Almost all adults, at some point in their lives, have considered going through a medical procedure to help them lose weight. Sometimes, no matter how intensive your exercise and diet regimen are, there’s just some stubborn fat that’s very difficult to remove.
The most well-known fat removal procedure these days is liposuction. This surgical process can be daunting, though, especially for people who are scared to go under the knife. While newer lipo approaches have been developed, they’re still considered relatively invasive. Plus, you’ll need to take antibiotics to prevent infections.
Fortunately, there’s another type of cosmetic surgery procedure that’s non-invasive, and it has a faster recovery time. CoolScupting is an innovate new method that will change the public perception of cosmetic fat removal.
This FDA-approved fat reduction method is medically called cryolipolysis. Unlike liposuction, which entails making incisions on the patient’s skin, CoolSculpting is non-invasive. It’s done on top of the skin, which somewhat removes the fear factor.
You should be aware that this process isn’t a method for consistent weight loss; it won’t encourage more weight loss over time. It’s used for a one-time removal of stubborn fat in key areas, such as the abs, love handles, inner and outer thighs, back, upper arms and beneath the chin.
While the procedure is gaining popularity within the cosmetic surgery industry, you should still make sure that your clinic has the proper equipment and credentials to perform it. If you’re in Idaho then you can approach the Rindfleisch Family Practice, who specialize in cryolipolysis.
CoolSculpting works by sandwiching a roll of fat between two panels and cooling it to a freezing temperature. This breaks down fat cells, which are then excreted through the liver within weeks of treatment.
The freezing temperature doesn’t affect the other cells in the area. This means that the process doesn’t damage the skin or underlying tissues.
There is little preparation required before you undergo CoolSculpting. Keep in mind, though, that you need to stop taking blood-thinning medications weeks before the surgery schedule to avoid excessive bruising.
During the procedure, the physician will clean the treatment area and apply topical anesthesia to minimize pain and discomfort. A cooling gel will also be smeared on the surface of the skin. Then, an applicator will be placed on the area, which vacuums the skin. This leads to an even and targeted treatment as the device freezes fat cells.
At the beginning, you may experience an intense cold sensation. However, this feeling will dissipate within five to ten minutes of the hour-long procedure. Depending on your weight goals, you may need several sessions to reach the desired results. Typically, most people need two to three treatments with visible results within three weeks.
Because it’s a non-invasive procedure, you can resume your routine. Nonetheless, there may be mild to moderate pain due to bruising and swelling, depending on your pain tolerance. The discomfort should disappear within a couple of days. You must also avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications for six weeks.
The price of the procedure depends on several factors, such as the size of the equipment as well as the skill and expertise of the doctor. Your geographical location can also influence the cost of cryolipolysis, due to accessibility of the necessary supplies. Moreover, you should estimate the number of sessions that you’ll need to come up with the overall expected expense.
Fat reduction in smaller areas, like under the chin, costs about $700 to $900 (USD). Bigger body parts, which utilize larger applicators, may require $1,200 to $1,500 for each session.
Benefits Of CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting is a viable option for people who want to eliminate stubborn fat in areas that don’t cooperate with diet and exercise. You can tone your arms, abs, back and thighs through this procedure and boost your confidence.
The following are some benefits that you can enjoy from this process:
The primary advantage of CoolSculpting is that you don’t need to go under the knife, unlike with liposuction. There also won’t be any insertion of instruments or medical devices into your skin, since the procedure only requires freezing fat cells on your target areas, not physically removing them.
The thought of getting incisions or having tissues removed to achieve your desired body can be scary. Luckily, you can choose a less invasive route with cryolipolysis.
2. Zero to Minimal Pain
Since CoolSculpting is non-invasive, you won’t have to deal with intense pain post-treatment. Depending on your tolerance level, though, you may feel a little discomfort right after.
Again, you may experience bruising and swelling, but these should disappear after a few days. Plus, these side effects shouldn’t get in the way of your normal activities; the initial discomfort normally fades quite quickly.
3. Faster Recovery Time
There won’t be any need for significant downtime after going through this procedure, meaning you can go back to office work or doing household chores very soon after each treatment. The average recovery time is about five days. Of course, the ease with which your body can recover depends largely on your health, so you should take good care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
4. High Success Rate
Another benefit of CoolSculpting is that it has a high success rate. This means that a majority of patients who undergo this procedure report a significant fat reduction.
In a study to check the clinical efficacy of cryolipolysis, researchers found that the procedure was effective in reducing fat by 25.5 percent after six months. There also wasn’t any long-term damage to the skin.
5. Treat Multiple Areas
One of the best things about this fat reduction method is that you can target specific areas that you may be unhappy with. Stubborn fat on your abs, back, arms, and thighs can be frozen away with ease and precision.
You can even have multiple sessions on various parts of your body to enjoy the results more quickly. This way, you can have your dream body as soon as possible.
