CoolSculpting: My Last Resort - Fort Wayne, IN

Preliminary Stats: * 142 lbs. (Lost 18 pounds in 3...

Preliminary Stats: * 142 lbs. (Lost 18 pounds in 3 months) * 5'2" * 26 years old * Problem areas: lower abdomen and back * Goal: to finally look passable in a bikini by my honeymoon January 2013

* History: Weight us usually in the 120s. I eat reasonably healthy. I need to re-adopt my exercise program and maybe look into other avenues. Ever since I was a small kid, I have had these stubborn bulges that have plagued me to TEARS. Even getting to dangerously low weights and exercising religiously, they never went away. This is my last resort. I gave birth to my first child a little under 2 years ago and I'm getting married September 2012 -- I now have a family and I don't feel liposuction is a risk I want to take.

Day One: I went in for my CoolSculpting session yesterday (day one). I was really scared after reading some terrible reviews here on realself.com and almost talked myself out of it. But, the intense hatred for a couple of my problem areas that have plagued me since birth and have never responded to extreme diet and exercise led me into confirming my appointment. So, yesterday, I admittedly popped a Xanax to quell the fear and went under the cold.

Here's what happened: 1. I told them what areas I wanted done (my lower abdomen and handles underneath my bra band on either side of my back). 2. They photographed me from all angles and took ultrasound measurements of the fatty areas. 3. They suggested I do my lower abdomen first. They claimed that, historically, it was the most tender area to treat (not that they needed to tell me that... I had read enough reviews here to figure that out on my own). 4. Doctor marked my areas off where the suction device would be placed. 5. I lied on a reclining-type chair and a cold pad was placed on the area to be treated. I was warned that this would be very very cold, but it only felt wet? 6. The suction device was eased onto the area. The sensation was a little strange, but not very painful at all. There was an obvious sucking sensation and there was a mild burning/tingling, but before 10 minutes, it was numb and it just felt like I was lying down with something heavy on my stomach. I was a little afraid to breathe too deeply when it was first placed, but that preoccupation was more psychological. I got used to it after time. A Boppy-like pillow was placed underneath and another pillow on top after it was determined the device was placed properly and that a sufficient amount of the area was sucked in. 7. I read a magazine. The Kardashians are at it again. 8. The machine starts "massaging" you approximately 7 minutes before the hour is up. I felt it, but it felt like a very very slight rippling sensation. Not painful at all - barely felt. 9. The machine announces to the operator that the cycle is complete. She came in and talked me through the next steps. These were the most uncomfortable of the entire session. Taking the suction device off was not painful. It came off rather easily and I was still numb. But then she had to massage, as she described it, the frozen fat crystals, back to room temperature and spread the treatment around. I didn't really feel it in my stomach area as much as I felt it through to the other side of my back. Maybe it was because I was numb? Or maybe I don't have a lot of nerve endings in my stomach. I didn't even feel when I got my belly button pierced. Rinse. Repeat.

Between each session, the doctor would come in and ensure that the machine was adequately placed and that the treatment looked to be going well from the previous cycle. All three times, both he and the nurse said many times they were very pleased at how much area was covered by the treatment -- that made me happy! Hopefully this will mean more bang for the buck!! Afterward, I was a little tender, but it tended to get better as more time had passed after the treatment. I had been nervous to have to lie on my side when they went through the cycles on my back because my stomach was touching the bed, but it didn't hurt at all. I went out to lunch with my mom afterward.

When I got home a couple hours later, I saw that my back had bruised up a lot on both sides -- into the shape of the suction device. It was uglier than it was painful. My stomach had not bruised at all. Redness had completely subsided. Area was a little firm. Both stomach and back were swollen, but not grotesquely.

First impression of office: Very happy with the experience, professionalism, and congeniality of the doctor, nurse and rest of the staff. Everything was explained to me as it was done, I was routinely checked up on, anything I wanted, they took care of - extra pillows, WiFi password, whatever. The thing that made me most comfortable was their answers to my concerned questions, generated from my experience reading the bad reviews here on Real Self. The nurse had read them, herself, and knew exactly what I was talking about. She also knew a lot of about the procedure because she had done it, herself, and had not had any issues other than mild aching.

