The Surgeon Minute

The Hottest Trend in Fat Removal? CoolSculpting

The Hottest Trend in Fat Removal? CoolSculpting

What’s hot and what’s not when it comes to fighting the flabby stuff? Diet and exercise are key, but when that’s not enough, liposuction – the surgical removal of fat remains the gold standard.  However, if you can’t stomach the thought of going under the knife to fight fat, you may want to consider CoolSculpting® a procedure with ‘no downtime’.

By Patricia A. McGuire, MD
and Beverly Brooks
The Plastic Surgery Channel

CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive fat removal procedure that can be used to remove small stubborn fat pockets. The procedure works by freezing your fat cells in a targeted area, and then eliminating them from your body over the course of a few weeks.

wp1Who Are the Best Candidates for CoolSculpting?

Anyone with pinchable fat or more than an inch of fat will likely see results. Those who have large areas of fat should visit a board certified plastic surgeon to explore further options for fat removal.

“The most common areas we treat with CoolSculpting are the flank, upper abdomen, and inner and outer thighs,” says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Patricia McGuire in St. Louis. “The main area for men is the fat that hangs over their pants or lower abdomen, those areas well work well with CoolSculpting.”

Dr. McGuire also points out that this is NOT a substitute for diet and exercise, rather CoolSculpting should be perceived as a shape-changing procedure.

How Long Does the Procedure Last?

Each treatment takes about an hour. It doesn’t involve anesthesia, hospital stays or downtime; most patients come in on lunch breaks then head back to work! Compare this to a tummy tuck or extensive liposuction which can result in several days or weeks before feeling a full recovery.

During the procedure, your physician will gently cool the area to a temperature that causes the fat cells to die (called cryolipolysis), but does not harm the surrounding tissue.

A typical CoolSculpting® session lasts 60 minutes, and because this is a non-surgical procedure, you can typically return to your normal activity level immediately. During the procedure clients are able to read, work on laptops or just relax.

Visible Results

Results will be seen in about four weeks following the procedure, and patients will continue seeing noticeable improvement within three months.

“We recommend treating the area twice, and with a second treatment, 87 percent of our patients will see noticeable improvement,” says Dr. McGuire.

Difference Between Liposuction and CoolSculpting

Both procedures remove fat, but provide different outcomes. Here are some examples of the differences between the two procedures.

  • Liposuction is surgical; CoolSculpting is non-invasive
  • CoolSculpting® freezes and eliminates targeted fat
  • Liposuction works well for those with disproportionate contours due to large fat deposits
  • CoolSculpting performs well on patients with small, stubborn fat pockets
  • Liposuction comes with some downtime and swelling, CoolSculpting allows you to move about freely immediately following the procedure
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