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How Does Coolsculpting Work?

Nov 01, 2020
How Does Coolsculpting Work?
At Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology of Cherry Creek in Denver, CO, we know that working out for hours each day and eating a restrictive diet isn’t realistic long-term.

At Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology of Cherry Creek in Denver, CO, we know that working out for hours each day and eating a restrictive diet isn’t realistic long-term. Sometimes you need something more to reach your body goals, and we have just the thing. We are proud to offer CoolSculpting, a body-contouring treatment backed by science and proven to deliver results.

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

CoolSculpting isn’t just a fad or a gimmick. It’s been referred to as a fat-blasting, fat-freezing, fat-demolishing body contouring treatment, and rightly so because it does precisely that. It works through a process that was designed by Harvard-based scientists called cryopolysis. Cryopolysis uses extremely cold temperatures to break down and destroy fat cells. Unlike other human body cells, fat cells don’t like cold temperatures, and fat cells don’t respond well to cold.

However, this process is highly specialized because it uses cold temperatures to freeze and destroy fat cells, but it leaves the rest of the surrounding skin, tissue, muscles, and body structures unharmed. The goal of cryopolysis is to reduce the total amount of fat volume in a targeted area. This treatment uses a cooling gel pad and suctioning machine to freeze fat for up to an hour at a time to permanently reduce the total amount of fat in each treatment area.

The Treatment Goal: Freezing Fat Cells

During treatment, a cooling applicator will be applied to your problem area. It will remove heat from your fat cells until they cool to 54 degrees. These applicators come in different shapes and sizes to ensure the accuracy and precision of cold temperatures. Fat cells always freeze first; the skin and surrounding tissues don’t freeze until they reach 32 degrees, which is why they remain unharmed and protected during treatment.

The fat cells freeze and then crystalize, which destroys the cell membrane, and the fat cells experience apoptosis, which is the cell’s death. Once the fat cells are frozen, they lose their ability to store and hold fat.

The Body’s Response and the Importance of the Lymphatic System

The cold temperatures work by causing an inflammatory response in the area. The body no longer recognizes the fat cells as fat cells but instead views them as bodily waste. The body sends a message to the lymphatic system to remove these dead cells and then slowly rids them from the body over time, typically over two to three months.

CoolSculpting initiates the cryopolysis process, but the body is responsible for finishing that process and uses the lymphatic system to do so. The lymphatic system’s main job is to rid the body of excess fluids and waste and transport white blood cells throughout the body. This treatment does the work of turning healthy fat cells into waste, and the lymphatic system then steps in and removes those cells so that you’re left with a slimmer-looking physique.

Cryopolysis vs Liposuction

Many people confuse liposuction with cryopolysis, but while they do have some similarities, they are not the same. Both involve the removal of fat cells from the body, but they do so in different ways. CoolSculpting uses suction and cold temperatures to destroy fat cells permanently, but it relies on the body to remove these dead cells naturally with no downtime. It uses the lymphatic system to remove fat cells, not suctioning tubes.

Liposuction requires incisions and then uses a thin tube and a suctioning device to remove fat cells out of the body and involves downtime. It removes the fat cells immediately but not without a recovery period which will require rest and time off of work.

Why DIY Cryopolysis Doesn’t Work

Everyone loves a good hack. There are different hacks all over the internet, and they share the same goal: to help you save time and money by doing something yourself from the comfort of your own home. While some hacks are life-changing, others are dangerous. Trying to mimic the cryopolysis process at home is not a safe DIY that will deliver effective results.

Some people have attempted to create a fat-freezing process that you can perform at home using an ice pack to mimic the effects of this body contouring treatment. Self-freezing is not an effective way to freeze fat because an ice pack cannot retain the cold temperatures necessary to freeze fat. As soon as the ice pack makes contact with the skin, it increases its temperatures, rendering the entire attempt ineffective.

The Dangers of DIY CoolSculpting

Many people who have attempted to replicate this process at home have ended up freezing their skin, leading to skin damage and even frostbite. The cryopolysis process was developed by scientists for a reason, with safety and effectiveness in mind. When it comes to body contouring treatments, always opt for the real thing instead of an at-home method to protect yourself and your skin from damage and get real, proven results.

