CoolSculpting is the brand name for a fat freezing method known as cryolipolysis, a non-invasive procedure that removes fat from specific parts of the body. During CoolSculpting sessions, a healthcare professional uses handheld paddles to freeze fat cells on the treatment site. For most people, CoolSculpting is safe, non-invasive, and pain-free.
Scientists came up with CoolSculpting by observing how fat cells freeze during frostbite. The concept is to kill fat cells by freezing them, causing them to apoptose (trigger programmed cell death) and then get removed via the body’s lymphatic system. CoolSculpting is effective, and usually removes 10 to 25% of fat in targeted areas within one to three months after treatment.
CoolSculpting – like any other medical procedure – is not for everyone. There are some things you should consider before undergoing cryolipolysis.
Who is a good candidate for CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is best for people looking for mild improvements. People who want major changes to their body should look into procedures like liposuction. CoolSculpting mostly removes stubborn fat that does not go away with diet and exercise. It is not a weight loss technique and does not result in dramatic changes unless one is committed to multiple sessions.
Many people have fat bulges throughout their body that simply do not change, despite diet, exercise, and workout routines with the intent to tone specific areas. CoolSculpting can be used to spot treat these areas to remove unwanted fat.
Is CoolSculpting not safe for some candidates?
Again, anyone looking for major fat removal is probably not a good candidate for CoolSculpting and should consider other treatment options.
People who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding cannot undergo CoolSculpting.
As CoolSculpting involves contact with the skin, you should not undergo the procedure if you have any injuries to the skin that are still healing. People with chronic skin conditions should not undergo the procedure at all. If you have psoriasis, eczema, or inflammatory skin responses like hives, CoolSculpting is not for you.
Blood-thinning medications increase your risk for complications, so you should not use CoolSculpting if you’re taking such medications long term. You also should not undergo the procedure if you have medical conditions that thin the blood.
You should also avoid CoolSculpting if you suffer from medical conditions including:
- Cold Agglutinin Disease
- Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria
- Raynaud’s Disease
- Reduced circulation in the treatment area
- History of hernias
- Nerve conditions
- Have any medical devices, like a pacemaker
- Chronic pain conditions
- Severe anxiety disorders
Your doctor will go over your medical history carefully before they clear you for CoolSculpting. It’s important to be honest with your doctor about your health history.
What are the potential risks?
Any medical procedure comes with the potential for side effects. That being said, the vast majority of people medically able to undergo CoolSculpting can do so safely. If a doctor thinks CoolSculpting is safe for you, the chance of complications are low.
In some instances, patient’s fat cells enlarge in response to CoolSculpting rather than dying, so the procedure has the opposite of the intended effect. However, this is extremely rare and only happens in around 0.0051% of cases. Should this happen, it can be corrected with traditional liposuction.
Most of these side effects go away within a few days or weeks, however, and they are also rare. The vast majority of people who undergo CoolSculpting do not have serious complications.
What are the benefits?
CoolSculpting can help boost your self-esteem, especially if you’ve been struggling to remove fat deposits from a particular area. Many people have fat deposits throughout the body, like the belly or love-handles, that do not go away naturally even with diet and exercise. CoolSculpting can help remove these stubborn layers of fat, leaving people feeling good about their bodies.
Another major benefit of CoolSculpting is, as opposed to plastic surgery, it is completely non-invasive. You can return to your daily routine immediately. You are also at a significantly lower risk of scarring, infection, dimpling, and bumps than you would be from other cosmetic procedures.
The Bottom Line
In the vast majority of cases, CoolSculpting is completely safe. While no procedure is risk free, the complication rate for CoolSculpting is very low.
CoolSculpting can be a highly effective way to spot treat parts of your body with unwanted fat buildup. It’s a quick, easy, and mostly pain-free procedure without a long recovery time.
The absolute best way to avoid complications is to work with a certified, experienced medical professional. At BLUSH Beverly Hills, all our doctors and nurses are highly trained on the latest in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. If you’re considering CoolSculpting, we encourage you to get in touch.