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Video & Commentary: How does CoolSculpting work?

As a Plastic Surgeon and a scientist, I was a skeptic when I first heard about CoolSculpting. The motto “if it sounds too good to be true…” usually holds true, and I could not fathom how cold therapy could permanently reduce a fat deposit.  There are many machines out there that purport to do magical things, and it wasn’t until I learned about the science behind CoolSculpting technology that I understood its impact and applicability to patients!

The video above provides an overview of the science behind CoolSculpting.  Essentially, the machine delivers cold temperature to a specific deposit of fat that ranges between 2-4 degrees Celsius (above freezing) for ah hour (or two hours for the thigh flat applicator).  The fat cells undergo cold injury following this treatment, and 25% of them will permanently undergo ‘apoptosis’ (cell death) and will not recover.  The body then clears these fat cells, and they are permanently gone!

CoolSculpting has minimal downtime and lasting results:

Unlike many other procedures, CoolSculpting takes very little time (1 hour per treatment area) and is pretty easy to fit into your daily life.  You just need to schedule usually a half-day off work or your usual activities for your non-surgical fat reduction treatment.  Following CoolSculpting, you can resume exercise the very next day and re-enter your activities of daily living without any restrictions.

Each CoolSculpting treatment lasts one hour (the time you might spend at the gym) – except rather than just burning a few calories and hopefully reducing some fat stores by expending energy stored in fat cells, CoolSculpting fat reduction is permanent!  . So you can easily fit your appointment into a lunch break.  After just one treatment, you will notice a significant reduction in fat (approximately 25%) in the treated area.  These effects can be seen as soon as 30 days after a CoolSculpting treatment, with approximately 70% of the total effect by 2 months, and the “final, final” results by 4 months.  It takes several months to fully appreciate these changes, because it takes that long for your body to naturally dispose of the fat cells via “apoptosis”, or natural cell death that is then cleared by the body’s natural cleaning systems.

Following a CoolSculpting treatment, we evaluate results at 2 months, at which time follow up photos are taken and you can compare the ‘before’ images to your ‘after’ images.  Often, the most dramatic results are the ones that can be seen from behind – i.e. the flanks, ‘spare tire’, ‘love handles’ or ‘muffin top’.  It is very common to FORGET what you looked like before, and reviewing pre-CoolSculpting treatment photos to after results are usually when we hear the “Wow!” response!  Read about patients’ experiences having CoolSculpting on our CoolSculpting blog.

Before and after - CoolSculpting of the flanks in men

Before and after – CoolSculpting of the flanks in men

Can men be treated with CoolSculpting?  

Men are the ideal candidates for this treatment!  FDA-approved for permanent fat reduction in the abdomen and flanks, men have rapidly become our most enthusiastic group of new patients we see in the office.  Learn about cosmetic procedures for men such as CoolSculpting.

When will I notice real results after CoolSculpting?

A few months after CoolSculpting, your clothes will fit better, your belt size may have gone down and your results will likely be ‘subtle but significant’, without pills, supplements or crazy fasts or ‘cleanses’!  So long as you maintain a healthy normal diet and resulr exercise, your long-term CoolSculpting results will remain stable.

To learn more about CoolSculpting, visit our website and schedule a CoolSculpting  consultation today!  Complete our online consultation request form or call 415-923-3067.

 



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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA