Diet and exercise are often touted as the only safe way to lose weight and melt away fat from problem areas. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle does play an enormous role in staying slim and fit, these traditional methods often fail when it comes to resolving stubborn fat in areas like the stomach, hips, arms, and “love handles”.
Some patients choose liposuction to treat localized fatty deposits, but many other patients are looking for a non-surgical option like CoolSculpting to subtly improve body contour and finally resolve stubborn pockets of fat with no pain or downtime. CoolSculpting is a safe and non-invasive treatment that is specifically designed to destroy small areas of localized fat without incisions or surgery of any kind. We offer this treatment in Richmond, VA, to patients who are ready to banish problem areas and regain their confidence.
What is CoolSculpting?
CoolSculpting is a revolutionary cold therapy fat reduction treatment that uses the process of cryolipolysis to target and freeze unwanted fat, destroying the fat cells permanently. During the treatment, the cells will die and the body’s natural metabolic functions will gradually absorb and eliminate them. This process takes a few months, but patients can expect to see a 20-25% reduction in fat in the treated areas. CoolSculpting is not a substitute for diet and exercise or surgical procedures such as liposuction, but it can be a great option for patients who are dealing with isolated areas of fatty tissue. Coolsculpting has the added advantage of keeping skin smooth and tight throughout the process, which is often a concern with liposuction techniques.
Who is a Candidate for CoolSculpting?
While CoolSculpting is minimally invasive and safe for the majority of patients, it is not the right treatment for everyone. Good candidates for the procedure are men and women who are generally healthy and fit but have isolated areas of stubborn fat which do not respond to diet and exercise. Potential patients who are not at a stable weight might not see lasting results and should consider other options or wait until they are at or near their goal weight before proceeding with CoolSculpting. The procedure is excellent for subtle body contouring, but it is not considered a weight loss tool. Patients should have realistic expectations for the procedure prior to treatment and review CoolSculpting before and after photos to gain a better idea of the results that can be expected.
Your CoolSculpting Consultation
Only an expert plastic surgeon can determine individual candidacy, so it’s important to schedule a consultation to move forward with CoolSculpting treatments. Assessing candidacy is not the only purpose of a consultation, however. You will also get an opportunity to meet our talented staff and learn more about the CoolSculpting procedure. The consultation is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you have about CoolSculpting, maintaining the results, or anything that causes you concern. You’ll discuss your goals with our experts, and they will ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you are not, they may recommend alternative procedures to help you meet your needs. It’s a good idea to come to your consultation with a list of questions and be prepared to learn.
The CoolSculpting Procedure
Because CoolSculpting is gentle and non-invasive, no anesthesia is necessary prior to treatment. During each session, the treatment area will first be prepared with a cool protective gel pad that keeps the skin from making contact with the cryolipolysis device. This will prevent the skin from becoming damaged from the device’s cooling capabilities. The unwanted fat will be pulled up and placed between two panels so the device can precisely target excess fat beneath the skin that should be eliminated. As the treatment progresses, the panels cool down and the fat cells are slowly killed off. Patients remain comfortable throughout the process, and many choose to read, watch a movie, or nap during the treatment.
Recovery and Downtime
Following the procedure, patients do not need to take any special precautions and can go back to normal activities right away. Even exercise is not limited following CoolSculpting treatments, and patients are encouraged to remain active following treatment. Some patients will notice mild side effects, which can include mild redness for up to two weeks and mild itching, tenderness, or soreness over the following six to eight weeks as the body heals and eliminates unwanted fat. Rarely, patients may experience bruising, but this is uncommon.
Once treatments are complete and you’re satisfied with the results, it’s very important to continue exercising regularly and to make healthy food choices to help maintain results. By following these recommendations, patients can enjoy long-lasting CoolSculpting results.
How long do CoolSculpting treatments take?
Each session takes one hour per treatment. Many patients decide to have several areas treated at once for convenience, so these sessions will take longer, depending on the number of areas to be treated.
How many sessions will I need for good results?
Some patients are happy with the results of one treatment; however, patients can have multiple treatments if desired, spaced at least 6 weeks apart. Additional treatments can further improve results, and many patients elect to have a series of CoolSculpting sessions. Your provider can advise you on how many sessions you can expect to need to reach your goals, and also advise you on when further treatment will be ineffective.
When will I see the results?
The unwanted fat is gradually eliminated by the body, a process that takes about eight to sixteen weeks to complete. Therefore, patients should not expect to see results right away. The treated area will slowly shrink, and patients should see a total reduction of about 20-25% reduction in fat from the treatment once the body has finished the metabolic process. The area should also exhibit improved contour. CoolSculpting reviews are generally very positive, and patients love the results they achieve over time.
Could the fat come back?
Fat treated through cryolipolysis is destroyed and cannot come back. However, it is still very possible to gain weight following CoolSculpting treatments, since the remaining fat cells in the body can continue to expand. Patients should be dedicated to maintaining the results of the procedure after each session, as well as once the treatment series is over. Patients who are successfully able to maintain a stable weight after CoolSculpting enjoy long-lasting results from the treatment.
Is CoolSculpting painful?
Most patients find the treatment very comfortable, and many enjoy reading or napping during the procedure. However, there will be a very cold sensation and suction initially, but this will fade quickly as the treatment gets underway. After the treatment is complete, many patients experience a tingling feeling as the tissue warms up.
What are the possible CoolSculpting risks?
CoolSculpting has been tested extensively and has been found to be very safe. There are no serious risks or complications, and patients experience some redness, soreness, bruising, and itching at the most. CoolSculpting side effects fade as the fat is absorbed by the body. Very rarely, some patients may experience uneven fat reduction from the treatment.
What areas can CoolSculpting treat? How many sites can be treated at once?
The procedure can be performed on many different areas of the body, including CoolSculpting arms, the stomach, hips, back, and “love handles”. During your consultation, you’ll discuss your areas of concern and see if it is possible to treat all of them in one session, or if you’ll need to break the treatment up.
Talk to a CoolSculpting Expert
If you think you might be a good candidate for CoolSculpting, then your next step is to talk to an experienced plastic surgeon. If you’d like to discuss your body contouring goals with our experts at American Self in Richmond, VA, call 804.290.0060 to schedule your consultation.