I'm seriously considering getting Coolsculpting done on my love handles and stomach. I've read up on it, but can someone explain to me why it only damages the fat cells and nothing else? And also, does it ever come out "lumpy?" I'm worried about long-term side effects. Also, are the results more dramatic or thinner people or those with more weight to remove? Thanks :)
Long-term Effects of Coolsculpting?
Doctor Answers 25
The long-term effects of Coolsculpting
Long Term Effects of CoolSculpting?
To date there are no long term negative effects of CoolSculpting.The reason it only damages fat cells is that fat cells will freeze at higher temperature than other tissues. The reason the other tissues such as skin, nerves and blood vessels are not frozen at these same temperatures are that they are water based. The device carefully controls the cooling process so that the temperatures achieved are such that the only the fat will freeze but are above the freezing point of other tissues inside the applicator. Regarding your second question, CoolSculpting gives a very NATURAL looking reduction without issues of lumpiness nor hanging excess skin. Finally, the ideal patient is the one who is close to their ideal weight with moderate to small bulges. However, that is not to say that the procedure does not work in larger individuals. As with all procedures proper expectations are critical. I have treated individuals who are less than ideal and they have been extemely gratified by their results. One does have to ensure that they understand that complete elimination of their bulge will not happen and if desired multiple procedures can be performed for additional fat reduction. Having accepted this, they are more than thrilled to produce undeniable results with one treatment that does not require any surgery, needles, anesthesia nor downtime!
How does CoolSculpting damage fat and nothing else?
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Safety & Long Term Effects of CoolSculpting
1. Who is performing the treatment. Skill, experience, and esthetic eye all make a big difference. There is a lot more than just applying the applicator and letting it go to work. There is a lot of treatment planning, mapping, and following results. Areas may need to be treated again.
2. There are counterfeit CoolSculpting machines sold and used by many of the practices offering CoolSculpting in the U.S. Why? Because it costs much less. Results are unpredictable, inferior, and often times result in complications.
B. How it works
1. CoolSculpting freezes fat cells causing apoptosis, slow cell death. The fat leaks out of the cells and gets excreted from the body. This effect is permanent. Studies have shown that this doesn't damage surrounding non fat cells such as skin, muscle, and nerves.
2. Lumpiness: this is rarely seen when the procedure is performed properly. If gaps are left between the applicator placement, you could get an area that bulges. Treating over that untreated area will leave a smooth result. The key is to have some overlap in the treatment areas to avoid this from happening.
C. Who is a better candidate, skinny or heavier people?
1. Heavier patients: Results are quite dramatic and can come close to liposuction results especially when second treatments are performed over the same area. You even get some skin tightening much like in our SmartLipo patients
2. Skinnier patients. We see great results. They typically have trouble areas they cant lose with exercise such as love handles in men. Losing those extra 3 to 5 pounds often creates a gaunt facial appearance- the face pays the price. CoolSculpting can finish the job so that excessive weight loss and dieting is not required in fit people.
Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
200 Stony Brook Court, Newburgh, New York
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon (ABFPRS)
American Society forLaser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS)
Clinical Professor New York Presbyterian Hospital
National Education Faculty (physician trainer) for:
Allergan (Botox, Juvederm, Voluma), Galderma (Scultpra, Restylane, Silk),
Cynosure (Cellulaze, Precision Laser Lift) & Solta (Fraxel, Thermage)
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.