Who is Qualified to Operate the Coolsculpting Machine? Should It Be Only a Doctor?

Who is Qualified to Operate the Coolsculpting Machine? Should It Be Only a Doctor?

Doctor Answers 18

Initial Evaluation by a Surgeon Is Best

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Thank you for your question. In order to operate a CoolSculpting applicator in a treatment setting, you must first be certified by ZELTIQ, the manufacturer. Many practices, including mine, have a CoolSculpting Specialist on staff who has been trained by ZELTIQ and performs the actual treatment session. This meets the FDA requirements of operating a Class II medical device under a physician's supervision. I also firmly believe that every potential CoolSculpting patient should be examined by a board-certified plastic surgeon before treatment. He or she can affirm that the patient is a good candidate for the procedure and develop the treatment plan that will result in the best body contouring results.

CoolSculpting Treatments

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CoolSculpting can only be performed in the office of physicians with physician supervision. The treatment can be performed by technicians with proper training. Highly trained and experienced technicians are important as the procedure is technique dependent. Nurse practitioners and PA's may, if needed write prescriptions for medications. On rare occasions, a patient will have discomfort that can be treated with a prescription of Neurontin. However, most patients fdo very well wearing the compression garment our office provides every person as part of our CoolSculpting Complete package. We have also noted that arnica montana, a homeopathic remedy that helps with bruising and swelling after surgical procedures can help people with comfort following a CoolSculpting Complete treatment. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Coolsculpting provider qualification

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I was the first plastic surgeon in the Houston area to bring on Coolsculpting.  I would say with any device, there is a learning curve.  Both in terms of knowing what the limitations of the device is, and gaining experience if this is something that can be delegated within a physician practice.
I have found in my own practice that when I delegated completely, the results were more inconsistent.  Today I am involved in every consult and draw out the treatment plan for every patient prior to their treatment.  I still do many of the treatments myself depending on my schedule, but I do have a team that supports me. 
I would be weary of going to place where you don't see a physician or where the surgeon is not an expert in body contouring.

Certification of CoolSculpting training

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Doctors do not need to be the ones who apply the applicator and do the treatment. In our NYC practice, we, as many others, have taken extra effort to become certified by Zeltiq to perform CoolSculpting. The medical assistants are trained well and supervision is provided by the physician.  As the physician of the patient, I, or another physician, see the patient in consultation and determine if the patient is a candidate for the procedure and discuss the treatment and its consequences, along with its risks, and measure the patient for which applicator is fits best per area to be treated and mark the exact site upon which the applicator is to be placed. In this way, any of my assistants can apply the CoolSculpting applcator.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Who should perform the coolsculpting procedure on patients?

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In the USA, there are state-specific laws defining who can perform laser procedures and with what supervision.  However, there is no specific certification required to perform the coolsculpting procedure. A medical assistant or nurse can be trained to perform the procedure.  Expertise is aquired with experience and with attendance at Coolsculpting University' (called 'cool u') run by Zeltiq, the company that makes coolsculpting.  The key is to make sure that the physician has done an evaluation during your consultation to confirm that you have no contraindications to the procedure (like a hernia or external insulin pump in the area of planned treatment).

I hope that helps answer your question.  Best wishes.

Heidi A. Waldorf, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Who Can Perform CoolSculpting

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CoolSculpting can only be performed in practices with physicians  and doctor supervision. Technicians can perform the treatment with proper training. It is important to select a practice with highly trained and experienced staff to ensure optimal comfort and results. 

Vinay Aggarwal, MD
Los Angeles Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Who is Qualified to be a Coolsculpting Technician?

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Great question! Coolsculpting is performed by a qualified technician who has completed an extensive training course with Zeltiq, the company that created Coolsculpting. This training is a 2 day, one-on-one training course with Coolsculpting Specialists. There is also additional in-office training with the Coolsculpting Representative. It is ideal to have your procedure with someone who has been doing the procedure for longer than 6 months. Typically it is not a doctor who performs the procedure, although it is required that a physician monitors the Coolsculpting technician. Having 4 years of experience with Coolsculpting at my practice, our Coolsculpting Team Leader has completed over 1500 cycles. It is important to have your procedure done with an experienced provider to ensure an optimal result!

Best of Luck,

Dr. Thomas E. Kaniff

Thomas E. Kaniff, MD, FACS
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Coolsculpting should be done at a certified Coolsculpting center

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You do not have to be a physician but the clinic should be certified by Zeltiq and ideally they should be doing Coolsculpting for at least a year.  Our Laguna Niguel, Orange County office was the first private practice in the OC to perform Coolsculpting.  Since 2010 we have performed over 5000 treatment cycles, including dual sculpting (2 areas at once.)  This type of experience and also having the latest handpieces, like Cool Advantage, is what you should be looking for when vetting an office.

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

Certified CoolSculpting Providers

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Kudos to you for asking who specifically performs a cosmetic procedure -- you are being a proactive patient. The company that makes CoolSculpting, Zeltiq, provides practices with extensive training as part of a certification process that ensures consistency. CoolSculpting University is a comprehensive, 2-day program that includes intensive, one-on-one training. CoolSculpting is typically offered by plastic surgery and dermatology practices, where trained, qualified members of the medical staff may perform the procedure. It is safe for physician assistants, nurses, aestheticians, and others to perform the procedure if they are certified, but it is wise to also be sure that a physician is on hand.

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Coolscultpting and Certification of Training

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Coolsculpting certified practices receive special training with hours of supervision from the company.  I personally believe that the physician should evaluate all new coolsculpting patients.  There is a learning curve to this procedure and nurses can perform this procedure in a doctor's office if they are properly trained and supervised by a physician.  Please be certain to consult a board certified dermatologist with expertise in coolsculpting for the best cosmetic results.

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.