*This is a sponsored post in partnership with CoolSculpting. All views, opinions, and experiences are my own.*
I’m just going to lay it all out there … I’ve done some super uncool or not cool things to lose unwanted fat. From diet pills, lengthy juice cleanses, binge exercising, and eventual eating disorders, I’ve been there and done that. Those are all super uncool right? What is cool is a non-invasive, convenient solution to treating fat.
How CoolSculpting Works
CoolSculpting is a safe, effective, non-invasive fat reduction treatment available across the nation and worldwide. It’s the #1 non-invasive fat reduction technique in the world. Cool right? It is a FDA-cleared class II device treatment that requires zero anesthesia, zero surgery, and zero down time. Now, I want to be clear in saying surgery is not a bad or shameful thing. For some folks, surgery may be a better first option for your body or your needs. Consult with your doctor in determining which path is more suitable for your goals.
CoolSculpting has been FDA-cleared to treat 8 different areas: the submental (double chin), bra fat (front/back), the abdomen (upper, lower, or both), Inner and outer thigh, the “banana roll”, the flanks, back fat, and the upper arm (aka bat wings.
The way CoolSculpting works is by freezing away fat cells. Did you know by adolescence our bodies create all the fat cells we will ever have? After CoolSculpting, your body will not replace the dead fat cells. Your skin, if you didn’t know, comes in layers: the epidermis or outer skin, the dermis (where your sweat glands and hair follicles live), and the hypodermis where your subcutaneous fat cells live. The CoolSculpting technology via cryolipolysis targets your fat cells and freezes them, which starts a process of fat cell death. Fat cells don’t like to be cold, and therefore undergo cell death. This death process does not occur with your skin cells or any other layer of skin. Crazy, right? Now, just like any other cell death process or apoptosis, the dead cells are consumed by macrophages like Pac-Man eating away the dots, yum! They are then absorbed into your lymphatic system and eliminated naturally over the course of approximately 60-90 days.
Over 5000 patients have been treated in over 100 peer-reviewed publications. There are some great scientific reads out there. I enjoyed this overview of CoolSculpting (Stephens, Pietrzak, & Spring, 2013) and this article (Stefani, 2015) discussing fat loss after crylipolysis.
I live in Dallas, TX and consulted about CoolSculpting with Dr. Lori Stetler at Dallas Center for Dermatology. She and I discussed at length what my wants, goals, and needs were for my body. We developed a customized treatment plan based on my body goals and what was realistically attainable. I want to mention something very important and notable: I initially wanted my inner thighs done because you know, thigh gap. My inner thighs are something I’m not comfortable with and have always needed help toning to my liking. She actually told me no. Yes, really. She told me with my body size the treatment would divot my thighs and create a strange look. I couldn’t have been more appreciative of her candor. As much as we want perfection, it’s even more important to have a provider who will give you honest feedback on what is actually possible for you and your goals, not just giving a treatment that won’t deliver ideal results or worse, marred results. It’s critical to openly discuss all of this with your provider.
My Treatment Experience
I’m sure you’re all wondering what does it feel like? Personally, I didn’t find the procedure uncomfortable or painful. I had multiple areas treated in the same day: my flanks, upper and lower abdomen, and the “banana roll.” The banana roll is the area directly underneath your butt line, where your upper thighs meet your butt. In the clinic, we called it the “thutt.” Get it?
Dr. Stetler’s office has two machines, making it possible to treat multiple areas at once – SUCH a time saver! My flanks took the longest – approximately 45 minutes, while the other areas each took about 35 minutes. I took a nap, read some of my book, and worked on my laptop. Talk about multi-tasking!
The treatment itself felt cold, but the gel prep pad was WAY colder! The prep pad is placed onto the treatment area first and helps protect the skin from any damage. The CoolSculpting machine also has patented protection technology that helps monitor the temperature of the skin, essentially protecting the skin from freezing and experiencing frostbite. Once placed on the skin, it feels a little cold and a little pinchy for about two minutes and then becomes numb.
Once removed, the skin is red and literally looks like a block of butter. The “butter” is then massaged out to help break up the fat cells and start the cell death process. This part is a little uncomfortable but not painful. My skin redness went away within a day. My flanks took about 4 days for the redness to completely disappear. I did go run errands right after my treatment, and went to the gym!
I will admit I had some pain the next morning in my flank area. It is possible to have delayed pain after the procedure, which if too intense needs to be reported to your physician. I am very small framed and as I previously stated, the flanks were the longest treated area on my body. The pain was gone the next day and demoted to soreness. All of the other areas on my body felt fine. I did not experience any bruising.
I did experience numbness on my treated areas, but the numbness is continuously disappearing as the weeks go by. There are no lasting sensory alterations or observations of skin damage. You can expect some numbness, tingling, tenderness/cramping/aching, redness, bruising, swelling, itching, sensitivity, or sensation of fullness after your treatment. My treatment areas were swollen for about a week and a half and have now started to visibly tone themselves (results reveal to come!). I alternated using ice and heat on my flanks when I experienced pain, compression garments can help with the swelling although I didn’t use them.
If you are a person who has any form of anxiety, cold sensitivity or chronic pain, please consult with your provider before electing to undergo CoolSculpting.
Other Common CoolSculpting Questions
- Will I gain weight elsewhere?
- It is encouraged to keep up your normal dietary and exercise routines. CoolSculpting does not give you license to just start eating all the things you crave or want. Keeping your normal or healthy diet along with moderate exercise will help deliver and maintain the results you originally had in mind. Should you gain weight, it will evenly distribute throughout your body but less so in the treatment areas.
- Does it damage my skin?
- No. The patented freeze detect technology along with the gel prep pads protect your skin from any damage or frostbite.
- Will I lose weight?
- This is not a weight loss strategy. It is a body contouring treatment option. Think of a potato and a peeler. The peeler helps shave down the potato into a slimmer shape.
- Are there any dietary restrictions?
- There are no dietary restrictions before or after the treatment. It’s not surgery therefore no anesthesia which means you can eat the night before, the morning of, or even during!
- Does it raise my cholesterol?
- No. There are no meaningful trends or change in cholesterol/lipid blood levels, triglycerides or hepatic (liver) panels.
- What is the cost?
- The cost is dependent on the treatment clinic near you. You can find a CoolSculpting office by googling “CoolSculpting near me.”
- When do I see results?
- Results take anywhere from 6 weeks to 90 days to take form with a total fat reduction of up to 20 to 25 percent in the treated area. The better part? Results last for 6 to 9 years!
With all of that being said, what have you done to lose fat? Anything not cool like me? What are your questions about CoolSculpting? Share them with me here or on social using #COOLnotcool!