CoolSculpting freezes off fat with a process named Cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis refers to cold-induced injury to fat. When fat and skin are cooled simultaneously, fat can be injured while the skin remains unharmed.
When the cooling plates within the applicator are activated, the temperature of the tissue is lowered to a point where the skin remains healthy but some of the fat is irreversibly injured.
The fat layer gradually becomes thinner. As the reduction in fat occurs slowly. The fat that is destroyed will not return. A select number of our patients have noticed results as soon as 6 weeks however; patients will continue to notice a smoother, flatter appearance up to 4 months post.
CoolSculpting received FDA clearance for the non-invasive reduction of fat in September of 2010, risks associated with this procedure seem to be minimal. Some patients complain of soreness and swelling; this side effect is temporary.
The results appear to be long lasting and testing has shown no increase in blood lipids or blood cholesterol. It takes several weeks for the fat to be expelled.
Ideal candidates for CoolSculpting treatment have diet and exercise resistant fat. Obese individuals are not good candidates as losing overall weight would be a better option – CoolSculpting is not a weight loss procedure.
In our practice, we have noticed younger patients with better overall results due to the collagen.
CoolSculpting uses precisely controlled, targeted cold therapy in a treatment that lasts about one hour per treatment area. The skin to be treated is suctioned between two cooling plates which modify the fat’s temperature to just above freezing. Energy is extracted from the fat cell by the cold, causing it to die. Though it is referred to as cryolipolysis, it is not actually “freezing” the fat or the surrounding tissues.
Rather, it crystallizes the lipids in fat cells causing the slow collapse of cells as they die. The procedure targets only fat cells and only those in the superficial fat layer close to the skin. The body then carries off the dead cells over the course of two to three months for a more gradual, natural result. The cooling machine is on an area for only 60 minutes. Allowing for prep time and questions, most people are out of the office within 90 minutes for one treated area.
Immediately after the procedure, your treated area may look or feel stiff and transient blanching (temporary whitening of the skin) may occur. The treated area will be cold to the touch for a few minutes and will warm up. During the warming back up period, the treated area may be red for up to a few hours after the applicator is removed. This is an expected, but temporary effect after CoolSculpting. Slight tingling, stinging, crampiness, or itching in the treatment area are sometimes reported on treatment day.
You may feel a temporary dulling of sensation in the treated area. This is normal and typically resolves within a few hours, but may last for several weeks after your procedure. It is common for the treated area to feel bloated and look swollen in the first few days and weeks after CoolSculpting.
You may experience a temporary dulling of sensation that can last for several weeks. At some point within the first two weeks following the procedure, you may experience one of more of the following sensations: itching, tingling, numbness, tenderness to the touch, slight pain in the treated area, slight cramping, aching or soreness
This is a virtually pain free procedure during the procedure and afterwards. No general/topical anesthesia or pain medication is required. Everyone has different tolerance for pain, but when asked on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, most people give this a 1 or 2.
Any pain felt is not from the cooling, it is from the fat being drawn up into the treatment head to be cooled. The cooling process is a gentle cooling and you will not even feel cold during the procedure. When the treatment is over, the area treated will be cold to the touch but it warms up rather quickly.
The CoolSculpting treatment is the first and only non-surgical fat reduction technology to be FDA-cleared for improved appearance of lax tissue in conjunction with submental fat, or double chin, treatments. CoolSculpting for the double chin is already clinically proven to reduce fat up to 20 percent in the treated area after one treatment.
“Allergan is committed to advancing innovation for CoolSculpting to meet the needs of patients seeking non-invasive aesthetic treatments,” said David Nicholson, Chief Research and Development Officer at Allergan. “A 2017 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) survey revealed that 73 percent of patients are bothered by excess fat under the chin. We are pleased this patient concern can successfully be addressed by CoolSculpting through a non-invasive approach, and furthermore improve the appearance of lax tissue in the treated area.”
An 18-week clinical study of CoolSculpting in submental fat treatment found that 77 percent of patients showed improved appearance of lax tissue and 75 percent of patients reported their chin looked more toned following treatment.
“In my own patients, I have noticed the improved appearance of lax tissue when using the CoolMini applicator for the CoolSculpting system to treat the submental area,” said Jeffrey S. Dover, MD, FRCPC, Co-Director of SkinCare Physicians of Chestnut Hill, Mass. “It is great to see the company invest to validate this and secure the FDA clearance.”
There is typically minimal recovery time of CoolSculpting. Most patients are able to return to their daily routine immediately after the procedure.
There is no pain relief needed and no down time.
If you’re interested in getting a consultation for CoolSculpting in Chevy Chase or CoolSculpting in McLean, call Washingtonian Plastic Surgery today.