The doctor, himself, had completed the procedure on himself during a lunch break, as CoolSculpting advertises you can do. Other girls in the office had done the same thing. The nurse told me they have had the machine for over a year and it's been running non-stop ever since, and, out of all those people, only 2 have had an experience like the horror stories that have appeared on Real Self -- one of which was an employee at the center. She said that people tend to be in the middle of really bad and avoiding any inconvenience. Most people fell toward the better side of things. It was, however, made clear to me that every person is unique, from treatment experience, to recovery speed and degree of pain, to final results. Another thing I thought made a lot of sense was when I had asked the doctor if I was an appropriate candidate for the procedure back in our initial consultation a month ago. He told me that if I could take the area I wanted treated and pull it away from my body, then it was a good area. He said that I wasn't obese, took care of myself, and seemed to be a good candidate. Now, I'm not, in any way, trying to judge some of the other reviewers on Real Self, but some people's photos make me question why a doctor would even agree to perform the procedure on them. I wonder if a person can't pull the problem area away from his/her body as my doctor described, if that contributes to nerve pain and scanty results? Regardless, I did it. No going back now. We'll see what happens!

Day 2: Sleeping was a little off last night, but I'm kind of an insomniac anyway. Xanax seems to relax my muscles. I could sleep on my side with a pillow under my tummy and leg and it wasn't painful at all. Lying on my back was painful for a few minutes, but the pain eventually subsided completely. I chose to work from home today because I wasn't sure what clothes I could wear. I wore my jeans down really low and tucked my tank top in to limit the brushing of the shirt against my belly. It was kind of annoying if I didn't. The seat belt in the car presented a slight problem. I had to slacken it and hold it away from my body. Carrying heavy things was no problem. I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get my daughter out of her crib or carry her, but I did. No problems, as long as I kept my belly off the edge of the crib. I went grocery shopping. No problems at all. Later on in the day, I recalled reading a few reviewers on Real Self say that compression garments helped. I had asked the clinic if I needed to bring one with me after our initial consultation, and they said it wasn't necessary. It isn't -- but it's helping me to wear one today. It cuts down on the sensitivity from my clothes brushing against my tummy and my back aching if I recline against something. The garment also keeps my swollen tummy from jiggling when I walk -- that got a little achy and annoying, too. Bruises are still pretty ugly on my back. My back hurts worse than my belly, probably because it's been bruised. (Will report more as recovery progresses! Photos coming shortly. Will update regularly. Feel free to ask any questions!)

It's Day 6 today. I started having cramping...

It's Day 6 today.

I started having cramping sensations yesterday, but nothing at all terrible. It feels sort of like little pin pricks -- more annoying than painful, and I wouldn't say it's even that annoying. The worst that it's ever gotten for me is a few moments of spasming.

I have been religiously wearing my compression garment, which, again, cuts down on sensitivity of stomach jiggle (it's still a bit swollen, but it's gone down), rubbing of clothes and bumping into things.

Stomach is still numb. I'd rather it be numb than hurt, though.

Back is still bruised, but I can tell it's starting to fade.

Sleeping has become more difficult. That's probably the worst part. Maybe I'm weird, but like when the nurse was massaging my stomach after she removed the device, I'm feeling the stomach pain primarily into my back than I am on my stomach. Last night was terrible trying to sleep. It just felt like a deep back ache. I took a Xanax and it not only made me sleepy, but it relaxed my body and it didn't hurt anymore. I think I'll be taking them at night now.

Dealing with some things I was concerned about initially:

1. Showering -- not at all uncomfortable. I wasn't sure of the water jets would be irritating, but it doesn't hurt at all.

2. Clothing -- wear low-rise things. I never wear my pants lower than my muffin-top, but I am now. Wearing things with an elastic waist, like some of my skirts, or softer, thinner material helps too, like dress pants. I don't mind wearing jeans, though, either. Thin pajama pants around the house though.