6. Permanent Results
Lastly, the results are relatively permanent, as long as your weight remains stable. Breaking down the existing fat cells doesn’t prevent new cells from developing – that much is up to you, but those which the procedure has removed won’t come back.
The procedure will be rendered useless if you keep on munching down junk food. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to the return of fat in vulnerable areas. You should continue eating healthy and exercising regularly, such as going for a daily run, to supplement the fat reduction process.
Possible Side Effects
Of course, as with any medical procedure, you should still be aware of the risks that cryolipolysis entails. Again, the manifestation of these signs depends on your genetic makeup.
These are some possible side effects that you may encounter:
1. Tugging Sensation
During the treatment session, the doctor will sandwich your skin between two cooling panels. With this, you may feel a tugging or pulling sensation while the applicator is working. The process can take about an hour or two, so you have to endure the discomfort for this period. It won’t be agonizing, though, because topical anesthesia is applied to the target area to discourage pain.
2. Stinging or Aching
You may also experience stinging or aching on the treatment site. A probable cause may be the pressure that’s put on your skin during the session.
The usual time when patients report these sensations is immediately after the first treatment. Don’t panic, though. It’s a normal side effect that affects most patients who go through cryolipolysis, and it’s nothing to worry about.
Avoid taking or applying medication for the pain; the symptoms reportedly disappear completely within two weeks after the treatment.
3. Redness, Swelling, and Bruising
Other possible side effects are redness, swelling and bruising. These may be due to the exposure of your skin to freezing temperature, which may lead to a very mild case of frostbite. Fortunately, these symptoms are temporary and will disappear once you’ve completed all recommended treatment sessions.
Here are some ways to alleviate redness, swelling, and bruising due to CoolSculpting:
- Apply a Soothing and Moisturizing Gel – Aloe Vera is a great organic remedy to redness and swelling. It can soothe the affected area and give much-needed moisture due to the exposure to freezing temperatures. Hypoallergenic lotions are ideal as well.
- Cover the Area When Going Outside – As much as possible, avoid exposing the treatment site to the elements. The skin is still sensitive and recuperating from the procedure, so cover it up when walking outside, especially during winter.
- Don’t Apply Heat Directly – It may seem sensible to warm up the area by placing a heating pad right on top. However, that particular body part is still sore after receiving treatment, and you should try to let it recover naturally.
- Drink Lots of Water – Water can help your body recover quickly. You should stay hydrated to protect your skin, and give it the moisture it needs to replenish its cells, particularly with the treated area.
4. Skin Sensitivity
Sometimes, while there may not be any visual indicators, the skin on the treatment site can still be very sensitive. You should be mindful of the materials that come into contact with that part of your body
You might be required to wear compression clothing or accessories for that section. Make sure you get one that’s hypoallergenic with a smooth material to ensure your utmost comfort until your skin recovers.
5. Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia
Patients who go through CoolSculpting want to achieve their dream body. However, a very small percentage could end up with permanent swelling in the treatment area.
While paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) is a rare side effect, it’s still sensible to be aware of this very real and scary risk. The condition entails a gradual enlargement of the body part that went through cryolipolysis.
It occurs when the process of freezing fat cells activates a reaction in the fatty tissue. With this, the fat cells could have a reverse response. They would thicken and expand rather than breaking down, so the body would have a more difficult time removing them.
Since one of the temporary side effects of this fat reduction procedure is swelling and bruising, doctors can only confirm if a patient has PAH six months after the treatment. A unique characteristic of this condition is that the enlarged area usually follows the shape of the applicator.
You should know that cryolipolysis is the only known cause of PAH. As mentioned above, it’s an extremely rare side effect with an incidence rate of 0.0051%, 51 out of 1.5 million people.
With cryolipolysis, the objective is to decrease the fat cells on the superficial layer of the skin. In PAH, though, the cells in the muscle beneath the fascial plane grow disproportionately and results in a bulge on the treated site.
Some cite injured fat tissue as a possible cause, which leads to unintended stimulation of tissue growth after the treatment. The main objective of the procedure is to destroy fat cells. However, the process mightn’t have killed the target cells and only injured them. This would then trigger the body to repair these cells and lead to fat regrowth.
Genetic factors may also play a role in terms of predisposition to PAH. Similar to keloids, some genes may have the propensity to develop dense fibrous tissue after fat reduction.
One of the primary solutions to this phenomenon is liposuction, to remove deep fat beneath the skin. Another viable option, after going through lipo, is to undergo radiofrequency tightening of the overlying skin or abdominoplasty – also known as a tummy tuck.
CoolSculpting is a viable fat reduction alternative. It’s non-invasive, so you don’t have to worry about incisions or tissue removal to eliminate fat. There’s minimal to zero downtime and pain, which means that you can go back to your regular activities after each session.
You should be aware of the possible side effects, though, before pushing through with the procedure. These range from temporary redness to a paradoxical fat growth on the treatment site. Make sure to speak with your doctor about these side effects and figure out the best course of action.