What is Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting is a non-invasive fat reduction cosmetic procedure that was developed by the scientists from Wellman Center for Photomedicine Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. With such a good standing, this patented technology eliminates fat cells and contours the body by freezing the fat away, without surgery.
This technology uses controlled cooling, called Cryolipolysis, to target, freeze, and kill only the problem fat cells. The fat cells become crystallized and in time dies. There is no damage to the skin, nerves and other tissue around the same area, as this technology targets fats cells only. That is since fat freezes at a higher temperature than normal tissue.
This means that we can freeze and kill fat cells without damaging surrounding tissue. On average one third of fat within the treatment area is destroyed. In the following weeks after a procedure the fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body via your lymph system.
Who is it for?
This procedure is effective to treat problem areas such as love handles, double chin, back and breast area, belly fat, inner arms and inner and outer thighs.
The bad news is that the average person that is interested in this type of treatment is frequently not a candidate. These minimally invasive procedures, whether you freeze, heat, vibrate or dissolve the fat are only effective on younger patients with isolated fat deposits and little or no excess neck skin.
If a patient has fat and skin excess, and you remove the fat (irrespective of the method) you are left with even more excess skin and a worse result. Older patients, such as those over 45, are likely to have a component of skin excess and patients in their 50’s are rarely candidates. These patients will better suited to opt for a face lift or liposuction.
What are the procedure?
The results aren’t noticeable directly after a session. You will only start seeing the results after 2 – 6 months after a session. A follow-up session might be needed.
Benefits of Coolsculpting are no invasion, no scars, no surgery, and no downtime. Also a smoother and more toned skin appearance. Sessions range from 60 minutes to 4 hours depending on the areas being treated.
What are the complications?
Patients normally report a slight freezer burn feeling at first, but this goes away as the area becomes numb and they feel nothing. There might be some pain after the applicator is removed. Most cases the area will feel black and blue for about 3 days, but you will not notice any bruising on the skin.
The success rate is low at around 20 to 25%. With most people not suitable for this treatment, it is understandable that they might be disappointed with the results after such a treatment. For others, this relatively cheaper treatment compared to surgery treatments, can costs more if multiple treatments are needed.
This is true when the areas are treated. For example abs will need 2 hour treatment, then if the love handles are also to be treated, another 2 hours are needed. This could mean either a long treatment session or different sessions.
Furthermore, unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting does not provide body contouring. It is more a general fat reduction. And multiple session might be needed to give the results that is needed, particularly as the candidate’s profile becomes more problematic.
Plus, since it’s a rather new procedure it is not widely available. More problematic is that the long term health effects of CoolSculpting’s aggressive tissue cooling are unknown.