Getting in shape is a constant struggle for both men and women. Even with regular exercise and diet, fat seems to stick around like an old, nagging friend. It reminds you that your efforts are still inadequate to achieve the body you want.
Leading a healthy and active lifestyle remains the best way to get in shape. But, options are now expanding to an effortless and effective way to address the dilemma.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, TX, I have seen firsthand how the advancements in cosmetic surgery are making non-invasive treatments. This includes CoolSculpting, an effective alternative in addressing body issues like unwanted fat. Since 2010, it is now a great option for men and women who seek to get in shape with less effort yet satisfying results.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved, non-surgical method freezes unwanted fat to shape the body. The procedure took after a technique called cryolipolysis. It subjects fat to low temperatures which initiate them to self-destruct in a process known as apoptosis.
Throughout the years, CoolSculpting became a favorable treatment to enhance body contour because:
- It is non-surgical, non-invasive, and safe
- There is zero to minimal downtime
- Patients experience minimal pain and discomfort after the procedure
- It is cheaper compared to traditional surgical fat removal treatments
- It’s quick
The procedure can treat stubborn fat bulges in several problem areas, including:
- Chin or submental area
- Thigh and flank
How CoolSculpting Help Shape Your Body
What makes CoolSculpting unique is its means of shaping the body. It utilizes controlled and precise cooling temperature freezing fat cells underneath the skin. Since fat is more temperature-sensitive than our skin and other tissues, it reacts to the cold temperature. It dies and leaves the body through the lymphatic system.
The treatment uses an applicator that pinches the areas with fat bulges and delivers a controlled cool temperature. This causes the fat cells to crystallize and dissolve. Afterwards, massaging the treated area will help with the swelling. CoolSculpting takes around an hour or so to complete.
CoolSculpting yields subtle but permanent results. The fat cells will not regenerate once eliminated. But even so, this will not stop the remaining fat cells from acquiring fat and cause weight gain. That’s why it is important to maintain or improve fitness and nutritional routine. This will help in preserving the outcome of CoolSculpting and make it long-lasting. Fat migration is also impossible, but untreated areas have a higher degree of acquiring fats than treated ones.
CoolScultping versus Weight Loss
Let’s get this straight: Fat reduction from CoolSculpting is not the same as weight loss. Weight loss is not caused by eliminating fat cells, but by lessening the amount of stored fat in the cells. It is the amount of stored fat that determines the size of your fat cells and body. When you exercise every day and maintain a healthy diet, you burn the stored fat in your fat cells. This allows the fat cells to shrink, thus, allowing you to lose weight.
CoolSculpting, on other one hand, works by removing the fat cells completely and decreasing the number of fat cells available in your body. While it is effective in eliminating fat, CoolSculping is not a weight loss procedure.
Although it may seem that you lost weight because of a slimmer figure, it is not significant compared to the weight loss through diet and exercise. CoolSculpting can help sculpt your body, but it will not make you lose weight.
How effective is CoolSculpting in Shaping the Body?
A session of CoolSculpting can reduce twenty to twenty-five percent of fat in a treated area. But several sessions might be necessary to achieve the best results. Immediate effects are visible three weeks after treatment. Yet, the final results approximately take two to six months to manifest.
CoolSculpting has a patient satisfaction rate of around 60 to 75 percent. There is a decline, though, in satisfaction after six months because of weight gain. As I mentioned, it is important to maintain your diet and exercise habits to prolong its results. Its benefits are only as good as your desire to sustain them.
Is it Safe?
Yes, CoolSculpting is a proven and safe technique for fat reduction. What appeals to patients is its non-invasive nature and the minimal downtime afterward. But of course, CoolSculpting has some side effects that may arise following treatment. These may include:
- Swelling and bruising
- Erythema or redness of the skin
On rare occasions, a condition known as Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH) may arise. It is an adverse effect where the freezing temperature induces the fat cells to enlarge and expand instead of breaking down. PAH is more common in men than in women but is often unreported. Its cause is still unknown and there is no way of telling who is prone to having it.
CoolSculpting is cheaper than Liposuction, but the cost is dependent on several factors. These are:
- Areas that need treating
- Number of treatments needed
- Body type
- Qualifications of the Doctors (Plastic Surgeon and Anesthesiologist)
- Location of the operating facility/hospital/clinic
Health insurances do not cover the treatment cost since it is a cosmetic procedure. Unless it has benefits like Breast Reduction that cures back and shoulder pains. Some facilities offer flexible payment plans that you may ask about upon consultation.
Is CoolSculpting Right For You?
While it is an effective alternative to surgical fat removal methods, it is not for everyone. You may be a candidate for the procedure if you are/have:
- Noticeable and unwanted fat bulges in your body
- Not overweight
- Close to your ideal body weight
- Looking for moderate improvements in your body contour
- Reluctant about surgical procedures
Although it is a safe procedure, you shouldn’t try it if you are/had/have the following conditions:
- Undergone recent surgery
- Eating disorders
- Cold agglutinin disease
- Lymphatic system diseases
- Paroxysmal Cold Hemoglobinuria
Is CoolSculpting Worth It?
If you qualify as a patient and has realistic goals and expectations from it, CoolSculpting can be worth it. Likewise, it is most effective with an experienced and skillful plastic surgeon, proper planning and several sessions to get the best results.
I know that getting in shape can be frustrating since there is no easy and fast way to achieve the body you want. Even with advanced surgical and non-surgical procedures, it still needs effort, discipline and time to reach your goals. But with treatments like CoolSculpting, self-confidence translates hard work to your desired figure.
If you are considering CoolSculpting, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to assess and plan your treatment. A board-certified plastic surgeon ensures to meet your goals with satisfying results.