Do you have unwanted fat that will not disappear, despite spending hours at the gym and maintaining a healthy diet? If so, there is a relatively new procedure available in the Corridor that may be able to help this dilemma.
CoolSculpting, which was cleared by the FDA three years ago, is a procedure that Skin Specialists of Addison has offered since last summer. Dr. Tanya Rodgers of Skin Specialists of Addison recently took the time to explain CoolSculpting and why you should know about this cutting-edge procedure.
What is CoolSculpting and how does it work? CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes a targeting cooling to eliminate fat cells beneath the skin. It is a non-surgical alternative to traditional liposuction and other more invasive liposuction alternatives that gets rid of stubborn tummy bulges, love handles, muffin tops, inner or outer thigh bulges, and flabby upper arm bulges.
During the procedure, a gel pad in placed in the treatment area to protect the skin, then a hand-held vacuum applicator is applied. This gently draws the skin and underlying fat between its two cooling panels. The procedure lasts one hour and results are seen gradually over 4 weeks to 4 months.
One treatment will yield about a 25 percent reduction in the thickness of your fat layer. Some patients will undergo additional treatments [to] lose more, depending on the thickness of their bulge and their desired results.
Why should a person want to get CoolSculpting, as opposed to liposuction or other fat-reducing procedures? CoolSculpting literally freezes away fat cells, causing them to crystallize and undergo apoptosis – programmed cell death. Cells actually die slowly over the four weeks to four months following the procedure. They are not suctioned out with a cannula that has to be inserted into the skin, so there is no risk of bleeding, infection or scarring. Fat cells are not simply heated or dehydrated, as they are with some of the laser assisted liposuction alternatives, and allowed to become plump or grow again. Therefore, results are essentially permanent.
Is there a preferred time to get CoolSculpting? Because CoolSculpting is non-invasive, requiring no cutting or incisions, no anesthesia, no downtime, there is no preferred time for treatment. Unlike traditional liposuction or laser liposuction, CoolSculpting requires no wound care or any change in your activity level.
Who is the best candidate for CoolSculpting? Anyone who has pinchable, stubborn, unwanted fat! It is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing moms. I think CoolSculpting is best for a person who seeks a cosmetic enhancement without the risk. There are absolutely no risks.
What should a patient expect to feel during the procedure? During the first 10 minutes of the treatment, most patients describe a firm pulling sensation combined with extreme cold, “kind of the way it feels if you leave your hand in a bucket full of ice for too long.” Most say that this is slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. At almost exactly 10 minutes into the procedure, for almost every patient, the treatment area becomes numb. This allows you to surf the internet, watch television, or nap during the remainder of the hour.
What should a patient expect after the procedure? Over the next few days to two weeks, the majority describe a slight tenderness or achiness in the area. This typically is mild enough that normal daily activities can be resumed immediately. There is absolutely no downtime—no time away from work or other activities that you enjoy.
Are there any side effects? Occasionally, and especially in a person who is prone to bruising, there may be bruising in the treatment area. This typically resolves within one week. Blood fat or cholesterol levels and liver enzyme levels have been studied—and there are no changes. Because CoolSculpting utilizes only cold temperature to destroy fat cells, there are no risks of exposure to medications or harmful chemicals. There is no risk of a thermal burn. Because the temperature used in CoolSculpting is warmer than that which would cause damage to skin, nerves, or muscles, they are at no risk.
How much does the procedure cost at Skin Specialists Addison? About $700 to $1,400 per treatment area.
For more information on CoolSculpting, contact Skin Specialists of Addison at 972-649-6644.