Coolsculpting : Understanding the procedure and benefits
What is Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting or cryolipolysis is a procedure to remove stubborn fats from the body using cold temperatures. It is a non-surgical procedure that does not involve cuts and incisions in the body. The process can destroy the fat cells just below the skin’s surface.
Facts of Coolsculpting
- Coolsculpting is the brand name of the device that carries out cryolipolysis
- Coolsculpting is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved cosmetic treatment.
- It is based on the fat-freezing technique called cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is freezing fat cells to the point of destroying them.
- Coolsculpting targets body fats that cannot be removed by exercise and diet.
- It mainly targets body fats in the chin, abdomen, sides, inner and outer thigh, and upper arms
The doctor uses a hand device having applicators to perform the procedure.
- The doctor first applies a gel pad and the applicator on the chosen area for fat removal.
- The applicator provides regulated cooling to the targeted area
- The device is then moved slowly over the skin surface of the targeted fat
- After the procedure, the doctor massages the treated area to disintegrate frozen tissue. Massaging helps the body better absorb the damaged fat cells.
- The entire process takes about one to three hours
Mechanism of Coolsculpting
- Coolsculpting uses the cellular response to cold to destroy the unwanted fat tissues.
- It extracts the energy from the fat tissues inducing them to die without affecting the surrounding muscle, nerves, and other tissues.
- Post-treatment, after several months, the digested fat cells are carried away to the lymphatic system to be removed from the body as waste.
Working of Coolsculpting
- Coolsculpting has a high success rate with much satisfaction from most people.
- The treatment only applies to the targeted area without affecting other tissues and does not constrict the skin.
- However, the procedure may not work for people with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet.
- Coolsculpting works best for people near the ideal weight and with a lower body mass
Benefits of Coolsculpting
- It can treat many body areas
- It is a fast, safe, and non-invasive procedure
- Cool sculpting gives natural results in four to twelve weeks
- It provides permanent results, i.e., it permanently destroys the treated fat cells.
- It is an affordable fat-reduction treatment
- It improves the self-confidence
- It has minimal side effects
- The fat cells destroyed by cool Sculpting are entirely removed from the body and can never return.
- One can get to work immediately after the treatment
- The results seem natural as the fats are removed gradually over weeks
- There is less chance of regaining weight, and the results are long-lasting
- The risk of developing skin bumps is low as the fat cells are destroyed evenly across the targeted skin.
- The body removes the broken-down fat tissues in 4 to 6 months
- The average post-treatment efficiency of cool Sculpting is 20 to 80%in the treated area
Risks and Side effects of Coolsculpting
- Most people only feel tugging during the procedure when the skin is between the two cooling pads.
- The procedure being noninvasive, the patients do not require any recovery time.
- The side effects are minimal and resolve within a few days to weeks post-treatment
- It is normal to get numbness in the treated area for about a month
Side effects of Coolsculpting
Some of the common side effects of Coolsculpting are as follows
- Mild to moderate pain
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle pain
- Loss of sensation
- Pinching sensation
- Slight swelling
- Skin Redness
- Skin tenderness
- Skin sensitivity
- Fullness in the throat
- Scar marks
- Nausea and vomiting
Complications of Coolsculpting
Rare complication of Coolsculpting
- Pain starts several days after the treatment
- Decreased mobility of the tongue and weakness in the lower lip muscle following a procedure involving the chin or neck
- Decreased saliva production after the procedure in the chin or neck
- Changes in the skin color
- Dark skin color(hyperpigmentation) in the treated area
- Freeze burns on the skin
- Hardness below the skin in the treated area
- Sudden changes in fat layering
Infrequent complications of Coolsculpting
- Less than 1% of individuals might get a complication known as paradoxical fat hyperplasia.
Paradoxical fat hyperplasia
- It is a condition in which the fat cells are gradually enlarged in the treated area.
- It is not life-threatening but is quite embarrassing
Who should avoid Coolsculpting
- Pregnant woman
- Nursing mothers
- One who planning to get pregnant
- People with weakened immune system
- Who cannot tolerate the cold
- People with kidney problems
- People with skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis(skin disease)
- People on blood thinning medication(anticoagulants)
- One with pacemakers(devices to help regulate heart function)
- Who is allergic to isopropyl alcohol
- People with chronic pain
- People with an anxiety problem
- One with cold agglutinin disease Cold agglutinin disease is when red blood cells die in response to low temperatures.
Post-treatment care to follow after Coolsculpting
- Wear compression clothing
- One should wear comfortable clothing such as yoga pants
- Should keep moving to reduce the pain
- One must immediately contact the doctor if harsh side effects occur
- The cost of Coolsculpting depends on several factors, such as the size of the treatment area, applicator size, expected outcome, and geographical location.
- Treatment of smaller areas such as the chin, jaw, and upper abdomen that require a smaller applicator costs around 700$ to 900$.
- Larger area viz; lower abdomen requiring larger applicator might cost around 1500$.
- The average cost of multiple area treatments is around 2000$ to 4000$.
- Coolsculpting is a cosmetic treatment, so insurance does not cover the cost
Alternatives to Coolsculpting
Some other methods for fat reduction are as follows:
- Liposuction is better for people who want quick results in a single treatment.
- Liposuction is more invasive, so the risk is higher than coolsculpting.
- It is a fat-reduction technique that uses heat-based lasers to melt fat cells.
- Sculptsure is faster than cool sculpting and covers multiple areas at once within 25 minutes.
- However, the side effects, pain, and risks are similar to that of coolsculpting
- Vanquish is a radiofrequency lipolysis that uses radio waves to kill fat cells.
- It effectively reduces a person’s fat and abdominal circumference.
- Kybella uses an injection to destroy fats under the chin
- It is minimally invasive and may cause nearby nerve injuries causing swallowing difficulty or asymmetrical smile.
- Coolsculpting is a low-risk procedure to remove unwanted fat that cannot be removed by exercise and diet.
- To date, there is only limited research on Coolsculpting, and more research is warranted.
- People interested in undergoing the treatment should consult a healthcare professional to know whether it is the right treatment choice and to prevent unwanted complications.