3. Things touching my stomach -- Not that painful. I have a rambunctious toddler who loves to crawl into my lap. I'm clumsy. I sleep on my stomach usually. I can lie on my stomach long enough to talk to my mom on the phone -- not painful. If my kid doesn't kick me in the gut (she has once so far), it's not painful. And contact with the area doesn't make the cramping I AM having and better or worse. The only thing that seems to work for that is Xanax, and it's not bad enough for me to medicate during the day. Just need some help at night.

4. (TMI WARNING) Sex -- you can still have sex. LOL.

5. Menstrual Cramping -- you still get them just the same. They feel different than the cramping brought on by the procedure. You get both, essentially, so yeah, it's a bit irritating, but Ibuprofen can deal with the menstrual cramps. One doesn't seem to have any impact on the other.

Bottom line is, I've breached the dreaded 4-5 day mark and I think this is the extent of the discomfort and inconvenience I'm going to feel. Hopefully! I can't even say it's been painful (save for aching in my back at night -- and NOT from where my back was treated, mind you, but from my stomach). Just annoying, if anything. Wish I hadn't been so nervous about this.

Now we wait for the results! Still need to post pics. I am going to try to contact the clinic where I had this done and see if they can release my photos back to me.

Day 8: Starting to feel better. The pain I did...

Day 8:

Starting to feel better. The pain I did have peaked on day 6. The worst it ever was was achy spasming and occasional pins-and-needles-type feelings, but they weren't constant. The closest thing I can compare it to is menstrual cramps in your skin, if that makes any sense (it won't for you men!).

Swelling has gone down, so I look exactly like I did last week before I got it done.

It's going to be hard, but I'm going to try not to study myself so much until at least 2 months have passed! Really hoping I get good results.

A little bummed. Day 15, I gained 2 pounds since...

A little bummed. Day 15, I gained 2 pounds since the procedure and I've been dieting religiously. My hubby's a good boy and tells me the right answer -- it's the swelling! But the swelling's gone down a long time ago. My back still feels a little firm in the areas that were done, and still a little sore when I press there. Both areas have residual numbness, but it's really not that big of a deal. I don't know why it bothers people so much. Been wearing jeans all the way up. No biggie. Really hope this works. Thinking of getting the Ab Ripper-X and speeding this process along!! LOL

3 days shy of 3 weeks and mom says she already...

3 days shy of 3 weeks and mom says she already notices a difference. I don't know if I notice a difference in my stomach yet, but my back ... I can already tell this is going to work! :) :) :) I can't imagine what it's going to look like in 2-4 months! I'm kind of wondering if I'll have to go another round on my stomach. It was a pretty big problem area...

Back bruising is completely gone, but still sore if you press on it. Feels like a bruise still. Not terrible though... you really have to deliberately press on it for it to hurt. Still moderately numb.

Stomach is, surprisingly, less uncomfortable than my back. In fact, no pain at all. I'm wearing my tightest jeans today which hit me right where I got sucked up... no pain at all. Still slightly numb, but feeling is almost back.

I was told the back would be easier than my stomach. I believe the term was "cakewalk"? Well, while neither was at all terrible, it was definitely my back that has been the most inconvenient. I'm weird. :)

Long term plans: Now that most residual discomfort has subsided, I'm planning on adopting cardio at least 3 times a week and I am going to get the Ab Ripper-X. I've also been dieting since January. So far I've lost 20 pounds. I am hoping to lose at least another 10 before my wedding in September. Just making note of this, as it will more than likely affect my "after" photos -- I only got Coolsculpting done on the places I know will not feel much from the diet and exercise. ;)
Fort Wayne General Surgeon

Very thorough -- doctor, nurses and staff partake in the treatments they prescribe. Offers first-hand opinions, detailed information on expectations, results, processes. Very congenial. Great feedback from patients. I believe this doctor performs procedures for people if its in their best interest -- not his.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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