Perhaps you recently heard about CoolSculpting, and now you're wondering, "how does CoolSculpting work?" Well, you've come to the right place!
What is CoolSculpting?
The CoolSculpting fat-freezing treatment is the only FDA-cleared,* non-surgical fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists efforts through diet and exercise. The results are proven, noticeable, and lasting—so you'll look great from every angle.
With over 7 million treatments performed worldwide, there’s no shortage of testimonials and reviews for CoolSculpting online.
“Well, for me as a dermatologist, it’s very important that I see the science; I want to have something that has clinical efficacy that we know works. But, I also need something that has a good safety profile and a good patient tolerance profile.”
- Dr. Mary Lupo on why she chose CoolSculpting
Am I a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting?
Do you have stubborn fat that just won't go away, no matter how much you exercise? This is where a CoolSculpting treatment comes in. It’s important to understand that CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss technique, but a way to help reduce pesky, unwanted fat. CoolSculpting is non-surgical, meaning there is little to no downtime after treatment. Because the procedure – done at a doctor's office – reduces fat in treated areas by about 20%-25%, it can help patients achieve their long-term goals.
How Does CoolSculpting Work?
One of the most common questions physicians are asked is, "how does CoolSculpting work?" The CoolSculpting treatment works by a process called cryolipolysis. The fat cells in the treated area are crystalized (frozen) to the point where they are damaged and die – a process called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Over time, your body naturally processes the fat and eliminates the dead cells.
After a CoolSculpting treatment, a deep-tissue massage is done to mobilize the fat that has been released from the damaged fat cells. The two-minute massage can help improve the lymphatic drainage of the fat.
“We often find that when patients start a process like CoolSculpting they are more motivated to live a healthier lifestyle”
- Dr. Mary Lupo
How Many Areas Can I Treat with CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared in the US for 9 areas: abdomen, flanks, submental area, the submandibular area (below the jawline), bra fat, back fat, inner and outer thighs, upper arms and underneath the buttocks. Treatments to different areas can even be performed in the same day.
What If I Need More Than One Treatment in the Same Area?
Most CoolSculpting providers wait about 1 to 3 months to see if an area would benefit from being treated again. You'll want to consult with your provider to determine if treating the area again will help you reach your goals.
What is the First Step to Getting Treatment?
The first step in the treatment process is an assessment. The doctor and/or CoolSculpting specialist perform a thorough assessment on the patient, identifying the areas of major concern. During the assessment, other areas that may be impacting the patient's shape or figure are also determined.
It is important that the fat is subcutaneous - fat that can be grabbed or pulled. By the end of the assessment, the team of medical professionals and the patient decide on a global plan to help the patient achieve their unique body sculpting goals.
What Does The CoolSculpting Treatment Feel Like?
After your treatment area(s) are properly marked, and the skin in that area is prepared, the CoolSculpting treatment is ready to begin.
First, a protective gel is applied to the treatment area. Then, the machine is applied to the skin and allowed to run for as little as 35 minutes. During this process, the patient is made as comfortable as possible.
During the first 3 minutes, the patient often feels a cold sensation. During minutes 3-5, the patient may feel a slight cold tingling sensation - like if you were to stick your hand in an ice chest.
After this stage, the area will be numb for the rest of the procedure, and for some minutes after treatment. The actual treatment process is fast and easy, you can even bring a book or computer to have during the procedure!
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Many patients may begin to see results in about 3 weeks, but the full result is usually seen about 3 months after treatment. CoolSculpting results are seen over a period of a few months because the process of cell death is not instantaneous! Fat cell death happens over time - but once the fat cells are destroyed, they won’t return.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Some patients may experience some redness or bruising in the treated area. This is completely normal and can be expected, and usually goes away within a few days. Some patients may also experience prolonged numbness or tingling after the procedure.
The Next Step in Your CoolSculpting Journey
Now that you have a better understanding to the question, "how does CoolSculpting work?" it's time to find out if you are a good candidate for the treatment. Take this short quiz to help determine if CoolSculpting is right for you.
Next, you'll want to meet with a CoolSculpting clinician in your area to come up with your complete treatment plan. With this unique treatment plan, you'll be one step closer to achieving your body sculpting goals. With the assessment out of the way and treatment plan established, you can set up an appointment for treatment so you can kiss those pesky bulges goodbye!