This post originally appeared on the Carruthers & Humphrey blog.
Since its initial FDA approval in 2010, CoolSculpting has become an extremely popular procedure for patients looking to reduce or eliminate stubborn pockets of fat. However, although many people are now aware of it, we still hear tons of questions and misconceptions about the treatment. We asked Dr. Beleznay to share what everyone needs to know about “fat freezing”.
Q. CoolSculpting is supposed to freeze away fat, but how does it really work?
A. The scientific principle behind CoolSculpting is called cryolipolysis. Fat cells are frozen during the procedure, so that they will gradually die off and leave the body through a natural process. The elimination of these fat cells is permanent, but others still exist, so it’s important to maintain healthy diet and exercise routine in order to maximize the benefits. CoolSculpting isn’t designed to treat obesity, but it is effective at reducing fat in targeted areas.
Q. Is belly fat the only appropriate target for CoolSculpting?
A. No, CoolSculpting is actually FDA approved for treating fat in the abdomen, thigh, back, bra area and upper arm, as well as the double chin. You can use it almost anywhere on your body where there is pinchable fat. If you are someone with areas of stubborn fat that you can’t seem to reduce through diet and exercise, then you may be a good candidate!
Q. How can patients know what areas are best to treat?
A. Our team will assess you and make a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan. We like to think of body sculpting as involving more than just a single area. Sometimes the best results come from treating surrounding areas at the same time, and we have two machines, so we’re able to treat more than one location simultaneously. We’ll work with you to make sure we’re addressing your long-term treatment goals.
Q. Is the treatment painful?
A. In the first few minutes of the treatment you’ll feel a cold sensation and same pulling, but the area goes numb pretty quickly and patients can relax and watch Netflix or read a book while they are getting their treatment done. Some patients do describe mild discomfort throughout the procedure — typically pulling, pinching and cramping at the treatment site. Afterwards, side effects include temporary redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness, aching or skin sensitivity, but generally only for a few days.
Q. Can patients return to their normal activities after the treatment?
A. Yes you can! Most people go right back to their regular routine.
Q. How quickly will results be visible?
A. You may notice changes within the first month but the most dramatic changes generally take two to three months — it takes the body time to eliminate the dead fat cells. Many patients require more than one treatment for optimal results.
Q. What happens if patients gain weight after CoolSculpting?
A. Not all of the fat is removed in the treated area after CoolSculpting, so if you gain weight the remaining fat cells can get larger. Because you’ve lost more fat cells in that area, you may not notice the weight gain as much as you otherwise would. Many people, after seeing the improvement from CoolSculpting, feel extra motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Q. Is CoolSculpting mainly for women?
A. Anyone who wants to eliminate fat in targeted areas is a good candidate for CoolSculpting. We do see a good proportion of men for this procedure as well — stubborn areas of fat aren’t gender-specific.
If you’re interested in a CoolSculpting consultation, or want to learn more about our other treatments, book a visit today.