As mentioned in our last newsletter, non-invasive fat reduction is one of the fastest growing and most popular cosmetic treatments in 2015. We’re very excited to offer our patients CoolSculpting, a novel non-surgical treatment that gets rid of unsightly fat bulges without the need for any incisions or downtime. Some people may be familiar with Liposonix®, a focused ultrasound method of zapping fat that we’ve offered at the clinic for some time. CoolSculpting offers just another choice in non-surgical body sculpting, and a very attractive one, especially now that it has been thoroughly studied over the last several years, and improvements have been made to the machine. These allow more areas, such as the thighs, to be treated, and it is now possible to treat people with somewhat smaller bulges than when the machine first appeared on the market. Studies and clinical experience now show that with multiple treatments, some patients may get results comparable to liposuction. For all these reasons, CoolSculpting is now considered to be one of the most successful non-invasive methods of fat reduction.
CoolSculpting works by achieving “cryolipolysis”, meaning it uses extreme cold to get rid of fat cells while leaving surrounding tissues intact. The machine takes advantage of the fact that fat cells are more susceptible to damage by the cold at higher temperatures than cells of other tissues like skin. Treatment can take as little time as an hour, is associated with minimal discomfort, and gets rid of as much as 25% of the fat in a given region with one treatment in many patients, with proven, long lasting results. CoolSculpting is also a very reasonably priced fat reduction option, which makes it very popular. For a similar cost to cosmetic injectables like Botox or Juvéderm®, one can freeze away the muffin top or love handles you hate without surgery, over your lunch hour.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
- Love Handles
- Thighs, both Inner or Outer
- Back, i.e. “Bra Strap Bulge”
Who is a good Candidate?
Anyone with a fatty bulge in the above areas that is sufficient in size that it can be pulled between the freezing plates of the machine can benefit from CoolSculpting. It is important to remember, though, that CoolSculpting treats the fat that sits just below the skin, not deep fat that sits inside body cavities, so it is a sculpting/contouring treatment, not a method of weight loss. Patients who are appropriate for a liposuction procedure, but who do not want any incisions or anesthesia could consider CoolSculpting. The ideal candidate is someone who is close to their ideal body weight. It would not be ideal for those carrying lots of excess weight, nor for those with lots of loose hanging skin, who would be better with a tummy tuck procedure for example.
What to expect from CoolSculpting
At the time of treatment, the CoolSculpting device is placed against the skin over the area of desired fat reduction. It pulls the bulging fat between two cooling plates. The initial cold sensation is often described as intense, but there is little discomfort. Patients often report a feeling of numbness in the area as the treatment proceeds. There is typically very little bruising or redness immediately afterward, and it may take a number of months, usually 2 to 4 before you will begin to see results. This is because it takes time for the “frozen” fat cells to die, and to be eliminated by the body’s natural processes. The degree of fat reduction will vary from person to person, though, as mentioned, many people will get as much as 25% reduction in the treated area. Further reductions can be seen with repeat treatment.