The CoolSculpting by Zeltiq Patient Experience From a Physician


After much due diligence (I spent over one year of research and investigation as well as personal communications with the experts in the field, traveling around the country getting personal reports from patients), I began offering my patients Coolsculpting by Zeltiq in November 2010. My criteria for incorporating any new treatment or technology into my practice are that it be both SAFE and SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN EFFECTIVE.

There are many descriptions of the treatment online, but I thought that I would share my personal experience with CoolSculpting with you. Forgive me as it is a bit "tongue in cheek".

I was the first patient on our Zeltiq device (or "The Fat Machine" as my poker buddies affectionately call it). My wife was the immediate second person treated. I was told that it was "very comfortable", but when the large hand piece (with industrial Oreck-like vacuum power) grabbed onto my naive, unsuspecting abdominal pooch of unwanted subcutaneous fat that had been resistant to years of diet and exercise, I must have lost the color in my face (at least that's what my 5 curious and genuinely concerned female office staff members described my shocked appearance as) as beads of persperation pooled on my blanched forehead. Of course my loving wife stepped into the room and assured all present that, "Oh, don't go by him, he's such a baby!", as I felt that I was being lifted up to the ceiling by the Zeltiq hand piece.

After about 15 slightly less than tortuous minutes of feeling what I was later told feels like typical "menstrual cramps" (my empathy to all of you girls reading this), the cold plates of the hand piece took over, seemingly froze everything, and I was able to comfortably resume taking zips of my vente Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino (likely one of many causes for the tummy "pooch" being there in the first place), but taking a deep breath was still difficult as I felt as if my diaphragm was stuck to the inside of the suction hand piece.

Once the hour treatment was up, the hand piece was removed revealing red,very cold skin (think Mammouth chairlift in December, no clothes on) with a family-size brick of butter under my skin that felt like a frozen chicken breast that was slowly thawing out. The "frozen brick" disappeared within minutes and the redness went away after a few hours. I was able to return to normal activities immediately. The numbness and tingling, feeling like pins and needles (like Novocain wearing off) lasted for about 12 hours, and there was some residual numbness for about two weeks, but it was very tolerable. It felt a little strange whenever clothing touched the treated area.

As bad as all that sounds, it was not bad at all (or believe me, I would not be lining up for my next treatment). Only a small percentage of patients experience discomfort, most just read, work on their computers, or actually fall asleep for the hour.

Courtesy of Steven Weiner, MD Destin, Florida
Both my wife and I are about two months out from our treatment now; my wife is very pleased with her result, and wants more. I will have another treatment soon, and have seen a little improvement (treatment immediately before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years may be associated with weight gain, having nothing to due with Zeltiq, more to do with multiple excellent meals, desserts, and perhaps even a few splashes of wine).

Realistic expectations are essential before the treatment. More than one treatment session should be counted on, and even scheduled from the start. The results are gradual over time (for most of us, the same as when we gained the extra fat). The technology is scientifically proven to work, but it does usually take multiple sessions.

The numbness and tingling is normal for a few weeks. There have been a few patients who have experienced more severe pain that has responded well to lidocaine gel or patches (speak with your physician before self treating).

Good luck and be well, and from now on I will be sticking with tall Frappucinnos only!

Dr Michael Persky is located in Encino, California but services all of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Including, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Malibu, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and more

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Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon