Coolsculpting® 101: Answering Your Top Questions

Woman considering Coolsculpting in Worthington, OH.

Coolsculpting is a non-surgical fat reduction procedure that has taken the world by storm. It is one of the most popular treatments in the country and, yes, even worldwide because it’s a great option for body contouring. 

I must admit that when I first heard about CoolSculpting over 10 years ago, I thought—no way can this be real! It sounds too good to be true—a non-surgical way to really treat fat?! I was skeptical, to say the least. But as the years continued to pass, and the technology improved, I came to realize it is true. It does work! And in 2015, I was so convinced that I added 2 CoolSculpting machines to my practice near Columbus, Ohio—to treat twice as much fat! 

Since many of the patients interested in this topic are new to the world of cosmetic plastic surgery, in this blog, I will answer the top questions we are asked about this revolutionary modality. In this way, I hope you will have no doubt about making the decision to elect to have CoolSculpting at my practice, Aesthetica.  

The Science: How to Kill a Fat Cell 

The story behind the discovery of how to kill fat cells is interesting and, as is the case with many such discoveries, was true serendipity. Years ago,  some plastic surgeons were consulted to care for children who had a deformity in their cheek from eating a popsicle—or more correctly stated, not eating it and having it freeze the inside of the mouth so severely it caused a type of frostbite to the tissues, killing the fat. The plastic surgeons were also researchers, and they surmised that extremely cold temperatures would kill fat, and if this could be done in a controlled way, just the fat cells we wanted to kill would be targeted. So from the lowly popsicle, the idea was born and now we have controlled fat cell destruction with cold temperatures (a process called cryolipolysis).  

With CoolSculpting, instead of a popsicle, an applicator is placed onto the fat and freezes it, causing cell death. The dead fat cell components are then naturally removed from your body in the way all cell waste is flushed out of your system—the kidneys. The process takes a number of days, and after about a month, the new contour is visible.  

Treatment Areas: If We Can Squeeze It, We Can Freeze It 

As the technology has improved and more applicator sizes and types have been developed, the areas that can be treated have increased as well. Our favorite phrase, “If we can squeeze it, we can freeze it!” is still true, but now there are even applicators that do not squeeze the fat but instead are applied to a more flat contour like an outer thigh. But just to keep it simple, the saying is a pretty good way to think about the areas. And for most of us, there are a lot of squishy squeezable areas on our bodies. 

The abdomen is the most popular treatment area, and depending on your anatomy, the applicators are placed above and below the bellybutton to target the maximum area of fat. In your personal consultation with the “fat slayers,” they will assess your own unique situation and develop a personalized treatment plan for you to get you to your goal. 

The Fat Slayers 

I would be remiss if I did not mention the importance of the “Fat Slayers” in achieving the best result. Their experience and expertise in both the assessment and treatment of your fat are crucial to the successful outcome. And at the A-team, we have 2 of the very best. They have both been doing CoolSculpting for years and are certified. This means you have the confidence that your session will lead to the very best outcome possible.  

You can see how well our Fat Slayers use CoolSculpting to freeze the fat in the before and after pictures below:

A 51-year-old female's bare midsection before and after CoolSculpting treatment.

Check out my photo gallery to see more amazing CoolSculpting before and after pictures.

What Is DualSculpting? 

At Aesthetica, we have 2 machines, so what this means is you can be treated twice as fast. Envision doing both of your upper arms at once—in just 30 minutes you are done and out the door. Or how about doing both muffin tops at the same time. I bring up these two scenarios because I personally have done both of these areas with the dual sculpting option. GET ‘ER DONE! 

How Cold Does Fat Freezing Get? 

Many of our patients are nervous at first that the treatment will be painful. But I can attest that it really doesn’t hurt at all. The feeling is a bit odd for a few minutes as the process starts, but then the area goes numb and you do not feel anything. Afterward, it is sore though, like a bruise would feel. I was actually happy to feel the soreness because I knew that meant my fat cells were history. Bye-bye, fat! But unlike a surgical procedure, there is no downtime. You can leave and resume all your normal daily activities immediately. That aspect is crucial for busy patients who just can’t find the time to do a surgical fat reduction—called liposuction

What If I Really Need Lipo? 

The best part about being a plastic surgeon who has 2 CoolSculpting machines is that I will tell you honestly if you would be better off with the liposuction. There are patients that I do tell this because the amount of CoolSculpting that would be needed for them to achieve their goal would be so many cycles, it would take years! You can read more about the liposuction versus CoolSculpting dilemma in my related blog post.

Sometimes I recommend a tummy tuck or arm lift instead of lipo or CoolSculpting. Again, with the ability to offer the entire range of body contouring techniques—both surgical and non-surgical—you do not have to worry that you will not know about all your options. We will educate you about your options and help guide you on the best path. 

What Is the Best Treatment for Body Contouring & What Does It Cost?

When we discuss the options, we will go over the cost involved with all of the choices too. Sometimes it is actually less expensive to do the surgery versus the number of CoolSculpting sessions it would take to achieve the desired goal. While it is possible to purchase a single session of CoolSculpting, it is not usually the case, as we treat BOTH muffin tops, BOTH arms, and BOTH inner thighs … and the more areas treated, the less the cost for each cycle. So it can be tricky to give fees for CoolSculpting per cycle, but suffice it to say it is in the hundreds, not thousands of dollars! 

The A-team Has the Experience You Deserve 

At Aesthetica, the entire A-team really hates fat, and we are all trying to do our best to eat right and exercise, but it is so hard to do. We are constantly counseling patients as well on how to fight fat, both before their surgery and afterward. We work as a team to guide you in this journey, whatever your own situation is. The comprehensive expertise and care you will receive from the moment you call our surgery practice and medical spa near Columbus, Ohio, will be evident. So call us at (614) 569-2649 to schedule an appointment or use our online form to request a consultation. We look forward to seeing you soon at Aesthetica! 

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