The persistence of stubborn fat that remains unaffected by regular exercise and healthy dieting is an issue faced by countless individuals. CoolSculpting® by ZELTIQ™ is an innovative technology that can reduce isolated regions of stubborn fat without the need for surgery or downtime. With advanced controlled-cooling technology, CoolSculpting® targets areas of excess fat around the body and gently freezes away unnecessary fat cells for a noticeable and natural-looking result. Each CoolSculpting® session typically yields an average 20-30 percent reduction of fat bulges in the treated area, with certain patients able to achieve further improvement by undergoing additional treatment sessions.
What is CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® is a revelatory fat reduction treatment by virtue of the fact that it does not require any incisions, needles, anesthesia, surgery, or recovery time. The treatment generally involves very little discomfort, if any, and patients often spend their procedure time on their phones, working on a laptop or tablet, reading, or watching movies. Each CoolSculpting® session typically lasts only one to two hours, depending on the number and size of planned treatment areas. After the procedure, noticeable fat reduction is gradual, and can often be seen in as little as three weeks. The most dramatic changes typically unfold over the next three to four months.
Our CoolSculpting® specialists, Amy, Jessica, and Amber, have all been trained at CoolSculpting® University in California or Virginia. They are all very knowledgeable and eager to assist you with your CoolSculpting® needs.
How Does CoolSculpting® Work?
CoolSculpting® works according to similar scientific research that resulted in the popularity of cryotherapy, which has been used for years to treat a variety of physical ailments. However, unlike cryotherapy, CoolSculpting® is performed for cosmetic purposes rather than medical reasons. Through a technology known as Cryolipolysis™, CoolSculpting® is designed to emit very cold temperatures to fat cells in the face and/or body. These fat cells are uniquely susceptible to the effects of cold, allowing them to “freeze” while the surrounding skin and tissue remain unharmed. CoolSculpting® then breaks down the targeted fat cells, which are naturally metabolized by the body to achieve a gradual contouring effect over time. In this way, CoolSculpting® can smooth bulges of excess fat without needles, surgery, or major downtime.
What Areas Can CoolSculpting® Treat?
CoolSculpting® can effectively treat several areas around the body where excess fat pockets typically reside. The most successful regions for CoolSculpting® have substantial fat accumulation and are unaffected by exercise or “working out” the targeted area. Popular regions for CoolSculpting® may include:
- Flanks, or “love handles”
- Gynecomastia (male breast development)
- Buttock crease
- Inner and outer thighs
- Mid-back (bra area)
- Inner knees
- Double chin
The abdomen is one of the most common CoolSculpting® treatment areas. While the procedure can reduce the layer of fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat), it should be noted that CoolSculpting® cannot address visceral fat stored inside of the abdominal cavity around the intestines. Visceral fat can cause a bulging appearance in the abdomen and patients wishing to reduce these internal collections of fat are generally recommended to undergo weight loss prior to CoolSculpting®.
Similarly, CoolSculpting® may be able to address male breast development as a result of excess fat, but the treatment cannot provide improvement for gynecomastia caused by glandular breast tissue. For these patients, a surgical male breast reduction procedure may be necessary to yield the desired outcome. Our trained staff can help you determine whether CoolSculpting® for a particular area would benefit you.
Subcutaneous Fat vs. Visceral Fat
CoolSculpting® can be a powerful way to remove excess fat without surgery; however, this technology is only designed to treat one type of body fat: subcutaneous fat. This refers to the fat layer located directly on top of the muscle, just under the skin. Unlike visceral fat, subcutaneous fat is visible and “pinchable.” It’s susceptible to dieting and exercise, which means physical activity and a nutritious diet may be able to successfully shed excess subcutaneous fat. That said, subcutaneous fat can also be stubborn and remain in place despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For this reason, countless individuals opt to complement their efforts with clinically-supported fat reduction treatments like CoolSculpting®. However, this type of fat differs from visceral fat, which is found between our internal organs and within the abdominal cavity.
Visceral fat generally poses a greater risk to your health when compared to subcutaneous fat, as it can accumulate in the arteries and quickly raise your blood pressure. While CoolSculpting® can effectively reduce subcutaneous fat, these methods of fat reduction do not usually affect visceral fat. This is why certain patients who have already undergone fat removal treatments may still retain the appearance of belly fat. Dieting — especially intermittent fasting — exercise, and lifestyle changes are typically required to get rid of visceral fat in the abdomen, although CoolSculpting® can be pursued as necessary to contour the overlying subcutaneous fat.
Who is a Candidate for CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® is not designed to be a weight loss procedure; therefore, ideal candidates will have pronounced areas of fat accumulation, but otherwise be at or near a healthy weight for their body stature. Additionally, CoolSculpting® treatment is most successful in individuals with a suitable degree of skin elasticity.
One of the many benefits of CoolSculpting® is that patients with certain medical conditions that exclude them from undergoing surgical procedures—such as liposuction—may be candidates for this treatment. However, those with a past history of diseases or conditions related to cold exposure are generally not candidates for CoolSculpting®. During a consultation, our expert staff can examine your unique anatomy and medical history to ascertain whether CoolSculpting® is a good option for you.