CoolSculpting FAQ’s

What Does the Process Feel Like?

This body contouring treatment is completely painless. Most patients only feel the cooling temperatures that work to cool the fat in your treatment area to 54 degrees for a short time. The cooling sensation combined with the suctioning feeling only lasts about 10 minutes, after which the area goes numb and you don’t feel a thing. This treatment doesn’t require any anesthesia, so you will remain completely comfortable for the duration of your session.

What Areas Can It Treat?

While the terms “love handles” and “muffin top” are often used as affectionate and endearing terms for areas of the body that hold stubborn fat, if you have love handles or a muffin top, you have no affection for them. Stubborn fat is stubborn for a reason: it doesn’t respond. You can work out for hours each day and eat perfectly and even still, that stubborn fat remains. This process and treatment was specifically designed to target and treat areas of unresponsive fat.

If you have stubborn fat that’s keeping you from reaching your body goals, this treatment will help remove it for good. Different applicators have been designed to treat different body areas for optimal precision and accuracy. These applicators can both smaller and larger areas with stubborn fat. While it can treat virtually any area that has stubborn fat, the most common areas of treatment include but are not limited to:

  • Abdomen
  • Fat beneath the chin
  • Flanks
  • Love handles
  • Muffin top
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Arms
  • Back

How Long Do Sessions Take?

At our office, we value your time and know that you want to see results as soon as possible, which is why Dr. Stewart has invested in two machines that can be used simultaneously to experience your results that much faster. Typical sessions can take one hour or less based on your target treatment area.

During your initial consultation, we will develop a treatment plan that includes the places you want to target and treat and then give you a better idea of how long your sessions will take.

How Much Fat Will I Lose?

Many people wonder how much weight they will lose by undergoing this treatment; however, you shouldn’t view your results in terms of weight loss but you should view it as inches lost. While your scale may not change dramatically, the measuring tape will tell a different story. Taking measurements each week after your session will give you some tangible proof that you are slowly losing fat in your problem areas.

On average, most patients lose up to 30 percent of the total amount of fat in their treatment area after completing the necessary sessions to get the best results. CoolSculpting makes you look better, makes your clothes fit better, and helps you feel more confident in a swimsuit.

How Long Will It Take To See Results?

Since this process relies on the body to remove the fat, once the cells have died, the results are gradual, but that is a benefit. You will slowly see improvements in your physique over time, so it won’t look like you went and had a treatment done. Most patients notice visible, final results within two to three months of their initial treatment.

Who Is a Candidate?

The best candidates for this treatment are those at or near their goal weight and need some extra help losing fat in certain areas of the body that won’t respond to diet or fitness efforts. If you are relatively fit or have recently reached your goal weight yet can’t seem to lose that extra fat in certain areas of your body, you most likely are a candidate who will benefit from this treatment.

Who Isn’t a Candidate?

There are some people who do not qualify for this treatment. CoolSculpting is not a fat loss treatment, and it cannot help you lose significant amounts of weight. It is designed to tighten and tone certain areas of the body, not remove large amounts of fat at one time. Individuals who qualify as obese or have a significant amount of fat to lose will not qualify for treatment.

Also, those who are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures may not be good candidates for treatment. During your consultation, we’ll review your health history and discuss your goals to determine if this treatment is right for you.

Is There Any Downtime?

There’s no downtime associated with this treatment. Once you undergo a session, you will be free to return home and resume all of your normal daily activities. The fact that there isn’t any downtime is one of the main reasons people love this treatment.

There’s no recovery involved, and there’s no downtime. You can schedule an appointment without taking time off of work or rearranging your life to accommodate recovery and even better, you will still get results without the need for any invasive surgical measures.

Is It Safe?

This treatment is completely safe. It has been studied, researched, and proven to be a safe and effective treatment to remove stubborn fat from the body effectively. Almost one million treatments have been performed worldwide and have helped people finally reach their body goals, the type of goals they may have thought were impossible to achieve.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you want to reach your body goals, know that there is a safe, effective solution that will deliver results. You can rest assured that when you choose our office for all of your body contouring needs, you will get results, and you will be in the hands of experts who will help design a treatment plan that’s right for you. Contact us today at Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology of Cherry Creek in Denver, CO, to schedule your initial CoolSculpting consultation.