How does the CoolSculpting device work?

I have read and watched videos of the device sucking the fatty area in and cooling down it. How does it suck the fatty area in and when that is done what is it that cools the day does to kill it

Doctor Answers 9

How does CoolSculpting work?

How does coolsculpting work?

It was a simple yet brilliant discovery that we could freeze your fat and permanently destroy it by cooling it to refrigerator temperatures without damaging your skin. The fat under your skin freezes and turns hard just like the fat in butter freezes and turns hard when placed in the refrigerator. Coolsculpting cools the fat under your skin causing the fat in the cells to crystallize which damages and permanently destroys your fat cells. Your body reacts with an inflammatory response which causes your body to naturally dispose of the damaged fat cell resulting in a significant improvement in the shape of your body.

The coolsculpting procedure involves placing the appropriate applicator over the fat you want to remove. The old applicator required an hour per area.  The new CoolAdvantage applicator offers 35 minute treatment sessions and even greater comfort. So make sure you are going to a center that offers this new CoolAdvantage applicator

When the treatment is finished the applicator is removed. The original clinical studies were done without any post treatment massage. We discovered later that vigorously massaging the treatment area after the procedure resulted in much greater fat loss than the 25% reduction originally reported.

It was recently discovered that using the Zimmer Zwave acoustic therapy device instead of massaging the area will result in an even greater fat loss significantly improving your results. Make sure the center you go to offers the Zimmer Zwave so you can get the most out of your coolsculpting treatments.

You will start noticing your results in a few weeks as the destroyed fat cells are gradually removed. You will continue to see improvement over the next several months.

Tempe Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

How does the CoolSculpting device work?

Thank you for your question. The device suctions the treatment area and cools it to a preset temperature by Zeltiq. Because our fat cells are most sensitive to cold, 25% of the cells in a treatment area die and are carried out of our body through our lymphatic system. Results usually take 9-12 weeks to show. Regards,

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 474 reviews

How does the CoolSculpting device work?

You are right. The device actually "sucks in" the treatment area which is then cooled to kill the adjacent fat cells beneath the skin surface. It takes about 3 months to see the final outcome as the fat cells which are destroyed are gradually removed by the body.

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS, FICS
Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Machine draws in tissue to be frozen

The coolsculpitng machine draws the tissue into the area to be cooled.  Then the fat that is surrounded by three sides is cooled in order to kill the fat cells and not the skin.
If you can't draw a lot of fat into the machine it is hard to get a good result.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Coolsculpting and Mechanism of Action

Coolsculpting works through the principal of "popsicle panniculitis" whereby the fat is frozen and excreted from the body.  It will reduce the fat in a given area by approximately 25%.  The mechanism was designed by researchers at Harvard and has grown in popularity with huge patient satisfaction.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

How does the CoolSculpting device work?

Thank you for your question.
The CoolSculpting method is based on science performed by the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Research determined that fat cells are more vulnerable to cold temperatures and when introduced to these cold climates are effortlessly and permanently demolished. Beginning weeks after the cooling application, the cooled fat cells initiate the process of solidifying the fat cells without destroying surrounding tissues, eventually causing the cells to shrink and disappear naturally. Gradually as the cells diminish, the depth of the fat layer will be reduced.
I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,504 reviews

How CoolSculpting Works

CoolSculpting is a fairly versatile procedure thanks to its different applicators that help target fat on different areas of the body. But the one you're describing, the most well-known applicator, is a device that uses a vacuum to suction the stubborn fat (usually a small, pinchable roll) into an area to be cooled. Because fat freezes at a higher temperature than water, we can apply a cold temperature that will kill fat cells but won't damage surrounding tissues in the skin. So the fat is cooled to this low temperature for an hour, the fat cells die, and then over a period of about 3 to 4 months your body processes and flushes them out, and you typically see about a 25% reduction in fat in that area. Many patients opt to have an additional session after a couple of months to improve their results. 

Other applicators for areas like the thighs don't use any suction because the area is usually flatter and less like a roll. However, they do apply cold in the same way and achieve the same reduction in fat.

Frank Lista, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

How does CoolSculpting work?

The CoolSculpting device causes fat cell destruction by causing the fat cells to freeze, which kills them.  The machine has a vacuum which draws the skin and fat into the applicator and then there are cooling panels which freeze the fat but not the skin.  Normally, a single treatment session will destroy 20-25% of the fat cells in the treated area.  Macrophages in the lymphatic system then engulf and rid the body of the damaged cells. It takes several months to see the final result from the procedure.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

CoolSculpting Process

The applicator has a vacuum that draws the fat in the cup. There are cooling panels in the applicator that cools the area to a certain temperature. Fat itself is sensitive to cold so apoptosis begins. It takes 1-3 months for you to see your optimal results.

Robert G. Aycock, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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.