CoolSculpting® may not be a particularly new treatment on the market, but the buzz around it has definitely intensified in 2022, as more people turn to the noninvasive procedure to achieve their body-contouring goals. With the rise of more accessible (read: nonsurgical) aesthetic treatments and the increased transparency around them (thanks, TikTok!), we don't blame you for wanting to explore what's out there. If you are interested in CoolSculpting® but don't know where to start, allow us to answer all your questions — from whether it may be right for you to what the downtime is like.
What Is CoolSculpting®?
CoolSculpting® is an FDA-cleared, noninvasive procedure designed to reduce unwanted fat bulges. More specifically, it can freeze and eliminate up to 20 to 25 percent of treated fat cells for good. It's not a treatment for weight loss, but it is effective for reducing areas of stubborn fat that may be difficult to address through diet or exercise.
How Does It Work?
CoolSculpting® does not require surgery or lasers to remove fat. Instead, this procedure uses targeted cooling to freeze and kill fat cells (a process known as cryolipolysis, if you want to get technical). It's 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's also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments.
During the treatment, CoolSculpting® applicators will be placed on the treatment area, and there will be a slight sucking sensation as it adheres to your body through light vacuum suction, 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, but these sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Depending on which and how many areas of the body you treat, the treatment can be done in as little as 35 minutes. See Important Safety Information* about CoolSculpting®.
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. Rare side effects, like paradoxical hyperplasia (visibly enlarged tissue volume in the treated area), may develop two to five months after treatment, will not resolve on its own, and may require surgical intervention for correction.
You can see results in as early as one to three months after treatment, as your body naturally eliminates the treated fat cells through your lymphatic system. It all happens so gradually, you won't even notice a difference in your day-to-day life.
Is It Right For Me?
Listen, we all have areas of excess body fat, but if you feel like there's only so much you can do to eliminate those stubborn pockets, even with healthy exercise and diet, this procedure may be a good option. Be sure to talk to a CoolSculpting® provider to learn if you're a candidate.
What's the Aftercare?
The good thing about not going under the knife is that downtime after a treatment is minimal. In the case of CoolSculpting®, most patients experience little to no downtime after treatment. Depending on your body-contouring goals, you may need a series of two or more treatment sessions per area.
How Much Does It Cost?
That all depends on what areas you treat and how many treatments you have, but typically, the procedure will cost anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000 for a personalized treatment plan. A survey of HCP customers showed an average rate of $3,100 for a package of eight treatments. Keep in mind that many patients will opt to treat multiple areas to reach their ideal end result.
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