Does CoolSculpting Really Work?

Tuesday May 1, 2018 | CoolSculpting, Non-Surgical Procedures, Weight Loss

woman laughingAre you a health-conscious individual who eats healthy and works out regularly? Have you ever skipped the pizza in the break room at work or woken up in the early hours of the morning to head to the gym, all so you can have the body you desire? Despite all this hard work, do you still struggle to remove residual traces of body fat in some areas that you just cannot seem to burn off? CoolSculpting may be the solution you need.

CoolSculpting is a nonsurgical, FDA-approved, noninvasive liposuction alternative that targets and kills small pockets of fat cells directly through a process called cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis was first discovered by Harvard University scientists when they noticed the development of cheek dimples in children who ate a lot of popsicles. The cold, numbing effect of the popsicles was killing the fat cells within their cheeks and creating an unintentional fat loss. CoolSculpting takes advantage of this process in the human body to painlessly kill off areas of unwanted fat.

How does it work?

CoolSculpting works by extracting heat from the targeted area until the fat cells reach a temperature at which apoptosis, or controlled cell death, can occur. Because the lipids in fat cells crystallize at a warmer temperature than the water in other cells, they can be destroyed without harming any surrounding tissue. In other words, CoolSculpting will kill your fat exclusively and cause absolutely no harm to your skin. Commonly-targeted areas include the chin, abdomen, inner and outer thighs, arms and back.

During your appointment, a licensed CoolSculpting technician will attach a suitable CoolSculpt applicator to the area of fat you wish to target, either a suction applicator, or flat plates specially designed for the inner and outer thighs. The applicator will then be left on the skin for around an hour, during which time you are free to work on your laptop, watch a movie or even take a nap. The process is not painful, although some discomfort may be expected as the targeted area cools. The discomfort typically dissipates in about 10 minutes as the skin and surrounding area become numb.

After your appointment, the crystallized lipids in the targeted fat are carried away by the body through the lymphatic system. CoolSculpting creates a localized inflammatory response that leads to a natural elimination of the destroyed fat lipids. The treated fat cells are removed permanently, with an average of 23 percent of the targeted fat destroyed within the first treatment. Multiple treatments are encouraged and will be necessary for those wishing to make a more noticeable change.

How long does it take to work?

The appointment typically takes about one hour to complete but can take longer depending on how many areas you wish to target at once. Once the treatment is complete, the final results can take anywhere from two to four months to appear. While the results may not be immediate, they are permanent and the process is noninvasive.

Results are much better with multiple treatments, as one treatment only removes around 23 percent of the fat in the targeted area. Appointments should be spaced six to eight weeks apart, so the body has adequate time to remove all traces of the crystallized fat and reveal the final results. If you have a specific date you are preparing for, such as a wedding or vacation, schedule your appointment three to six months in advance to ensure you reach your desired look in time.

Who should use CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting works best for those within 20–25 pounds of their ideal bodyweight. The treatment is meant for those already in good shape and should not be considered or used as a replacement for a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Though CoolSculpting destroys the fat cells in the area permanently, weight gain through an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to fat developing in the same area and alteration of the results.

CoolSculpting does not cause much, if any, weight loss. Instead, it focuses on removing small pockets of fat. Your weight on the scale may not change significantly, but the difference will be noticeable as you watch your love handles or stubborn belly fat melt away. CoolSculpting is best for those seeking a modest change that they simply have not been able to achieve through diet and exercise. If you are interested in removing large areas of fat and more intensive weight loss, liposuction and other surgical procedures may be a better option.

To experience the best results, you should be able to maintain a stable body weight. Should you begin to gain weight or treat CoolSculpting as a substitute for diet and exercise, you risk undoing the results of the treatment and gaining fat back in the targeted area.

Are there any side effects?

Unlike other fat loss treatments, CoolSculpting has no moderate or severe side effects and does not require rest and recovery afterward. Immediately following the treatment, you are free to return to work, continue with your fitness regimen and resume your daily life. The process can be completed quickly during a lunch break, giving you the ability to get back to work immediately after.

Occasionally, skin redness can persist for a few minutes or up to a few hours following the treatment. Localized bruising or swelling can also occasionally occur, but will not keep you from your daily life. Persisting numbness in the area targeted during CoolSculpting may linger for a few weeks following treatment, but should not be overly bothersome.

Dr. David Lickstein and his staff at Lickstein Plastic Surgery are proud to offer CoolSculpting treatments to their patients. Lickstein Plastic Surgery is a CoolSculpting Certified Practice, and has transformed the bodies of so many patients at our Palm Spring Gardens location. Dr. Lickstein recently added the CoolAdvantage Petite™ to his repertoire of CoolSculpting applicators, allowing him to target unsightly upper arm fat and other small areas of fat. Call Dr. Lickstein’s office today at 561-571-4000 to schedule an appointment and discuss if CoolSculpting is the right option for you.