I am 48, 5'5" 115 lbs. I have always had a "pooch," no matter how much I weigh. Right now I am in the best shape of my life and still have that stubborn tummy bulge that just won't go away. Invasive procedures are not an option, so when I heard about CoolSculpting I new it was the solution I had been looking for. There was a Living Social offer (1/2 price for a small apparatus), so after researching the doctor, I was in! I ended up paying an extra $550 in order to use the large apparatus for maximum results (it was almost too big). After a thorough consultation last week, I scheduled my procedure for yesterday.
Here's my experience (and let me preface this by saying I feel like I have an above average tolerance for pain): When the fat is initially sucked into the vacuum, it feels like you've been punched in the stomach and had the breath knocked out of you. It sucked every last bit of fat I have into the vacuum. It was very, very uncomfortable for about 2 minutes, and then slowly subsided. I didn't even notice the cold kicking in. After about 10 minutes, the discomfort was negligible. I did feel like I couldn't take a deep breath because I was scared I would mess up the suction. I was able to read magazines and the hour went by fairly quickly. Now here's where it gets ugly...when the apparatus is removed they massage your stomach to re-distribute the fat cells that were sucked into the vacuum. This hurts...A LOT. After that, I was told I could get dressed and come to the front. When I stood up, it was like really bad menstrual cramps. I was nauseous, light-headed, and my hands were a bit shaky. I went up front to settle up and make my follow-up appointments, and I really felt like I might pass out, and wasn't sure if I could drive myself home (a 25 minute drive). I got to my car (this was about 10-15 minutes after the procedure) and sat there for a few minutes. The car was warm and it made me feel better. After about 5 more minutes I felt fine and drove home. By the time I got home the nausea was gone, as was most of the redness on my abdomen.
I was advised by my doctor to wear a compression garmet (Spanx or similar) and I put one one when I got home...MUCH better. My skin feels extremely sensitive and having loose material or a binding waistband touching my skin hurts. The Spanx were a little too binding, but I had another pair (Donna Karan, I believe) that don't have a waistband, and aren't as tight. I slept fairly well. This morning I am still sore (like after you've done a really intense ab workout) and my skin is completely numb. I went for a walk this morning and it actually made me feel better. I'm hoping the numbness is like when your foot falls asleep...the more movement you do the quicker it goes away! I have not felt any tingling or burning. I will post updates when there are changes. I can't say yet whether it was "worth it" or not, but I am very optimistic! If you are thinking about doing this or have already scheduled your procedure, please email me if you would like some tips on things I wish I had/had not done the day of my procedure!