What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that has been cleared by the FDA to eliminate fat in specific areas of the body that seem to be resistant to diet and exercise. This non-surgical procedure is done in an office setting and does not require any downtime for the patient. It works by applying an applicator to the skin that delivers controlled cooling to treat the fat cells located beneath the skin. These fat cells subsequently die and are removed naturally by the body over time. This procedure results in a permanent removal of fat cells that does not require surgery.
Who may be considered a good candidate for CoolSculpting?
Good candidates for this procedure include those who have specific areas of stubborn fat on their body – including chin, abdomen, inner thighs, outer thighs, back and sides (i.e. bra fat and muffin top distribution). These areas tend to be resistant to improvement through diet and exercise and patients often comment that they are problematic even at lower body weights.
What is the typical expected recovery course after CoolSculpting?
The benefit of CoolSculpting is that there is little to no downtime after the procedure. The possible side effects including pain and bruising could limit strenuous activity immediately after the procedure, but most people find that they can immediately return to normal activities.
What type of results may be expected with CoolSculpting?
You may see results as early as 3-4 weeks after the procedure, but the most noticeable changes are seen after 1 to 3 months. You can expect an approximate 20% reduction in fat cells in the treated area after your first CoolSculpting session. Any additional sessions would yield another 20% reduction for even further results. Certainly, subsequent weight gain and/or future pregnancy could offset the results seen with CoolSculpting.
What are the usual steps involved in CoolSculpting?
The first step is to schedule a consultation with one of the CU Plastic Surgery providers. We will review your medical and surgical history and complete a physical examination to determine if you are a good candidate for CoolSculpting. Once we have completed this assessment and formulated a plan for CoolSculpting, we will schedule the in-office procedure. The procedure can be done any time of the day and each session is usually 1-2 hours depending on the number of areas to be treated. When you arrive for the procedure, your provider will again evaluate the desired areas of treatment and review the plan. You will complete pre-procedure photographs for later comparison to post-treatment results. Once the cool sculpting applicator is applied, you will be able to rest, read, or catch up on work. You are welcome to use your phone or computer during the session. We do our best to ensure you are in a comfortable position for the duration of the treatment.
What are the potential risks associated with CoolSculpting?
Most of the risks associated with CoolSculpting are minor and of a short duration. Patients can expect to have some discomfort associated with initial placement of the vacuum applicator, including pulling, pinching, tugging and pain. This usually improves quickly at the area becomes numb with the cold temperature. In the weeks following the procedure, patients can experience temporary numbness, itching, tenderness, and/or muscle soreness in the treated areas. Some patients experience delayed pain symptoms. It is rare that patients experience freezing injury to the skin, darkening of the skin or an enlargement in the treatment area. Our providers are available to address any concerns before, during and after your CoolSculpting treatment.
What questions should I ask my provider?
You should ask your provider if you are a good candidate for this procedure. For instance, if you have certain chronic illnesses or have a large amount of desired weight loss, you might be better suited for alternate procedures. This is best discussed with your provider since each patient brings a unique history and set of goals.