There are plenty of well-marketed but inefficient weight loss and fat-reduction solutions (or outright scams) out there. But there are also real advancements in technology that can help patients finally achieve the bodies they want and work hard for, including laser treatments and freezing technology such as CoolSculpting®. Even if you’ve heard of CoolSculpting before, you might not know much about it, or if it’s even a legitimate option for conquering stubborn fat. Here’s a crash course on this technology to fill you in.
CoolSculpting is the well-branded name for cryolipolysis, which is a fancy term for “freezing fat.” The practitioner uses a vacuum/applicator that targets the locations of stubborn fat and cools them, which will cause these cells to shrivel up and break down over time. The principle behind this technological breakthrough is that fat cells break down at less extreme temperatures than other tissue in your body. In other words, by using a cold applicator at the right temperature, CoolSculpting can go after stubborn fat cells without damaging other parts of the body.
As with any cosmetic or medical treatment, results will vary depending on the individual case. That said, CoolSculpting has an impressive track record. The brand claims that patients may see “up to 20%-25% reduction in fat layer thickness after a single session,” and that “results may be seen as early as 1 to 3 months after treatment.” Of course, cryolipolysis cannot solve every problem, nor is it a permanent solution. For instance, CoolSculpting won’t tighten up loosened skin, and patients can still regain fat over time, though it might not be the same stubborn fat that CoolSculpting did away with.
Compared to many other types of dermatology cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic procedures, CoolSculpting is relatively low-risk and not at all invasive. This might be why fat-removal methods such as cryolipolysis and laser therapies are gaining popularity, catching up to liposuction and tummy tucks. CoolSculpting does still come with its share of risks and complications, however. These include swelling, minor pain, redness, bruising, and sensitivity near the treated area. In the rarest circumstances, fat hyperplasia (a sudden spike in fat cell count) is possible, but it occurs in less than one percent of patients. Ultimately, the biggest risk or drawback of CoolSculpting is that it might not be as effective or symmetrical as desired.
Because CoolSculpting falls under cosmetic dermatology services, it won’t be covered by the vast majority of health insurance policies. This means that the cost burden falls on the patient. The cost of a single CoolSculpting session will depend in part on the area being treated. On average, the cost will fall somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 per treatment, according to CoolSculpting’s website. And in some cases, more than one treatment will be desirable for the best results.
CoolSculpting may be pricey, but it’s proven itself as an effective way of removing stubborn fat when nothing else will do it. That said, this procedure might not be for everyone. Losing weight and losing fat, while often related, or two separate things. If you need to lose weight, CoolSculpting cannot help. This treatment is only meant to take care of the fat that lingers after you’re already close to your ideal weight (within 30 lbs./13.6 kg according to the site). Be sure to visit a dermatology and cosmetic center to speak with a professional familiar with or qualified in CoolSculpting treatments to find out whether or not you’re a good candidate for it.