Welcome to Part 3 of The Complete Guide to CoolSculpting. In Part 2 we covered the safety of CoolSculpting and the common side effects. In this part we’ll be looking at how CoolSculpting works and what a typical procedure is like from the patient’s point of view.
CoolSculpting was only approved by the FDA in 2010, so it’s a very new procedure compared to more traditional forms of cosmetic treatment, such as liposuction. What separates CoolSculpting from many other cosmetic treatments is that it’s completely non-invasive.
Through the use of Cryolipolysis, fat cells are cooled and broken down gradually, without causing any harm to other tissues in the body. Cooling fat cells may seem quite extreme but it actually allows for a very natural and controlled cell death that occurs over a matter of months.
The thing that separates CoolSculpting from other similar treatments is that other forms of fat removal involve necrotic cell death, by removing fat using heat, chemicals or ultrasound. The trouble with this approach is that it can be very challenging to target the right tissue depth. Not only this but it’s also possible for other structures near or within the fat layer to be damaged. In contrast to this, CoolSculpting targets only the fat cells so that other tissue is not damaged.
Because CoolSculpting is a relatively new procedure, a lot of people are uncertain about what it’s actually like to have CoolSculpting done. One CoolSculpting treatment takes 1 hour. A CoolSculpting treatment covers one area, which is about the size of your hand. So for example, one “love-handle” would take an hour to treat.
Because patients often need treatment in more than one area, the amount of time it takes to carry out the entire procedure varies, but is usually 2-5 hours in total. Some people find the procedure to be a little uncomfortable but any discomfort is usually mild and very tolerable.
A lot of surgeries are equipped with flatscreen TVs and wi-fi to make the experience that much more comfortable and relaxing for patients. After the procedure is done, patients will experience a 20-25% fat reduction in the treated area, although this isn’t apparent immediately.