CoolSculpting® is a fat-freezing technique that seeks to eliminate stubborn fat in specific areas of the body. It uses a procedure known as cryolipolysis. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010.
Scientists came up with the concept for cryolipolysis by analyzing what happens to fat after frostbite (fat freezes at a higher temperature than skin). The cryolipolysis apparatus cools your fat to a degree that destroys it while causing no harm to your skin or other tissues.
CoolSculpting® is a trademarked form of cryolipolysis, a non-invasive, non-surgical medical technique that helps reduce unwanted fat cells underneath your skin. As a non-invasive treatment, it has various benefits over typical fat removal surgical methods.
The popularity of CoolSculpting® as a fat-reduction surgery is growing in the U.S. The FDA granted its approval in 2010. In just three years, CoolSculpting®treatments climbed by 823%, according to a 2013 research study.
How does CoolSculpting® work?
Cryolipolysis isn't surgery, and it doesn't require needles. Between two paddles, the gadget holds the part of your body that your doctor wants to target. The paddles cool quickly, so your doctor will leave them in for 35 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes. During that period, the procedure destroys roughly 20% to 25% of the fat cells in the targeted area.
The full results may take up to a few months to appear; however, you may notice some changes within a few weeks. Over time, your immune system will gradually clear out the dead fat cells.
Some people who perform CoolSculpting®opt to treat numerous areas of the body, notably the:
- Lower back
Cellulite on the legs, buttocks, and arms is also said to be reduced using CoolSculpting®. Some people also use it to get rid of extra fat beneath the chin.
It takes roughly an hour to treat each targeted region. To see results, you'll need additional CoolSculpting® treatments to treat more body areas. Treatments for larger body parts may be more extensive than for smaller ones.
The Effectiveness of CoolSculpting®
Studies indicate that cryolipolysis is safe and effective. Side effects are modest, too, and disappear after a short time. On average, it reduces the amount of fat in targeted areas by 10% to 25%.
While CoolSculpting® marketing would have you believe it's 100% successful and safe, as with most cosmetic treatments, there's a fair amount of variation when it comes to its effectiveness.
Cryolipolysis was shown to be relatively effective in 86% of treated participants across a variety of trials in an older analysis from 2014, which stated that improvements were seen in 86% of treated participants across a number of studies.
However, the authors also note that “body contouring studies” aren’t that easy to conduct because of the considerable diversity in terms of volunteers and their fat loss.
It's also worth mentioning that many studies promoting the procedure's benefits and safety have been funded by firms with a financial stake in it.
CoolSculpting® is, therefore, relatively effective for the general population, even if it isn't 100% effective.
Just keep in mind that individual metrics of “effective” may differ, particularly when it comes to the quantity of fat removed.
How safe is CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® and other cryolipolysis procedures have been approved by the FDA as safe to use.
Cryolipolysis has been found to be a reliable, safe alternative to treatments like liposuction, with few side effects, according to multiple ratings on Trusted Source.
However, because the treatments are new to the market, long-term studies on their effects are scarce.
Risks and side effects of CoolSculpting®
While CoolSculpting® is typically safe, you may encounter some negative effects following treatment.
Side effects from CoolSculpting® are usually brief, moderate, and limited to the treatment area. Patients experience redness, pain, numbness, bruising, tingling, and swelling. Many people report numbness that lasts a few weeks or a delayed tingling sensation.
While additional research is needed to comprehend the problem fully, there is an uncommon but treatable side effect known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), popularly known as the "stick of butter" side effect. In PAH, the treatment area expands in response to CoolSculpting® therapy, taking anywhere from eight to 24 weeks. This is not a medically hazardous side effect, and if it occurs, the expanded fat area can be treated with liposuction.
Is CoolSculpting® worth it?
To enhance benefits and limit the risk of adverse effects, CoolSculpting® is most successful when performed by a competent doctor with careful planning and multiple sessions.
It's also worth mentioning that many of the studies extolling the procedure's benefits and safety have been funded by firms with a financial stake in it.
While this does not mean these studies are fraudulent, it’s an important precautionary detail to bear in mind.
Interested to know what CoolSculpting® could do for you?
Our leading specialists at Aesthetique Med Spa in Oakdale, MN, are involved in the CoolSculpting® method from consultation to treatment. They will help you assess if CoolSculpting® is suitable for you and work with you to tailor your procedure for the safest and most effective results possible.
Call (612) 361-6691 to schedule a free preliminary consultation to see if CoolSculpting® is suitable for you.