I'm seriously considering getting Coolsculpting done on my love handles and stomach. I've read up on it, but can someone explain to me why it only damages the fat cells and nothing else? And also, does it ever come out "lumpy?" I'm worried about long-term side effects. Also, are the results more dramatic or thinner people or those with more weight to remove? Thanks :)
Long-term Effects of Coolsculpting?
Doctor Answers 33
Long Term Effects of CoolSculpting?
To date there are no long term negative effects of CoolSculpting.The reason it only damages fat cells is that fat cells will freeze at higher temperature than other tissues. The reason the other tissues such as skin, nerves and blood vessels are not frozen at these same temperatures are that they are water based. The device carefully controls the cooling process so that the temperatures achieved are such that the only the fat will freeze but are above the freezing point of other tissues inside the applicator. Regarding your second question, CoolSculpting gives a very NATURAL looking reduction without issues of lumpiness nor hanging excess skin. Finally, the ideal patient is the one who is close to their ideal weight with moderate to small bulges. However, that is not to say that the procedure does not work in larger individuals. As with all procedures proper expectations are critical. I have treated individuals who are less than ideal and they have been extemely gratified by their results. One does have to ensure that they understand that complete elimination of their bulge will not happen and if desired multiple procedures can be performed for additional fat reduction. Having accepted this, they are more than thrilled to produce undeniable results with one treatment that does not require any surgery, needles, anesthesia nor downtime!
The long-term effects of Coolsculpting
The freezing temperature of a fat cell is why coolsculpt only affects fat cells.
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Slight depression in the tissue with Coolsculpting
There can be a small shallow indentation where the device was applied, and for that reason when the device is applied it should be placed where this would be to the patients/ advantage. Meaning a slight indentation would improve the overall results.
Your question is a good one. The process of CoolSculpting allows the fat cells to be targeted by the freezing process and in so doing, it does not hurt the skin or blood vessels. Pretty neat idea !
An interesting part of the treatment happens when the "suction" is removed from a treated area and the tissue looks like a big red lump ! Then the areas are massaged. The swelling and color returns soon and then the process of the "stunned" fat cell resorption occurs and the products of this process are excreted as any other absorbed cells do.
To date there are very few complications from this process. It does not tend to dent and there are virtually no negative effects on the skin in the treated areas.
CoolSculpting produces a reduction in fat cells that lasts
CoolSculpting is a great, FDA-approved treatment for fat reduction of the abdomen and flanks. It can be used safely for off-label treatment of the upper arms, inner/outer thighs, bra-strap area and above the knees. The advance cooling technology selectively targets and eliminates fat cells gently and gradually without affecting the surrounding tissue-fat cells are more sensitive to cold than our skin, muscles, nerves, ect. Patients in our office have seen an average fat reduction of 20-25% with one treatment. Several treatments may be required. I use the "treatment to transformation" method to achieve smooth contours.It takes about 2-3 months to get a general idea of the final results. The results are long-lasting as long as you maintain a stable weight through healthy lifestyle. I recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in body contouring to determine if your an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting.
Andrew Lyos MD, FACS