Are you dealing with stubborn fat deposits?⁠⁠ Eating well and exercising often but unable to target fat in specific areas?⁠ Wish to address body contour concerns without the downtime and costs associated with surgery?⁠

If you have answered ”Yes!” to any of these questions, you might consider our CoolSculpting device as a treatment option. Keep reading to find answers to some of the most common CoolSculpting questions we receive at our clinic.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that aims to enhance body contours through the reduction of fat. The device delivers precisely controlled cooling to target and destroy fat cells beneath the skin. 

How does it work?

This procedure uses a concept known as cryolipolysis: selective, cold-induced injury to fat cells while sparing the surrounding tissues. The cold causes lipids in the fat cells to crystallize (freeze) which causes the cells to undergo controlled cell death. These cells are then eliminated from the body in the weeks following treatment through a natural immune response. 

What about my skin, will it be affected?

CoolSculpting is safe and can reduce fat non-invasively through the skin. Think of putting a cup of olive oil in the fridge: it will become more solid and less like a liquid, while a cup of water will remain the same. With this device, the skin, muscle and nerves at the treatment site are the “water”, while it is the fat that is the “oil” targeted and crystallized for destruction.

What areas of the body can be treated with CoolSculpting?

Fat deposits in several different areas of the body can be treated using CoolSculpting technology: under the chin, upper arms, back, flanks (sides), love handles, stomach, under buttocks (banana roll), thighs, bra fat in women and chest fat in men.

Can you explain what I will experience during my appointment?

First, your provider will meet with you in a consultation to learn your aesthetic goals, develop a customized treatment plan, explain the procedure, and answer any questions you may have. When you are ready to begin treatment, your provider will place a gel pad and applicator on a specific part of your body. The treatment can be a little chilly; you may feel an intense cold initially, then this feeling will likely subside as the area numbs. You may also feel some mild pulling, tugging and/or mild pinching, as some of the applicators utilize a vacuum to draw the fatty tissue up. With only some mild discomfort, it is possible for you to chill out during your treatment; reading a book, scrolling through your social media, or watching something on your phone. After the procedure, the provider will remove the applicator, then massage the treatment area to inspire greater benefit from treatment.

What is the downtime with this procedure?

This treatment is non-surgical and minimally invasive with very little downtime. Often patients return to work and other daily activities immediately after treatment. Recovery may vary between individuals and may depend on which area(s) you are having treated. In some cases, there may be some side effects following treatment, such as redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping aching, itching, skin sensitivity and numbness, however these are typically very mild and unlikely to affect your normal day to day life. 

When will I see results?

This will vary from patient to patient, and even within the same patient can vary depending on the treatment area. Most patients see results between 2 and 6 months following treatment. Typically patients will continue to flush out and eliminate the fat cells for up to 4 – 6 months following treatment. 

How does this treatment differ from typical weight loss?

Healthy adults have a set number of fat cells. In gaining or losing fat, the number of cells doesn’t change, but their size does. Dieting and typical weight loss do not make the cells go away, just reduces their size. In comparison, the CoolSculpting treatment decreases the number of fat cells in a given area. The cells are first frozen, stop functioning, naturally processed then eliminated by the body.

What about maintenance?

Healthy habits are critical! While we wish that this treatment could give you a free pass in consuming ice cream for breakfast every day (or any other food indulgences) or let you never step foot in a gym again, your body is not made this way. Even with fewer fat cells, any additional fat will be stored in the cells remaining after treatment. 

This is why we treat patients with a holistic approach, focused on a healthy lifestyle and treatment plan customized to you! Some patients can see results last up to 6 – 9 years. We are here to help you with your body contouring journey each step of the way. Come chat with us about your goals.

Erica Luke, B.Sc.N.