CoolSculpting: What it is and What it is Not

Published on October 3, 2018 by
coolsculpting treatment patient

If you could enhance one thing about your body, what would it be? Would you want to smooth away that muffin top or love handles? Maybe you would desire to sculpt a smoother upper arm or reclaim the coveted thigh gap. No matter what your body contouring goals might be, it is likely CoolSculpting can help you get there. This treatment offers a wealth of potential benefits to the right candidate. Want to learn more? Check out these basics about what CoolSculpting is – and what it is not.

What it Is: Sculpting without Surgery

Previously, the only way to dramatically sculpt those problem spots of the body like the abdomen and thighs was through surgical methods like liposuction. Under anesthesia, the plastic surgeon makes small incisions in the treatment areas to insert a cannula into the fat tissue. The cannula loosens the fat cells and suctions them out of the body to create a leaner, smoother contour.

While liposuction continues to be a body contouring technique of choice for some patients, others have found that they can achieve their cosmetic goals without surgery. CoolSculpting uses controlled cooling to freeze and destroy fat cells without penetrating the skin, eliminating the need for anesthesia, incisions and a recovery process. Fat cells addressed by the device are flushed out of the body naturally, while results appear gradually.

What It Is Not: Weight Loss Shortcut

Although CoolSculpting is effective in trimming those trouble areas of the body, it is not designed to help you lose a noticeable amount of weight. If weight loss is your goal, it is best to focus on that process first, before pursuing your CoolSculpting treatment. Once you reach your target number on the scale, CoolSculpting can help you eliminate residual areas of fat that are interfering with your final result and your ability to fit into those smaller clothing sizes comfortably.

What it Is: Scientifically Proven

The science behind CoolSculpting began with popsicles. Harvard scientists noticed that children that ate many popsicles started to lose some of the fat in their cheeks, and the study began. Cryolipolysis is the technology that freezes fat cells through the delivery of controlled cooling. It is this technology that jumpstarted the idea behind CoolSculpting.

The scientists discovered that fat cell freeze at a higher temperature than other cells in the body, allowing for the fat to be destroyed without damaging surrounding skin and tissue. The CoolSculpting device is designed to deliver those temperatures directly to the fat cells in the area to be reduced. Treated fat cells crystallize and die off, allowing them to be eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system.

What It Is Not: Uncomfortable and Time-Consuming

Using this advanced technology, scientists determined that they could effectively sculpt the body without the need for surgery. The CoolSculpting procedure is comfortable for patients, allowing them to perform activities like reading or watching TV during the treatment. After the appointment, patients can resume their daily schedule right away, with little discomfort or side effects. The noninvasive nature of the therapy makes CoolSculpting one of the most efficient methods of body contouring, as you can undergo your appointment over a lunch hour and return to work with few signs you just had a procedure performed.

What it Is: Effective, Long-Lasting Contouring

The fact that CoolSculpting is not surgical does not shorten the outcome of the procedure in any way. The fat cells that are treated through cryolipolysis are destroyed and eliminated from the body. Since we are born with a finite number of fat cells, the ones that are removed cannot return. However, if you gain weight after CoolSculpting, remaining fat cells can enlarge over time, changing the results of your procedure.

CoolSculpting results do not appear immediately after your procedure. It takes time for the treated fat cells to die off and for the lymphatic system to flush them out of the body. This process allows for gradual results over time, which may look like you have found an effective new workout rather than a cosmetic procedure to sculpt your body.

What It Is Not: Solution for Skin Laxity

Despite its effectiveness, CoolSculpting does have its limitations. If you have loose folds of skin around the areas you want to be treated, it isn’t likely the device will tighten up the dermis. In fact, elimination of fat cells could lead to more pronounced skin sagging. In these situations, our team may suggest a surgical lift procedure that will remove isolated fat tissue while excising excess skin to produce the best body contour possible. Another option is to combine nonsurgical skin tightening with CoolSculpting to create a superior outcome for our patients.

Is CoolSculpting the Right Choice for You?

CoolSculpting offers numerous benefits for the right patient, but it is not the best approach for everyone. At Ciaravino Total Beauty, we will provide you with a complete assessment at your consultation to determine whether CoolSculpting will indeed help you to achieve your body sculpting goals. If CoolSculpting is not the right approach for you, we offer a wide range of surgical and nonsurgical treatments that allow us to tailor your treatment to your needs. Contact our office today at 713-627-1200 to schedule your consultation.