After Coolsculpting, where does fat intake get stored? If in other fat cells, then other areas will get more fat & look awkward?

Doctor Answers 8

What Happens To Fat After CoolSculpting

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During a CoolSculpting treatment your fat cells are frozen to the point where they basically self destruct. Then, over the course of the next few weeks your body's immune cells work to clear up these dead fat cells and eliminate them from your body. If you happen to gain weight after your procedure it will be your remaining fat cells that will enlarge. The fat will tend to accumulate in whatever area your body has a tendency to accumulate fat first. This may not necessarily be the area you had treated. It should not really look awkward. If it does, then you can have those areas treated also if they are suitable for treatment. Hope this helps answer your question. 

Sherman Oaks General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

After CoolSculpting, where does fat intake get stored? If in other fat cells, then other areas will get fatter & look awkward?

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The fat that is treated with Coolsculpting undergoes a natural cell death and and over 1-3 months that fat is eliminated through the lymphatic system. The treated areas will then have less fat cells and therefore will be more resistant to weight gain. But generally there us no distortion or awkward appearance so long as the treatment plan is comprehensive to customize the results according to clients shape and desired goals.

Fat redistribution following CoolSculpting

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Dear BigMuffinTop:

Fat cells die following CoolSculpting (CS) from:
  • apoptosis; a genetic mechanism in which the cold signals the cell to die, and 
  • inflammation: where your immune / white cells target injured cells and absorb them.
The injured cells are absorbed into the lymphatic system and eliminated through the liver and stool. 
The amount of cells injured by CS varies but I have estimated it averages 50 grams of fat for a regular applicator and 100 grams of fat for a CoolMax applicator. 

It is true that if you are consuming the same amount of calories as you did before CS, the calories will make fat in other cells not injured. Since each applicator will reduce up to 20% of the fat thickness, that means the other 80% of cells can accumulate fat in the same area or in other areas. This concern is more visible in patients who under go surgical liposuction (SAL) where up to 90% of fat cells are removed and larger areas of the body are contoured in the process.

It is important to understand that CS and SAL are body contouring options to improve your appearance and not weight reduction. You still have to do your part to maintain or reduce calories with lifestyle modifications of diet and exercise. 

Please consult with a Certified Zeltiq CoolSculpting Team to review your concerns.

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Coolsculpting and Fat

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Fat is absorbed by the body after coolscultping but requires many treatments to get contouring like results.  expect 15-20% improvement each application, otherwise get liposuction to get all the area at once.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 204 reviews

Fat storage after coolsculpt

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Coolsculpting freezes fat and reduces the number of fat cells in the treated area by 20-25% per treatment. As long as you are maintaining your weight, and not gaining weight, you will notice results. If you gain wight later, you will gain weight evenly throughout your body and typically people maintain the new shape achieved with their treatment rather than developing an "awkward"  shape.  The company even has a photo that shows one of their employees who just treated one love handle and after he gained 10 lbs, that love handle that was treated still looked better than the untreated sided. Importantly, is that if your weight is stable, you will get a noticeable result and afterward if you gain weight it is uniformly with your new shape.

Coolsculpting and Fat

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Coolsculpting works through the principal of Popsicle panniculitis and freezes the fat. The fat cells die and are excreted from the body.

Fat is not stored, comes out in urine over time

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Coolsculpting is best when performed on an area that has an excess number of fat cells. For example, women say, "When I gain weight, it goes straight to my belly." That means that you were born with more fat cells in your abdominal area. It would be great to perform coolsculpting in that area to reduce the number of fat cells there and make that are more proportional with the rest of your body. Then, if you gain weight, it will be more evenly distributed over your body. It won't just "go straight" to one area.
The fat loss is permanent after Coolsculpting. You typically lose 20-25% of the fat in the area treated, each time you treat it. I have done it to myself and my staff. It is truly effective and has no down time.
Best of Luck,
Sheila Nazarian

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

Other areas do not "look awkward"

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I have done cool sculpting since 2009.  We have 18 machines in two locations and have done over 18,000 treatments.    Other areas are not changed and do not look awkward.   The areas treated reduced and contoured nicely.  Patients and clients are very happy.   Cool sculpting is simply the best non surgical fat reduction and body contouring option available.  Come in for a complimentary evaluation.  We offer the most competitive prices and often can get you in and out in 1/4 the time.  

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 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.