What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting refers to a procedure wherein extreme cold temperatures are applied to the fat layer under the skin to freeze and kill them. The process is called Cryolipolysis. The dead fat cells are eventually removed by the body effectively removing the fat from the body. No incisions or medicines are required while undergoing or after the procedure. The results of coolsculpting are everlasting provided you maintain a healthy lifestyle and don’t put on weight by overeating or by being lousy or a couch potato watching screen with a bag full of chips or popcorn and soda.
Does coolsculpting work for everyone? Let’s see what studies are saying:
- Effectiveness and Safety of Contrast Cryolipolysis for Subcutaneous-Fat Reduction – states that the procedure coolsculpting “is safe and effective and reducing the fat layer and improving body contouring.”
- Safety and efficacy of cryolipolysis for non-invasive reduction of submental fat concluded that cryolipolysis is effective in 77% of the patients who participated in the trial as they showed visible fat reduction.
It is interesting to note that, both the studies were funded by companies who manufactured the tools used for cryolipolysis. In another study “Cryolipolysis for noninvasive body contouring: clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction” researchers saw improvements in 86% of the participants. (This was not funded by parties related to coolsculpting products.)
On the whole, we can conclude that coolsculpting works (for most people) but it may not work for everyone!
Can CoolSculpting be considered an effective weight loss treatment?
Not really. CoolSculpting or liposuction should not be considered as weight loss treatment or management programs. They should ideally be used to get rid of that stubborn fat which you were not able to get rid of with regular diet and workout.
Some people have stubborn fat on the sides of the hip and on the lower back. Some may not be able to effectively shed the fat on their thighs or buttocks or in the tricep area. Fat removal procedures should be used to get rid of fat in such areas. However, blame the laziness of people or the willingness of doctors, they are being used and advertised as weight loss procedures.
How long do the results of coolsculpting last?
Forever! The results of coolsculpting is forever because the fat cells die after applying freezing temperature. However, they do come back if you don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle and food habits. Ultimately, the effectiveness and result of any weight loss program is in your hands.
Coolsculpting side effects
- Redness and swelling (kind of bruising) in the areas where the cold temperature is applied.
- Stinging or tingling sensation
- The area may be tender to touch.
These are very minor side effects which will subside without any medicine. Should you have a lot of pain, talk to your cosmetic surgeon, he/she may put you onto pain medication.
Are there any risks associated with this procedure?
Not really. Less than 1% of the patients have seen any negative effects of the procedure. In a very small percentage of people, paradoxical adipose hyperplasia may happen wherein the volume of the fat cells may increase after the procedure. This is seen more often in male patients than females. (Still the chances remain less than 1%). The exact reason why this happens is not known. This is not really a bad thing for your health in any way but when it happens, a liposuction may be needed.
Who should NOT go for coolsculpting?
- If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should not consider any type of cosmetic procedures for any part of your body.
- If you have a problem of blood clots. The problem of blood clots has become more prevalent after Covid. You need to have a good health check by your doctor before the procedure is performed/scheduled.
- If you have cold urticaria
- If you have hernia or had a hernia surgery recently near the site of fat removal.
- If you are infected or have open wounds and are taking medicines to heal.
- If you have any kind of neuropathy (weakness of nerves etc)
- If you have any type of skin problem such as lesions, psoriasis, rashes of any type etc.
You will be evaluated by your cosmetic surgeon when you go for a consultation but this information should help you decide whether to fix up an appointment with one.