What to Expect from Coolsculpting Treatments, During and After
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If you’re thinking about trying CoolSculpting®, here’s a few things you should know.
CoolSculpting® is a fat-reduction treatment for men and women who want to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat in certain areas of their body (see FDA cleared areas for treatment). CoolSculpting® is NOT a weight loss procedure. CoolSculpting® is a non-surgical alternative that has little to no downtime.
CoolSculpting® is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen and flank, along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll) and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments.
The applicator will be placed on the treatment area and there will be a slight sucking sensation as it adheres to your body, followed by that signature cooling effect. During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental or submandibular area treatment. After the applicator is detached, your provider will do a brief massage on the area to break up the treated fat cells and enhance the fat reduction. That’s it!
As you may expect, the CoolSculpting procedure will feel a little chilly. For the first 5 to 10 minutes, you may feel intense cold as the treated area becomes numb. Since most applicators use a vacuum to draw fatty tissue in, you may also feel some tugging, pulling, and/or mild pinching.
Each CoolSculpting® treatment is different, so it depends on which areas of the body and how many of them you plan on doing. Depending on the area, treatment can be done in as little as 35 minutes. The CoolSmooth applicator is discontinued, however some practices may still use it. If you opt to do multiple treatments in a session, expect to spend more time. Some providers have multiple CoolSculpting® machines, allowing patients to do multiple treatment areas at once, reducing the amount of time spent in office.
Yes, you can absolutely multitask during your CoolSculpting treatment. You are encouraged to read, check your emails, take a nap, or whatever feels comfortable for you. You can relax while you say goodbye to stubborn fat.
Because the CoolSculpting procedure is completely non-surgical, it’s typically very easy to return to your normal activities after the treatment. Often, patients go back to work on the same day. When you have a CoolSculpting treatment, there are no needles, no surgery, and no downtime.
While you will see up to a 20-25% fat reduction in the treated area after a single treatment, it depends on the person and the area being treated. Your provider will work with you to determine if additional treatments are necessary to reach your desired goal.
You’ll start to see changes as soon as 1-3 months post-treatment. Final results may take 6 months or more. See the fat-reduction results up close with our Before & After gallery. Check out the results of real patients to see how CoolSculpting® helped shape their bodies after several weeks.
CoolSculpting® uses cryolipolysis, which is just a technical way to say fat-freezing. When fat cells freeze, they die and are then naturally eliminated through the body’s natural process. Don’t worry: This process happens so gradually, you won’t necessarily notice a difference in your day-to-day life.
CoolSculpting® has been cleared by the FDA to effectively treat nine different areas of the body (see the FDA cleared areas below). Clinical trials have demonstrated CoolSculpting® to be safe and effective in reducing fat in certain areas.
Typical side effects after the procedure include temporary numbness, redness, swelling, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, and pain. For a few hours after the applicator is removed, many patients do experience redness in the treated area. In rare cases, this redness may persist for a few days, up to 2 weeks, but it will completely resolve itself.
Because CoolSculpting® is a voluntary cosmetic treatment, it is not normally covered by insurance providers and FSA companies. Check directly with your insurer to learn what is covered under your plan benefits. At Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut we are happy to offer a financing programs for our patients through GreenSky (CoolSculpting).