What Temperature is CoolSculpting Done by Zeltiq?

Hi I am really interested in cool sculpting as I have researched enough and seen the results it can give. But I am a bit worried as in how cold the machine gets? I read it goes below 0 c but wouldn't that cause the water in your normal cells to freeze too? Maybe what I read is inaccurate but I want to be safe before I come for treatment. Thanks

Doctor Answers 8

The science of CoolSculpting

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There is more to CoolSculpting been just the actual temperature at which the treatment is administered.  The rate of cooling and other factors are also important.  Over 1 million CoolSculpting cycles have been performed to date and this treatment remains one of the safest and most effective aesthetic options available today.

Nashville Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

At What Temperature Does Fat Freeze?

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Hi Sati. Fat freezes at 4 degrees celsius, which is 39.2 degrees fahrenheit. This is higher than the freezing point of water, blood, etc. Therefore, all your other cells are perfectly safe from damage during CoolSculpting. Hope this helps. Best of luck on your treatment.

Michael A. Zadeh, MD, FACS
Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Temperature of CoolSculpting

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CoolSculpting works by cooling an area to reduce fat.  The temperature that it achieves is just above the freezing point of water, so it does not freeze the non-fat cells.  

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

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​Coolsculpting is a very safe and effective treatment

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Coolsculpting is a very safe and effective treatment.  Since fat freezes at a higher temperature than water, freezing of the skin is difficult with this procedure.  Plus there are safety procedures built into the system that helps reduce the risk of freezing the skin.  Hundreds of thousands of safe treatment have been done with the Coolsculpting system.

Howard Gross, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


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The cooling panels get to -10 degrees Celsius. Coolsculpting is FDA approved and very safe.

Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Coolsculpting Temperature

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The device is extremely safe and works very consistently. Yes, you can freeze the skin – we did that in one of the very first patients – but its protective mechanism allowed that patient to heal without any problems and it has since been changed that it can’t actually happen anymore. The problem is that many salon environments are trying to mimic CoolSculpting’s efficacy with knock-off devices that do not have the same safety. Be very careful what you are signing up for as many of these salons are quite sneaky.

Suzanne Kilmer, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Science Behind CoolSculpting

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During the treatment, the cooling panels get to -10 degrees Celsius, however the fat itself does not get down to -10 degrees. Monitoring of the treatment is based on a thermal extraction rate measured at the cooling panels and is defined as Cooling Intensity Factor. There is a Freeze Detect System which monitors heat extraction for safety. When the system sense that the skin might be reaching a point of freezing, treatment will stop automatically. None of the skin cells from the epidermis layer are affected by CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting Temperatures

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Thanks for your question and thanks for doing your homework – this is always not the case with these types of procedures. As noted by some of the other experts who have answered this question, there are several built in mechanisms that have been built in to the device to minimize the risk of freezing any of the surrounding skin cells in the area and that we keep it specific for the fat cells in the applicator treatment site. As Dr. Kilmer noted, there are many other devices out there that claim to do the same as the Zeltiq device – and none of them have clearance in the US by the FDA although some have made their way into the US. The ultimate safety of these devices have not been fully determined so we would never recommend that any of these be used in this country at this time. Be smart and be careful and find a CoolSculpting provider that can best handle all of your concerns and answer the questions that you have.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 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.