Few things in life are as good as they sound – unless you’re talking about CoolSculpting. Then, the treatment is every bit as good as you might expect, and perhaps even better. It freezes targeted fat cells to trim your contours, erase wobbles, and slim down bulges. And at Biotech Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa in Bay Harbor Islands, FL, we’ll work with you to holistically achieve your body goals.
How Long Do CoolSculpting Results Last?
Many patients are surprised to learn this treatment provides permanent results. Unlike traditional measures of diet and exercise, which only shrink fat cells, Sculpting eliminates them. Not all, because you need some fat to survive. But data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows those cells targeted during treatment are reduced by an average of 20%. Some people see reductions of 40%, but that’s more common in smaller areas like the arms.
Once fat cells are eliminated, they do not grow back. A catalog of studies has proven that although different people are born with different numbers of fat cells, new ones are not generated. This is the premise behind Sculpting: permanent results to improve your figure.
Body Fat and Human Bodies
Nearly everyone has some extra padding they would like to lose – even people who are otherwise slim. Fat storage can occur throughout the body, but exercise is not necessarily as all-encompassing. You can’t tell the body where to burn fat, meaning if you have extra layers in your thighs, all the leg lifts in the world won’t help you burn fat from that locale. You’ll develop long, lean muscles, but you’ll likely continue to have a small layer of fat.
The culprits are hormones, specifically the sex hormones. Testosterone and estrogen are among the greatest drivers of fat storage, which explains why men and women have very distinct body shapes. Women tend to stuff fat in their thighs and backsides, while men pack it in their abdomens.
Areas Where Treatment Can Be Used
A hormonal imbalance, rather than the hormones themselves, leads to excessive fat storage. This is why older men tend to have the proverbial “potbelly,” and older women are likely to lose fat from their breasts and gain it around their midsections. To further complicate matters, subcutaneous fat produces and holds estrogen. Thanks to this dynamic, the more fat you have, the more you’re likely to accumulate.
With this in mind, Sculpting is designed to target common spots of fat retention, including:
- Under the chin and jawline
- Upper arm
- Under the buttocks (often called the banana roll)
- Back fat
- Bra fat
- Abdomen and flanks
Let’s Talk Biology
Right now, you might be wondering why we store fat in the first place. Without this ability, humans probably wouldn’t have survived millions of years of evolution, and we would definitely look quite different from the appearances we have today.
Long ago, humans needed to store energy to survive periods of famine. Holding fat provided the answer, and today, even a slim man who weighs 165 pounds usually stores around 100,000 kcal in the form of fat. Retaining this energy in other forms, such as glycogen, would increase our weight by over 100 pounds. Seen from this perspective, the body is actually far more advanced than we give it credit for.
Some Things Never Change
Although the risk of famine is relatively low at this point (at least in many parts of the world), the body doesn’t recognize a change in times. It’s not quite that sophisticated. We therefore continue to cling to fat pockets just in case starvation is around the corner.
This is why regardless of the time and effort you put into managing your weight, it’s impossible to eliminate all bulges. And as we’ve seen earlier, a little fat can lead to more thanks to the hormonal imbalance it creates. The point is that many people require intervention to get the sculpted appearance they want because the body perceives extra weight as a victory.
The Exact Nature of Treatment
It’s called CoolSculpting for a reason: this treatment freezes fat cells so they eventually die. Once that process is complete, the body disposes of them through its natural waste elimination processes.
According to rumor, this therapy started because of children. Doctors realized youngsters who ate a lot of popsicles had thinner cheeks than other children. Hence, a new fat-zapping tool was born.
How It Works
CoolSculpting earned FDA approval in 2010 and grew in popularity as people realized it was a successful, non-invasive alternative to liposuction. It’s also been cleared to improve lax tissues in the submental (chin) area. The premise is simple: fat cells die at lower temperatures than those of skin, meaning your skin and surrounding tissues stay preserved. No damage occurs internally except to those cells we direct treatment toward.
Throughout therapy, you get to lie comfortably in a reclined position. Sculpting uses rounded paddles in one of several sizes that adhere to the skin like a vacuum. Those panels go to work while you sit, crystallizing fat cells in a very tolerable way. Most patients experience nothing more than cooling and suction sensations that are mild enough to where they can watch a movie on a tablet, work on a laptop, or simply nap.
