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CoolSculpting and How It Works for Stubborn Fat Deposits

Is CoolSculpting Approved by Physicians?

CoolSculpting was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 as a non-surgical body contouring technique. It was invented by two dermatologists, Dr. Dieter Manstein and Dr. Rox Anderson, both of whom are affiliated with Harvard Medical School. From natural observations about cold skin temperatures and fat loss, they developed the concept of cryolipolysis, or the removal of fat cells by deliberately freezing them.

David Smart, a dermatologist who practices at University of Utah Health Care, believes that CoolSculpting can work well in many cases. He recommends that candidates for the technique be actively working on fat reduction through exercise and not be more than thirty pounds overweight. CoolSculpting works best on areas of stubborn resistance to fat loss like 'love handles' and belly fat.

What is the Procedure for CoolSculpting?

Use of the Zeltiq device is the patented method of applying a CoolSculpting treatment. The device is made of several different sizes of hand-held pieces that use vacuum suction to cool skin enough for the underlying fat to freeze. The procedure is done by a trained specialist under the supervision of a cosmetic surgeon. Gel is applied to the targeted areas and the technician uses the suction device to cool each section to 4 degrees Celsius.


Since fat cells freeze more rapidly than other types of cells, this procedure doesn't damage the top layers of skin. Typically, 20 to 30 percent of the underlying fat cells are frozen with each treatment. Sometimes extra treatments are needed and, in rare cases, the remaining fat cells can expand, reducing the positive effects of the fat removal. It's recommended that you wait two to three months before having a second treatment.

Good Candidate for the Technique?

Keep in mind that CoolSculpting isn't a weight-loss treatment. It's designed to sculpt those areas of the body that are stubbornly resistant to losing fat. It works best for someone who's in reasonably good shape, and the fat will stay off with moderate exercise. CoolSculpting is useful for areas of the body like inner and outer thighs, buttocks, abdomen and upper arms; these areas sometimes hold onto fat even when a person is otherwise fit.

What Kind of Results Can Be Expected?

In can take two or three months to see the full effects of the treatment. In the initial freezing, fat cells crystalize and die off. It takes time for them to break down and be eliminated by the body. Your best bet is to check out your CoolSculpting provider to make sure that a licensed, experienced technician will perform the procedure. You want to find someone who has a good eye for body sculpting and has had the appropriate training on the equipment. Good diet and exercise are the first lines of defense against unwanted fat. Remember that, if you gain fat after a treatment, it has to go somewhere.


CoolSculpting Side Effects?

CoolSculpting will make the treated areas extremely cold while it's being applied. But don't worry because during the treatment, sensors will automatically shut down the suction device if the temperature dips below a safe range. The skin and underlying fat are sucked up into the cup-like Zeltiq device, and you'll have a raised area on the skin right after the procedure.

After a CoolSculpting session, some redness and tenderness may remain in the area. The feeling has been described as the same level of discomfort you might have from a bruise. There could be some numbness in the area as well, but these negative effects disappear after two to three weeks.

Price of CoolSculpting Treatments

The cost of the treatment will vary depending on where you live, but it can be as much as $750 for each area treated. For larger applications, CoolSculpting can run as much as $1,250 per session. Full treatment in several areas with repeat sessions can cost several thousand dollars.

Is CoolSculpting Right for Me?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive method of reducing the layer of fat beneath your skin. It will remove about 25 percent of the fat, making it useful for treating areas where it remains even after regular exercise. It's not a weight-loss tool, but a body-shaping technique that can reduce fat deposits in areas like the inner thighs, abdomen and love handles. It may be a good choice for you if you're following a healthy diet and exercising regularly but still can't get rid of excess fat in a couple of areas.

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