CoolSculpting® vs. Liposuction
CoolSculpting® and liposuction are two of the most widely utilized fat reduction treatments available. Both can be very effective at smoothing fat bulges, but there are a few notable differences between each procedure that may help you decide the best treatment option for your needs.
CoolSculpting® is generally most ideal for patients who prefer to avoid surgery and who do not mind their results unfolding gradually over time. This med spa procedure can achieve beautiful results, but it’s designed to shed excess fat in the weeks following treatment rather than providing an immediate outcome. Therefore, individuals who are looking for a quicker turnaround may be better served with a suction-based fat removal option like liposuction. Liposuction can not only produce virtually immediate results, but it can also address larger volumes of fat at one time more efficiently than non-surgical solutions. For this reason, patients who are seeking more substantial fat reduction typically attain greater satisfaction with liposuction. A personal consultation is often necessary to confirm the most beneficial body sculpting option for each patient’s aesthetic goals.
What is the CoolSculpting® Procedure Like?
The length of a single CoolSculpting® cycle is between 35-45 minutes. A session depends on how many cycles are needed, which is determined by the size of the targeted area and the number of planned treatment areas. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve the desired result in the area of treatment.
To begin the process, a consultation between you and our friendly staff—who have all graduated from the CoolSculpting® University—can determine which area(s) will be treated. During the CoolSculpting® session, the applicators are placed on the selected regions. Two panels which deliver the cooling effect are then positioned on either side of the fat bulges in the targeted area. Patients will experience a tug and pull sensation, firm enough to ensure the selected tissue will efficiently cool.
After an initial freezing sensation in the targeted region, patients typically experience numbness for the remainder of treatment. Individuals often relax or engage in stationary leisure activities, such as reading or watching movies, while waiting for their session to finish. Once all of the areas planned for the session have been treated, patients can return home or to work. There is no downtime.
Is CoolSculpting® Painful?
Individuals being treated are usually seated in a comfortable position or lying down during the procedure. There is no anesthesia required. As the panels start freezing the fat cells, patients will initially feel an intense cooling sensation that dissipates after a few minutes. CoolSculpting® is generally comfortable enough that many patients read, surf the web, or relax during the duration of the session.
What CoolSculpting® Results Can I Expect?
For many patients, CoolSculpting® can reduce the treated fat layer by 20% or more. If the patient’s treatment plan calls for a second procedure, an additional 20% (or more) reduction may be experienced. Final losses may be more or less, depending on the patient’s unique anatomy. Noticeable fat reduction can be apparent in as little as three weeks after treatment, with the most dramatic changes occurring after three to four months. After the CoolSculpting® procedure, your body will typically continue flushing fat cells for up to four months. This flushing will not raise your cholesterol or triglycerides.
CoolSculpting® treatment eliminates targeted fat cells, so long-term results should generally remain stable, provided you maintain your weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise. We are all born with only so many fat cells, so if they are flushed out, they cannot grow back. If you gain uncontrolled weight, the fat cells in other areas will expand, but the specific flushed cells in the treated region are gone forever.
While CoolSculpting® does not require a recovery period, a few simple aftercare tips can go a long way in enhancing your results and promoting a more comfortable treatment experience. Your new contours should be revealed in the two to four months after treatment. During this time, it may be helpful to wear leggings, yoga pants, and other compression garments to reduce swelling and discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medications and warm compresses can similarly be utilized as necessary to decrease redness and inflammation immediately after CoolSculpting®. That said, taking pain relievers before your CoolSculpting® session can actually increase bruising, so avoid ingesting ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) prior to your treatment.
In the weeks following CoolSculpting®, it can be helpful to stay active and move around while you wait for your results to unfold. This aids in blood circulation and can facilitate the healing process after CoolSculpting®. Although negative outcomes are extremely rare, be sure to report any serious side effects, such as fever symptoms and changes in skin color, to your doctor.
What Are the Most Common CoolSculpting® Side Effects?
While patients may experience temporary redness, bruising, tingling, or numbness in the areas of treatment, these effects usually subside in the hours after treatment. The non-invasive CoolSculpting® procedure requires virtually no downtime. Patients can typically return to work and resume normal activities immediately.
How Much Does CoolSculpting® Cost?
The cost of CoolSculpting® varies by patient and will depend on multiple factors, including:
- The number of treatment areas
- The number of cycles planned
- The size of the targeted area(s)
CoolSculpting® is often a more affordable alternative to liposuction for many patients, as fees such as anesthesia and an operating facility are not required. Ultimately, the cost of CoolSculpting® will be formulated based on the complexity of your treatment plan. After our staff assesses your unique situation, they will provide a final cost estimate before the start of any treatment. To accommodate the diverse needs of our patients, Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery accepts a wide range of payment methods and works with highly reputable plastic surgery financing companies, such as CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit. These programs offer a variety of low- and no-interest payment plans for qualified applicants to suit your budgetary concerns. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice and speak to a friendly member of our team.
