CoolSculpting® is a revolutionary treatment that can help you shed stubborn fat from your problem areas. Read this article by Dr. Majewski to learn whether this FDA-approved, non-surgical treatment would be right for you.
CoolSculpting®: Is It Right For Me?
Many of us have problem areas – those places with a few extra pounds that no matter how much kale we eat or how many steps we get on our FitBit, we just can’t seem to shed. Men and women alike struggle with stubborn fat and often look to plastic surgeons for answers.
My patients love CoolSculpting® (sometimes referred to as fat freezing) for eliminating fat in problem areas. CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive technology designed to decrease the thickness of fat in treated areas. With virtually no recovery time, no incisions and no scars, it’s a great option for healthy, active people who want to feel more confident in their skin—without undergoing a major surgical procedure.
I’ve been treating patients with CoolSculpting® for several years and am proud to offer it at Majewski Plastic Surgery and Spa at the Reserve.
A Brief History of CoolSculpting® Technology
CoolSculpting® technology was invented based on an observation that children who consume ice popsicles sometimes develop dimples in their cheeks. Further studies confirrmed that cold temperatures break down fat cells while leaving types of tissues, including skin cells, intact.
This discovery led to the invention of the CoolSculpting® device, which delivers cold to tissues in a very precise and controlled manner, permanently removing fat without causing any damage to the surrounding tissues.
How CoolSculpting® Works
The device doesn’t actually freeze the fat, but rather, cools it down, which initiates a cascade of events that eventually leads to the natural elimination of the fat cells. This process of freezing and eliminating fat cells is called cryolipolysis.
Because patients eliminate the fat cells naturally over a period of time, there are no detectable changes in blood levels of cholesterol, lipids, etc. The remnants of destroyed fat cells are naturally eliminated by the same types of cells that are normally responsible for removing other dead cells from the body.
Is CoolSculpting® Safe?
The CoolSculpting® technology has been extensively studied and received a FDA clearance in 2010. Since then, the number of treatments has been growing exponentially around the globe (more than 6 million worldwide).
In the U.S., the procedure is currently approved for the treatment of abdomen, anks, “bra rolls,” inner and outer thighs and, most recently, arms and neck. Other uses have been found to be effective, as well; for example, in the treatment of gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men).
The CoolSculpting® procedure is very simple: cold is delivered through hand pieces that are connected to a highly sophisticated, computer-controlled generator. The hand pieces vary in size and shape, depending on the body area being treated. The treatments are done one body area at a time. Each treatment typically takes 35 minutes and is repeated in four weeks for best results.
Is CoolSculpting® Right for Me?
No procedure can replace what a healthy diet and consistent exercise can do for your body, and it’s important to note that CoolSculpting® (and surgical methods of fat removal) are methods for body contouring, not weight loss.
CoolSculpting® is not for patients who are significantly overweight or obese. It is, however, a great option for people at or near a healthy body weight who are struggling to lose a few stubborn pounds of localized excess body fat.
CoolSculpting® works to break down fat specifically in the areas being treated. If you’re looking to target multiple areas after significant weight loss, or if you have excess skin or loose muscle tissue – such as after childbirth – a surgical procedure might be a better option.
There are two surgical procedures that target fat; liposuction simply eliminates fat, while the more invasive tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) targets not only excess fat, but redundant skin and loose muscle tissue, as well.
You can compare your options in the table below:
If you're interested in any of these procedures, I recommend scheduling a consultation. At your consultation, we will talk through your specific goals and medical history and determine the best course of action to fit your body and lifestyle. Although online research can be helpful, it might not give you a full picture of your options - for example, you might be able to get CoolSculpting® done to target excess fat under your chin or arms, while also deciding to do liposuction in your tummy area.
Do your research, of course, and take some time to determine what your goals are. Then contact us to schedule your consultation so we can get started!
This article was originally published in Jonesboro Occasions magazine, August 2017.