Also known as body contouring, CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved procedure that utilizes uses patented cooling technology to eliminate fat cells. The treatment takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and usually requires two or three sessions. It's a particularly good option for targeting specific areas of the body. If you're considering CoolSculpting, here's what you should know.
How it Works
To understand how CoolSculpting works, you'll need a refresher on fat cells. Fat cells, unlike surrounding tissue, freeze at higher temperatures. This is good news because it allows the CoolSculpting technology to specifically target fat cells underneath the skin. The act of cooling them to certain temperatures triggers fat cells to die naturally. In technical terms, it's known as cryolipolysis. The cells basically become frozen, so they crystallize and die. There is no damage to skin or surrounding tissue, making for fast results and little-to-no down time. After the cells freeze and die, your body eliminates them naturally as it would any other dead cell.
What Is the Advantage
Many other procedures reduce the size of fat cells to induce weight loss, but the fat cells remain there and can increase in size once again. With CoolSculpting the fat cells are completely removed and once they're gone, they're gone for good. This reduces the risk of regaining weight and is also more beneficial for stubborn fat, like belly fat that won't go away with proper diet and exercise. Keep in mind that you will likely need more than one session, as each session decreases the number of fat cells in the targeted area.
Who Is a Candidate
Check the area that you're interested in treating by pinching the skin. If you're able to raise 1 to 2 inches of excess skin, then you will likely benefit from CoolSculpting. It's designed to remove excess pockets of fat on stubborn areas of the body. The best candidates are those who have a normal BMI and who have tried diet and exercise to remove stubborn fat. Please note that CoolSculpting is not a treatment for obesity and you would not be a candidate if your BMI is 30 or above, which is categorized as obese. Consult a CoolSculpting clinic to determine whether or not you're a candidate.
What Are the Side Effects
Slight discomfort in the treated area is common and your skin may be sensitive for a week or two following treatment. Bruising may also occur, but overall CoolSculpting is a low-risk procedure. Your medical provider will go over any potential risks and side effects with you.