After going in for a consult with Clarity Skin in Draper, Utah, I was SO excited about this procedure, so I purchased a single session. The total amount paid was $2,100. The procedure was performed on July 12, 2016 and entailed having 6 applicators (2 at a time) applied to targeted areas in the upper and lower abdomen and lower back (flanks/love handles) over roughly a 3 hour period.
The claims from both Clarity Skin and Zeltiq about the results of the procedure were that after 1 application, I would experience a 20% reduction in fat cells in the targeted areas.
From the website:
“The CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure actually reduces the number of fat cells in treated areas by about 20% to 25%.”
“The result? Treated fat cells are gone for good. Those stubborn fat bulges start to disappear, leaving a more sculpted you. After your CoolSculpting treatment, you may not weigh less, but you’ll look thinner. And, your clothes will fit better, feel better, and look better!”
When I asked the clinician what would happen if the procedure did not work, I was assured that I was a great candidate as I wasn’t overweight and just had some problem areas, I would be very happy with the results and that IF in the slight chance that no results were seen, they would review and make sure I was satisfied. The first two weeks post-procedure were painful to the point that it was difficult to sleep and the areas treated couldn't be touched without pain. I was made aware that this was a possibility and was still very hopeful for good results.
I logged measurements and took pictures for 7 weeks and again at week 13 (I'll post soon, although there's nothing to see :) ). During post-procedure follow ups at weeks 4 and 8 I expressed concern that there was no noticeable difference and was told that some patients experience the greatest results between weeks 8 and 12. At a 13 week follow up, no changes had been experienced. The clinician did try to pinpoint areas that she thought looked different between the pictures they took, to which I explained that the week 8 and 12 pictures were taken at a farther distance and as a result, would of course make the person appear a bit smaller (watch for this!). She did not adjust the pictures to show results from the same distance.
In discussing options, the clinician said that she thought I might see the “best” results if I were to go through a second procedure and then proceeded to tell me that Zeltiq would not look at my case for a potential refund as a “non-responder” until after a second procedure and even after that would ONLY refund the cost of the second procedure. This is not something that was explained initially and a second session was not a requirement to my treatment plan.
Regardless, I was not willing to pay another 2k, only to wait another 3 months to have my case reviewed in the slight chance that I'd get only half of my money back and still be out 2k. I was especially worried because if I were to lose more weight or work out on my own during that time and had even a slight change in appearance, there'd be no chance for getting my money back as the only measurement of success for them is pictures (no inch measurement or BMI tests). Super disappointing and frustrating to say the least.
The reasoning for the procedure/results not received as described could be due to a few things, all of which I would consider refund worthy:
1. The process simply did not work for me, in which case, I should be viewed as a “non-responder” without having to pay for a second procedure and should be refunded in full.
2. The clinician did not perform the procedure correctly, in which case, I should be refunded in full.
3. The day of the procedure, the clinician told me that the applicators used had just been received the day before, were a new design by Zeltiq meant to shorten the procedure time and that I would be the first person they used them on. It’s possible that these applicators are faulty or not as effective as the previous design, in which case, I should be refunded in full.
I truly hope that Zeltiq or Clarity Skin will take steps to rectify the situation. It sounds like this process does work for some, but for those of us where it doesn't work, the company and the clinics should stand by their advertisements and claims for their products and services.