Additional CoolSculpting® FAQs
How safe is CoolSculpting®?
With approval from the FDA to treat submental fat as well as body fat, CoolSculpting® is considered a very safe and predictable non-surgical cosmetic treatment to reduce excess fatty deposits. The most important factor in maximizing the safety of CoolSculpting® is to select a qualified plastic surgeon to conduct your procedure. Rest assured that before your session, one of our CoolSculpting® technicians will check your medical history for any signs of cold-related illnesses or other indications that may suggest CoolSculpting® is not the best option for you.
Who can perform CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® should be performed by a medical professional with certified training in the cryolipolysis technology created by ZELTIQ™. One way you can distinguish a qualified CoolSculpting® technician from an untrained provider is by asking whether he or she has attended CoolSculpting® University—a one-of-a-kind training program held by ZELTIQ™ at their main headquarters. All of our CoolSculpting® providers have completed the program at CSU and are well-qualified to achieve your fat reduction goals with this advanced technology.
How cold is CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® targets fat cells at minus 11 degrees Celsius, a temperature determined by Harvard’s scientists to perfectly freeze fatty deposits while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. In addition, CoolSculpting® is designed with Freezedetect™, a patented safety mechanism built into the CoolSculpting® machine that can alert your provider of any temperature errors to help ensure optimal control during treatment.
How many inches can you lose with CoolSculpting®?
Many patients who pursue CoolSculpting® for the abs, flanks, or hips notice a sleeker, tighter aesthetic after treatment, but CoolSculpting® does not guarantee a smaller waistline. Body contouring is more designed to sculpt and define the targeted regions, rather than reduce their size. If you wish to take inches off your waistline, Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra recommend traditional weight loss before CoolSculpting® treatment, or body contouring surgery.
How much weight can you lose with CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® is a method of fat reduction, not a weight loss procedure; therefore, shedding pounds is not an objective of treatment. You may appear slimmer and fitter after treatment, but this will result from shaping pockets of excess fat—not decreasing your weight.
How often can you do CoolSculpting®?
The most optimal number of CoolSculpting® treatments for your body depends on your cosmetic goals. In general, patients should space their CoolSculpting® sessions at least four to six weeks apart. Your CoolSculpting® technician will work with you to create the best possible treatment plan.
How can I reduce swelling after CoolSculpting®?
While it is normal for swelling to persist for 10 to 14 days after CoolSculpting®, you may be able to accelerate the healing process by wearing compression garments around the treated area(s). If discomfort lingers, over-the-counter pain medication like Ibuprofen can generally manage pain well.
Can CoolSculpting® treat cellulite?
CoolSculpting® is not intended to smooth skin dimpling, but our practice offers treatment with Venus® Legacy to non-surgically reduce cellulite and generally improve the appearance of the skin. Using radiofrequency technology, Venus® Legacy can address depressions in the skin’s surface as well as tighten laxity and diminish wrinkles. Our aesthetic professionals can guide you in determining the best medical spa treatment for your concerns.
How long does CoolSculpting® last?
The outcome of CoolSculpting® can last for a lifetime as long as patients maintain a stable weight and complement their results with an active lifestyle. Since the fat cells surrounding the treated area(s) can still enlarge in the future, weight fluctuation is generally the biggest detriment to long-lasting body contouring.
Does DIY CoolSculpting® work?
It’s critical that controlled-cooling treatments are performed in a professional medical setting where temperatures can be managed by a qualified provider. CoolSculpting® was developed with built-in safeguards that enable the technology to target redundant fat while minimizing the likelihood of frostbite and other complications. With this in mind, undergoing DIY fat-freezing treatments without the necessary medical supervision can be extremely dangerous. These safety protocols can never be replicated by patients on their own, so “at-home” CoolSculpting® procedures are very often ineffective at best and potentially harmful at worst.
Can CoolSculpting® get rid of a double chin?
Yes! A double chin is a very common treatment site for CoolSculpting® by patients who wish to achieve a better contour in their neck and jawline. CoolSculpting® can certainly target fat cells in the submental area, but some patients may require liposuction and/or a neck lift to attain a smooth, tight result depending on the distribution of fat and the quality of their skin.
Can you get frostbite from CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® was designed with unique safety mechanisms that alert your provider to potential temperature errors and help prevent the machine’s coldness from reaching potentially dangerous levels. This makes the likelihood of frostbite or any other cold-related diseases highly unlikely for good candidates of the procedure.
Does CoolSculpting® involve any risks?
Like every medical and aesthetic treatment, CoolSculpting® may involve some risk of complication for patients who have a history of cold-related illnesses or for those who are not a good candidate for the procedure. These risks are incredibly rare as long as your provider is a qualified medical professional who has ample experience performing CoolSculpting®. As a medical spa team consisting of certified CoolSculpting® technicians and led by two extensively-trained plastic surgeons, our Minneapolis facility has the ability to maximize your safety during and after CoolSculpting® treatment.
For more information about CoolSculpting®, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery today.