Who It’s For
Some patients think treatment will help them lose weight, but it’s not intended for that purpose. Instead, this therapy is for those who want mild contouring improvements. We recommend you be at or near your ideal weight before treatment; we’ll also consider your skin quality to ensure it can properly rebound once the underlying volume is removed.
You must also be willing to continue managing your weight. If, after treatment, you neglect nutrition and exercise, your body won’t change much. There’s even a chance the fat cells that remain in a treated area will increase in size if you gain weight – that neglects the point of treatment. But if you put in the effort, you can count on improvements like no more bra spillage, a drop in clothing size, and a more youthful silhouette. Ideal patients should also:
- Have healthy, active lifestyles
- Want to avoid more invasive treatments
- Have specific areas of stubborn fat
- Maintain reasonable goals
- Understand treatment is not a shortcut
- Be patient and recognize results will continue developing for up to six months after treatment
You need no less than a month between each session so your body can heal. Throughout this time, targeted fat cells undergo a process known as apoptosis. This scientific word means the cells kill themselves, which sounds worse than it is. Cells are actually equipped to die – it’s the way tissues and organs constantly renew themselves to ensure health and performance.
Your body digests the by-products of those dead cells and your tissues soon adjust so you look thinner. This process will continue six to eight months after treatment, so you’ll need to time your sessions accordingly. This means if you’re going on vacation or planning a wedding, you’ll need at least four weeks to see a change in your body and 12 weeks to see smoother, prettier skin.
The Number of Treatments You’ll Need
A range exists for each patient. Some see results after just one session, but most people need several treatments to gain the desired results. We’ll craft a treatment plan based on your body, including current weight and size, the areas to be treated, and the severity of each area. You can expect some changes to become visible after three to four weeks, at which time we’ll evaluate your response to treatment and continue proceeding from there.
Preparing For a Wedding
Rather than waste time trying to spot-treat stubborn fat pockets – which we know doesn’t work – many brides choose to have CoolSculpting. It’s the ideal way to lose wobbles you don’t want showing in your wedding dress. You ideally start treatment about six months from the big day so you can get in at least one or two sessions and see maximum results. But even if your wedding is in two months, you still have time to enjoy the benefits offered by treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not unusual for patients to have questions about treatment. The one we hear most frequently is, “Will this therapy work for me?” While we can’t know the answer until we’ve performed an in-person evaluation, we will say treatment doesn’t work if the fat layer is too thick.
We likewise don’t recommend treatment for those hoping to lose 10 to 15 pounds (or more). Your weight won’t change even after you’ve completed your treatment plan, and therapy doesn’t reduce visceral fat. Only diet and exercise can change your weight.
How Is Treatment Different From Liposuction?
CoolSculpting is a unique body contouring treatment that:
- Doesn’t involve surgery
- Requires no recovery
- Delivers results without anesthesia
Liposuction, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure. It involves small incisions made in the skin, through which a hollow tube is inserted to suck out unwanted fat pockets. It, too, works on targeted areas but requires anesthesia and a minimal recovery period of about three days. Following the procedure, strenuous activity cannot be resumed for up to three weeks.
Is It Like a Tummy Tuck?
Another contouring procedure, a tummy tuck provides a slimmer abdomen by removing excess fat and skin from the area. It also tightens stomach muscles. Women usually opt for this surgery to address a sagging, protruding tummy and loose skin. It’s more intense than Sculpting and therefore requires a much longer recovery period – up to six weeks.
Does Treatment Cause Loose Skin?
You will not get loose skin from this treatment. It doesn’t cause dramatic weight loss, and for that reason, your skin won’t change in shape or laxity. If you remain worried about this, we can discuss it during your consultation and address any other concerns you have at that time as well.
What Should I Do Before and After Treatment?
Before your session, we recommend you stop taking anti-inflammatory products to limit your chances of bruising. After treatment, you can return to your normal daily activities, including exercise. The only restrictions are those we provide based on your individual needs (if any).
Freeze Away Fat
This treatment allows you to permanently eliminate fat cells for a slimmer body. Whether targeting unwanted pockets in the back, abdomen, or thighs, CoolSculpting works. Each session is comfortable, you don’t have to contend with downtime, and we’ll work with you to achieve your aesthetic goals. Schedule a consultation today by calling Biotech Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa in Bay Harbor Islands, FL.