The Surgeon Minute

Coolsculpting, A Non-Invasive Alternative to Liposuction

Coolsculpting, A Non-Invasive Alternative to Liposuction

CoolSculpting continues to be a huge hit as a fast, easy, and painless procedure to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat. While it doesn’t replace liposuction, it can be an ideal solution for patients who have small fat deposits they’re looking to get rid of. The procedure involves no anesthesia, no recovery period, and can even be done on your lunch hour. Dr. Ned Snyder of Austin, TX discusses all the benefits of this successful non-invasive procedure.

What is Coolsculpting?

CoolSculpting is based on the science of cryolipolysis, a process that destroys fat cells by freezing them. The CoolsSculpting machine cools the fat in the targeted area to the point where the fat cells freeze without damaging the skin. The fat cells crystallize and die, and are then eliminated through the body’s lymphatic system. Once the fat cells are gone, they are gone for good, providing a permanent solution for patients.

FDA approved, Coolsculpting is a safe way to treat many areas of the body assuming that one of the treatment heads can fit. Common problem areas that can be addressed with CoolSculpting are the abdomen, love handles, hips, inner and outer thighs and even under the chin.

Benefits of CoolSculpting.

Non-Invasive Fat Removal Benefits

The advantages of this non-surgical procedure versus a surgical procedure like liposuction for fat removal:

  • no anesthesia
  • no scar
  • little to no recovery time
  • can return to life immediately
  • painless
  • fast – the treatment takes 35-45 minutes

Patients come in, sit still for less than an hour while working on their laptop, watching a movie, or reading while the machine works it magic. You may swell a bit for up to a week afterwards, but there is no downtime, and no compression garment.

Relax during a CoolSculpting treatment.

Fat Removal, Not Weight Loss

Like liposuction, Coolsculpting is not a weight loss procedure. It is designed for target fat removal in certain areas, treating the stubborn areas of fat that are virtually resistant to diet and exercise. For men, the most popular treatment areas are the love handles and abdomen. For women, it is the outer thighs and/or hips and inner thighs. CoolSculpting can also treat bra rolls or back fat which is a huge annoyance  for many women.

Men and Coolsculpting

Dr. Snyder and his colleagues have found that men are particularly fond of CoolSculpting. Guys have problem areas of fat, just like women, but, “guys don’t talk about it as much,” shares Snyder. Also, a lot of men are less willing to put up with as much fuss as women. Liposuction requires time off work and uncomfortable post surgical garments, a huge turn off for many men. CoolSculpting has provided a means to attain similar results (depending on the treatment areas and how much fat exists), creating a friendly, enticing option for men.

The Results

With over 4 million treatments performed worldwide, CoolSculpting is currently the world’s number one non-surgical fat reduction treatment. Part of the reason for the popularity is the ease of treatment, but the real selling point is that CoolSculpting works. Once the fat cells crystallize and your body eliminates the dead cells, those fat cells are gone for good. Now, if you wind up gaining weight after your treatment, your remaining fat cells will get bigger. This can adversely affect your cosmetic result so it’s always a good idea to keep your weight stable.

CoolSculpting results.

One catch with CoolSculpting is that while it works, repeat procedures are typically necessary. Dr. Snyder always recommends at least two treatments. While you can expect to lose 25-30% of the fat with one treatment alone, if you do two within 30 days of each other in the same area then you will lose more than 50% of the fat. In fact, Snyder will often recommend two treatments in the same sitting. Though the company has done no studies on this, he finds that patients who book back to back treatments lose 2/3 of the fat in the treated area. This is by the far the most efficient way to eliminate fat when it comes to non-surgical options.

Advances since the technology’s release have improved treatment times, creating an even more favorable environment for the kinds of patients interested in the device. The older CoolSculpting heads took about an hour per treatment area while the new heads only require about 35-45 minutes.

CoolSculpting before and after.

CoolSculpting is particularly popular come summer and bathing suit season. With traditional liposuction, patients would need to plan a couple of months ahead before their body would be ready for a bathing suit. With CoolSculpting’s hardly noticeable downtime, patients can have some fat removal performed spur of the moment and expect results to show 4-6 weeks afterwards.

While the technology does not come close to the results available from liposuction, many, many patients with small fat pockets in the right areas will see significant improvement with CoolSculpting. With no downtime, anesthesia, or surgery required, many patients who may not have had interest in cosmetic surgery before are now taking interest.

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