The persistence of stubborn fat that remains unaffected by toning efforts, regular exercise, and healthy dieting is an issue faced by countless individuals. Liposuction has long been considered an effective solution to shed the body of localized pockets of problematic fat; however, the procedure may not be the best treatment solution for individuals who cannot undergo an operation or simply wish to avoid a surgical procedure. 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.
Who Performs the CoolSculpting® Treatment?
Our CoolSculpting® specialists, Amy, Jessica, Amber and Katie, all have been trained at CoolSculpting® University in California or Virginia. They are all very knowledgeable and eager to assist you with your CoolSculpting® needs.
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, with the most dramatic changes unfolding over the next three to four months.
What is the Difference Between CoolSculpting® and Liposuction?
While both procedures aim to reduce select areas of fat in the body, there are many key differences between CoolSculpting® and liposuction. As a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment, CoolSculpting® is exceptional for fat reduction in a small number of areas. There are no incisions, visible scarring, or downtime associated with this treatment. Many patients who seek to reduce the appearance of their fat bulges with convenience and ease can benefit greatly from CoolSculpting®. For individuals with a significant amount of excess fat, or for those who wish to address several areas, liposuction may be a more efficient solution. Liposuction can usually treat thicker layers of fat and multiple regions at once more effectively. Additionally, liposuction may be a better option when treating fat distribution that is irregular or atypical. This procedure offers a greater degree of surgical control when compared to CoolSculpting®, liposuction may be able to address areas where CoolSculpting® cannot.
Time is also a primary factor wherein the two methods of fat reduction differ. For individuals who would like their enhancement to be apparent within a certain time constraint, liposuction is generally the more effective choice. Results from liposuction can be immediately noticeable, while the final outcome of CoolSculpting® will take a few months. After discussing your own unique needs, we can recommend the treatment that will most comprehensively fulfill your goals.
What Areas Can CoolSculpting® Treat?
CoolSculpting® can effectively treat several areas around the body where excess fat stores typically reside. The most successful body regions for CoolSculpting® treatment 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.
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.
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 area. 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.
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 ALPHEON™ 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.
For more information about CoolSculpting®, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery today.