With the help of celebrity spokespeople such as Molly Sims, the CoolSculpting® treatment has become increasingly popular and taken the cosmetic surgery industry by storm. As a provider of CoolSculpting at my practices in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, and one of a handful in the country to offer DualSculpting™, I can attest to the results it can provide.
However, there are a few aspects of CoolSculpting that the ads fail to mention. As a doctor, I feel responsible for educating my patients about the treatments I offer so they know more than just what is advertised. So in this blog post, I’ll share the aspects of CoolSculpting that the ads don’t mention, and discuss why they help to reveal optimal results.
Your skin will look like a “stick of butter,” but we will massage it away.
Immediately after your treatment, the skin where the CoolSculpting applicator was placed will be bright red and look like a rectangular “stick of butter,” as some patients say. That’s because during the treatment, the CoolSculpting device sucks a fatty bulge snugly into the applicator. This ensures the Cryolipolysis® (fat-freezing) treatment is concentrated to that area and evenly distributed among the fat cells. But don’t worry — the shape won’t last. As soon as the applicator is removed, we’ll rub the treated area of your skin, which is highly elastic, and it will return to its original form.
You will have some soreness, but it will go away soon.
A CoolSculpting treatment does cause some soreness and minor cramping in and around the treatment area. This occurs when the treated fat cells begin to die. Once they’re damaged, your body recognizes those cells as waste and removes them through natural processes. This causes inflammation around the treated area, and thus the soreness. This discomfort will last a few days as your body is working extra hard to remove the fat cells, but it should not affect your normal routine.
You won’t see immediate changes, but results will be revealed in time.
The fat cells that have been frozen take time to die and be removed from your body, so you won’t see results overnight. However, you will see improved results in time. Most patients receive at least 2 treatments, spaced a few weeks apart. However, the treatment schedule depends on the area being treated and the results you desire. Results can appear as soon as 1 month after the first treatment, though optimal results are usually revealed about 4 months after the last treatment. Again, this timeline depends on the treated area and the number of treatments, among other factors.
You won’t lose weight, but you will see slimmer, more toned contours.
CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss treatment. It is, however, a great solution for people who have already reached their weight goals and want to tone those stubborn areas where fat just won’t budge. Most patients who visit me for CoolSculpting have already reached their target body weight but still have deposits of fat in their lower abdomen, love handles, thighs, or under their chin. These deposits are often caused by genetic factors and don’t respond well to diet and exercise. These individuals are great candidates for the CoolSculpting treatment, which can be targeted to those specific, tricky areas. Below is a before and after picture from one of my real patients.
To get the best results possible from CoolSculpting, it’s important to receive the treatment under the care or supervision a medical doctor who has been trained by Zeltiq®. Any staff members performing the treatment, such as a physician assistant or nurse, should also be trained. If a staff member is performing the treatment, the supervising doctor should first discuss your candidacy and goals with you and explain the treatment process in depth.
If you’re interested in CoolSculpting, I invite you to visit our real patient photo gallery to see some of the transformations, like the one above, that our Spokane and Coeur d’Alene patients have seen.