not the right procedure for you,’ and to be able to tell you which procedure is better for your specific case,” Feng explained. “You’re set up for failure from the start if you’re not a strong candidate or if something else is a better fit.”
Inquire about photographs of the provider’s real work, Kayler said. “Require whoever is performing the procedure to show you images from their facility,” she continued, “and do not rely on what [CoolSculpting owner] ZELTIQ posts on the internet or what they see in other places.”
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