The Surgeon Minute

Fat Removal via Freezing: Why CoolSculpting Really Does Work

Fat Removal via Freezing: Why CoolSculpting Really Does Work

CoolSculpting isn’t new, but it certainly continues to dominate the non-surgical fat removal conversation – and for good reason. The procedure has been around for nearly a decade and is seen as an effective way to remove stubborn fat without an invasive treatment, like liposuction.

Despite plenty of great results – and an accompanying mega marketing brand – CoolSculpting isn’t for everyone. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Hamawy of Princeton, New Jersey explains why CoolSculpting really does work, but also how patient selection is key.

How Does It Work?

Patients call CoolSculpting the ‘lunchtime’ pick me up for good reason. The procedure allows for a patient to pop into an office, undergo the procedure and go back to the office or home with very little discomfort. “That is truly the best thing about it,” shares Hamawy. “You can be sitting around and come in and get the treatment done and then be back out there, at work right afterwards. You might just be a little sore, but no more sore if you able to do go to the gym and had a workout.”

Hamawy says he’s seen the positive benefits of non-surgical fat reduction. “I love Coolsculpting – and I love it because I’ve done it.” Hamawy says when the device first arrived in his office, he gave it a shot on half his body. It worked very well, but he jokingly talks about how he didn’t have time to complete the other half of his body for a year. “I was really lopsided,” he laughs. “It was a crazy explaining why only half of me looked so good.” Although funny, it was a testament to the device: it worked.

Who Is A Good Candidate?

According to Hamawy, for those considering Coolsculpting, something called the ‘pinch test’ is a good idea. He tells his patients to try it on their body to determine if they are a good candidate. “I see a lot of men and women who come in and say they have a flabby midsection that they want to get rid of,” he explains. “If you pinch that and there’s some fat, but there’s skin there too, it may work if you just want a pinch less of fat, but if you want a really tight and flat abdomen and you don’t have tight skin, then we need to start looking at the tummy tuck or other devices that might work on a superficial level.”

Patients also need to know that it takes awhile to see results. “The results are not instant. It does take a long time to see the results, but whatever you are pinching should reduced by 20-30 percent over time,” details Hamawy.

Wait For The Results

CoolSculpting won’t solve everyone’s issues when it comes to stubborn fat. According to Dr. Hamawy, it’s important to rely on the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon to point you in the right direction. “One of the sad things I see is people who have gone to someone and had CoolSculpting and they are disappointed because it didn’t work,” shares Hamawy. “I see not much fat there and you need the skin tightened – and that really requires a tummy tuck.”
Liposuction alternative - CoolSculpting.
Waiting for the results can be the toughest part; you won’t pop up and instantly be slimmer. “It does take a little time to an outcome, maybe 6-8 weeks,” concludes Hamawy. “Whatever you are pinching will come down by 20-30 percent. There may even be more improvement when you come back and do it again. That’s the key to the ‘wow results,’ continuing to repeat the process.”
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