The Surgeon Minute

Cutting Through the Hype for the Wonders of CoolSculpting

Cutting Through the Hype for the Wonders of CoolSculpting

Freezing is not just for ice cream. It’s also great for getting rid of unwanted fat cells. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring procedure that quite literally freezes your fat via a process known as cryolipolysis. This causes the cells in the treatment area to die – permanently. “CoolSculpting is a pretty amazing process,” says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Craig Colville of Toledo, OH.

You’ve probably seen the signs – CoolSculpting is a huge hit. While it’s nice that this technology is so readily available, the downside is that not all the providers have experience in every aspect of body contouring. It is this experience that enables a plastic surgeon to give you a truly objective opinion as to whether or not CoolSculpting will achieve your desired body contouring outcome.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure that is effective at quickly and easily removing unwanted fat bulges. The many advantages of CoolSculpting is that it is performed in the office and there’s no need for anesthesia. It’s fast; each session only takes about an hour, and most patients multi-task, reading on their iPad or doing work on their computer, since the session is pretty much pain free. There is also no need for an uncomfortable compression garment, and there is basically no recovery.

No anesthesia for CoolSculpting procedures.

The procedure itself is pretty simple. A gel pad and applicator is attached to the skin in your treatment area. This may include the:

  • abdomen
  • flanks
  • outer thighs
  • buttocks
  • back
  • chin/neck
  • arms
  • bra rolls

Precisely controlled and targeted cooling is then delivered through the pads, freezing your fat cells. Those frozen cells crystalize, die and are eliminated through your lymphatic system over a period of time.

CoolSculpting Results Take Time

The only real downside to the CoolSculpting procedure itself is that, unlike a surgical procedure such as liposuction, your results will take time. Most patients see an improvement in their body contour in about 3 weeks, but it can take up to 6 months to see your final final results. Also, most patients require an average of 2-3 sessions per treatment area in order to achieve an optimum outcome. These treatments are spaced 4-6 weeks apart so the whole process can take anywhere from 3-4 months. Patience is a must.

Dr. Colville CoolSculpting results.

Plastic Surgeons Have a Full Array of Body Contouring Tools

Dr. Colville likes it when patients come into his office for a CoolSculpting consultation. He knows that his training, expertise, and deep knowledge of anatomy and body contouring allow him to give that patient a truly honest assessment. Yes, you might be a candidate for CoolSculpting. But then again, you might not.

CoolSculpting is a great body contouring option for the right patient. While it can be effective in both men and women, CoolSculpting works best in patients who are:

  • at or near their ideal weight
  • with stubborn pockets of fat
  • and good skin elasticity

The nice thing about seeing a plastic surgeon to discuss fat reduction is that he or she has a full array of body contouring procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, at their disposal. CoolSculpting may not be the best option for you. You might do better with liposuction or an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or an abdominoplasty with liposuction.

Important to Get an Objective Answer

“Since I have CoolSculpting, but I also have liposuction, body contouring, tightening and surgery, I’d like to think that I’m the most objective person to answer [a patient’s questions],” explains Dr. Colville. It’s important that whomever is treating you be objective. If that person doesn’t have experience in all aspects of body rejuvenation, then he or she doesn’t really have the eye to see the whole picture. It’s certainly possible to hook the CoolSculpting machine up to a lot of people and remove some fat, but is it going to give you the result that you want?

If a patient comes in to see Dr. Colville who is dead set on CoolSculpting, but he thinks the person really needs a tummy tuck, he will tell them. Furthermore, he won’t do the CoolSculpting because it’s just a waste of money. “And I don’t want people to waste their money because then they think that cosmetic procedures are a waste of money.” Which is not true. Cosmetic procedures can be “wonderful, maybe life changing,” when the right procedure is matched to the right person, Colville explains.

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