By Angela Haff, RN, CoolSculpting Specialist
Things that sound too good to be true usually are.
It comes as no surprise that when most people hear about the magic of CoolSculpting®, they think “Oh yeah sure, freeze my fat away! What’s the catch?”
At Project Skin MD we like to give you the full scoop on all of our treatments, as well as real accounts so that you have realistic expectations and a strong understanding about anything you choose to invest in. You can see Karen’s full journey here (part 1), here (part 2) and here (part 3 – the results!).
Now that the new year has arrived, it only seems right to tackle some common myths about CoolSculpting. Since fat loss is a common goal this time of year (ever feel like Britney Spears’ song “Oops I Did it Again” is your theme song to sabotaging your health and fitness efforts in December?) we want you to be clear about whether or not CoolSculpting is right for you.
Myth #1: It’s a great solution for weight loss.
The treatment is not designed for weight loss, but to freeze fat cells so that they burst and disappear forever. It will help with body contouring, but you’re not going to see a shift on the scale from CoolSculpting alone. And while the actual fat cells destroyed during the procedure do not come back, newer evidence suggests that if consistent overeating occurs, it is possible to create new fat cells. Exercise and healthy eating are important in maintaining the results of your treatments!
Myth #2: The skin sags afterwards.
There is a natural re-draping of the skin after CoolSculpting similar to that which happens with regular weight loss. Those with existing loose skin in a treated area won’t necessarily see it improve (and in more extreme cases like multiple pregnancies, it may be more evident), but the bulge from excess fat will be improved!
Myth #3: Results are instant.
Great things take time. The CoolSculpting process isn’t quick. Your body needs time to absorb the microscopic leftover cell fragments before eliminating them, so you have to be patient. You could notice results within a month, but the most dramatic changes usually take two to three months, sometimes more. You also need to maintain your exercise and diet efforts to maintain your results, this is not a free pass!
Myth #4: The treatment is painful.
The level of pain during and after CoolSculpting varies from person to person. The majority of people find the procedure comfortable. There is an initial pulling sensation followed by a tingling or slight burning sensation. After approximately 5 to 8 minutes, that sensation ceases once the area is cooled and numb. We now have the new 35-minute applicators that freeze from three sides. They take around half of the time of the previous applicators, and the pulling sensation is less. Once the applicator is removed and the tissue has re-warmed (about 3 to 4 minutes) there is minimal tenderness. Most clients find that unless they press on the area, the level of discomfort is quite minimal. We make it as comfortable as possible, and with a cozy blanket and Netflix at your disposal, most people find the experience quite pleasant!
Myth #5: Results are temporary.
CoolSculpting freezes and eliminates fat cells, which are then reabsorbed by your body and destroyed forever. As mentioned before, you can still create new fat cells with consistent overeating, so it’s important to manage your diet and exercise so that the cells frozen do not come back.
Myth #6: CoolSculpting® replaces liposuction.
CoolSculpting technology is not a replacement for liposuction where much larger volumes of fat may be removed, with or occasionally without general anesthesia. There are several types of liposuction, but they all employ a cannula that is inserted under the skin to suction out the fat, after which swelling and bruising may last up to 6 weeks. CoolSculpting is completely non-invasive, done externally through applicators applied to the surface of the skin. It destroys fat cells via cooling, and it takes up to 12 weeks to see your final result. There is little if any downtime.
Myth #7: CoolSculpting® is unsafe.
CoolSculpting is approved by the FDA, and over 2 million procedures have been performed to date. The CoolSculpting procedure passed all of the FDA’s stringent requirements for both effectiveness and safety as a fat reduction technique, and is used by many licensed practitioners across the country.