19 Mar 2017
2 weeks post op
Coolsculpting March 2017
I am a 40 year old, no children. Currently I weigh 134 lbs and my natural waist measurement is 30” and the largest part of my waist where my muffin top and pot belly are is 38”. I do not expect this treatment to change my weight. I was informed at my various consultations at different offices that ideal candidates are within 20 lbs of their desired weight (I’d like to stick between 110-120 lbs ideally), and show the most effective results with only one treatment (per area that you want treated). I am judging the success of this procedure by the change in inches. As you can see from the photos, I am unhappy with my torso. Even though I eat a healthy diet, sticking to 1500 cal a day or less (and am therefore always at a calorie deficit) and workout 6 days a week, I still remain on the chubby side. Even when I was at my skinniest at 105 lbs, I still had that dreaded pot bully, fat roll right under my bra line, and a muffin top. If Cool Sculpting works for me, I plan on returning for another treatment for my back bra-line fat bulge. For now, I chose to focus on the treatment of my most hated areas: upper and lower abdomen, and my muffin top.
The procedure was scheduled Friday morning (3/10/17) for these four treatment sites. The office had the new adapters, with the price set by Zeltiq. The four areas we treated were the upper and lower abdomen (45 mins each) with the new CoolCore Advantage large sized applicator at $1200 each, and my left and right flanks (muffin top, 35 mins each) with the CoolCurve+ Advantage medium sized applicator at $800 each. I had already stocked up on some light control fajas from Leonisa and bodysuits from Maidenform, and large CorPak ice packs in preparation for my treatment. I’d also like to note that I had started a few weeks before treatment, and then resumed the day after treatment, self-massage in the areas that were treated. I use an aloe vera based gel with essential oils that has an icey/hot feel to it, along with a cellulite massage tool. I also stopped taking any NSAID pain relievers, as I have read that this prevents your body’s natural inflammatory response to the Cool Sculpting treatment to get rid of the destroyed fat cells and hinders you getting optimal results.
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no discomfort to 10 being excruciating pain, the entire treatment from beginning to end was between a 1 to a 3 for me. The doctor herself marked out the treatment areas, placed the adapters, and removed the adapters at the end of each area treated. When the applicators were first placed, the only discomfort I had was where the applicator’s edge rested on bone (a 2 on my pain scale), which only lasted for about 5 minutes before the sensation went away. This only occurred during the two abdominal treatments. On my lower abs, the edge of the applicator head, which was placed horizontally across my belly, just hit my hip bone on either side. On my upper abs, the top edge of the applicator rested against my lower ribs. The cold was not intense; it literally felt like I had an ice pack against me. Between 5-10 minutes, everything went numb and I could feel nothing but the weight of the applicator head (they aren’t heavy, but because they suction to you pretty strongly, it gave the illusion of something heavy weighing down on you). The worst part for me was the moment the suction cup applicator was removed. When the warm office air hit where my flesh had been frozen, it felt like a burning rash. This only lasted for about 15 seconds (this was my 3 on my pain scale). The 2 minute massage literally felt like nothing, my skin was totally numb, and it actually got rid of that rashy/burning feeling. I could feel the assistance massaging me, but there was no pain at all.
With the new adapters, there was no giant, painful, frozen ‘stick of butter’ flesh sticking up. I bruise easily – there was no bruising at all for me. My skin was red in the treatment area when the applicator was removed. As soon as the assistance massaged the area just treated and warmed the flesh back up, my skin returned to its normal color. Also, the protective gel pad they place on your skin before applying the applicator has a very thick and sticky goo on it. It is way thicker and stickier than the gel used for ultrasounds. I wore cotton, stretchy lounge clothes to the appointment. The sticky gel got on my shirt and pants, but it did not stain. I did a couple loads of laundry when I got home later that afternoon and everything washed up fine.
Right after I completed all the cool sculpting treatments, my friend and I had lunch. As soon as I got home, I put on a faja. That evening I definitely swelled up, I looked like I was a few months pregnant, but no bruising or pain. I also got large ice packs which I did place on all treatment areas for about 20 mins a few times a day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) to help control and reduce swelling. I kept either a faja or bodysuit on 24/7 as well. By Sunday, there was still no pain, and the swelling went down. The treatment areas still feel numb to the touch. You know the good muscle ache feeling when you’ve done an ab work-out? I didn’t have that feeling in my abs at all, but I did on my flanks/back where I had my muffin top treatments. I re-started my self-massage the morning after the treatment. It was slightly uncomfortable on my abs, like massaging a bruise, but not painful. Wearing a control garment (and ones that were NOT super tight, they had light to medium control), completely alleviated this feeling for me. Friday and Saturday I took it easy, Sunday I returned to my normal work-out routine. I did not take any pain medication; I didn’t need it at all.
I did a lot of research and went to several consults at different places. I was not happy with 'medical spas' because I found there were not real medically licensed people who actually perform this procedure, and they were trying to make me believe I'd need 8+ treatments. Also, I found one place in particular where the nurse's license was no longer valid. Please be sure to check on public government websites that the provider has a valid license for your state and/or that their NPI number has no sanctions. I ended up going to a doctor of dermatology who felt I only needed 3 treatments, but I told her that I really wanted my upper abs treated as well. She checked and measured me and confirmed that if I chose I could also have that area treated as well. She never pressured me into getting more treatments for this procedure or anything else, and her office staff were extremely warm, kind and welcoming. No one there made me feel uncomfortable about either the procedure or my body, and they welcomed me to have a very good friend sit with me in the treatment room to keep me company. So overall, it was a great experience!
Pain scale: 1-2
Hurts just a little bit