Does the Coolsculpting Treatment Thoroughly Chill All the Fat Cells Pulled into the Applicator?

How many of the fat cells in the tissue that is pulled into the applicator are ACTUALLY completely frozen/crystallized? Is the Zeltiq device designed to thoroughly and uniformly chill ALL of the fat that the applicator accesses? Does the larger applicator provide stronger cooling and thus more penetration of the fat layers in between the plates? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 5

How Much Fat Is Treated With CoolSculpting

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The estimated average of fat cells that will be reduced with treatment with a single cycle is about 20%. The treatment rarely leaves any lumps or bumps and uniformly reduces fat in the treated area. The larger applicator treats a larger surface area in the same amount of time, but may not fit on all patients. It's always best to have a consultation to determine if you are a candidate, how many cycles are recommended for full correction, and to answer your questions more thoroughly.

Freezing the fat away with CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

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Safety was important to the design team of Zeltiq when they developed CoolSculpting. The goal is even results and safe treatment but it would be unrealistic to kill all the fat cells. In fact, we all need some buffer of fat between the skin and muscle. There is a continued zone of cooling that spreads out from the epicenter of treatment, but only 20% of volume reduction occurs with one treatment. The large applicator does not penetrate deeper; the large applicator treats a larger area at one time provided the body's shape holds the applicator to maintain suction. If the large applicator is too large for the abdomen and air gets in between the skin and the edge of the applicator, then suction won't be maintained. That's why in my NYC practice CoolSculpting patients are examined by me and fit with the corresponding templates to be sure there will be a good fit of the different applicators.

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

How much fat is frozen?

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We anticipate that approximately 20-25% of the fat cells in the treated area are going to be destroyed.   For this reason we recommend multiple treatments for most patients. 

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

Applicators Coolsculpting

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It may be assumed that as long as your fat is sucked into the coolsculpting chamber than that fit will be exposed to cooler temperaturs resulting in fat cell apoptosis (death).

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon


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All of the fat that is drawn up between the metal plates inside the applicator will be frozen.  The better the drawn we have found makes a nicer result.  Immediately after the applicator is removed the area treated should look like a hard, frozen stick of "butter" then we massage it down.  As far as the outcome, the area treated typically has a 20-25% reduction in fat cells.  We have been double treating areas at the same visit and are seeing nice results.

Ben Hugo, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon

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.