Everything You Need To Know About CoolSculpting

Everything You Need To Know About CoolSculpting

In 2010, CoolSculpting was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and has since been considered the safest non-surgical treatment for fat removal that’s available at clinics and medi-spas globally. But like any cosmetic procedure, it comes with lots of questions, namely over its safety and effectiveness. To help break it down, we spoke to two experts to explain everything you need to know…

For Those Unsure, What Is CoolSculpting?

“Put simply, it’s a non-surgical fat freezing treatment that reduces unwanted body fat with long-lasting results. It is non-invasive and safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells beneath the skin. This is done by using controlled cooling, targeting pockets of stubborn fat – ones often resistant to dieting and exercising,” says Dr Tracy Mountford, Founder & Medical Director of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic. “Using a gel pad and vacuum applicator, the treatment will start with the light vacuum ‘hugging’ the area being treated to the cooling plate which then safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells beneath the skin. Once the cycle is complete and the applicator is removed, the practitioner will massage the skin to break up the fat treated cells.”

What Areas Of The Body Does It Work Best On?

“Thanks to bigger Cool Advantage heads, the treatment now allows us to sculpt and re-contour most areas of the body,” claims Dr Sophie Shotter. “It’s fabulous for stomachs, love handles, inner and outer thighs, bra fat, under the bum and even armpit fat. Through the suction cup applicators, we can target all different sizes of fat pockets, and the flat CoolSmooth applicator is perfect for strapping onto less ‘grabbable’ fat, think thinner areas of the skin.”

Is It True It Works On The Double Chin?

“Yes, and it’s probably my favourite treatment area with CoolSculpt,” confirms Sophie. “By reducing the fat pad under the chin (e.g. making it smaller) we can achieve a tighter, more defined jawline. It’s also FDA cleared for skin tightening in this area, so it really does help to give a beautiful re-contour. This is achieved by using the CoolMini device which targets smaller, hard-to-reach areas.”

Who Is The Ideal Candidate?

“The ideal candidates are those of a reasonably healthy weight that eat well and exercise,” says Tracy. “The key thing is that person must have an area of fat that is out of proportion with the rest of their shape. Think of it as fat that’s pinchable or grabbable – this will be the indication of whether you’re a good candidate for CoolSculpting. You must also remember that it’s not a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise – it’s more a tool that helps to rid the stubborn areas you can’t shift through a regular well-balanced lifestyle alone.” It’s also been reported that the treatment can be used in curvier patients to reduce the fat as part of an overall weight-loss lifestyle programme.

Is it Painful?

“CoolSculpting is actually quite a comfortable treatment. At most, the area being targeted will feel a little cold for the first 10 minutes or so, but after that, it’s pain-free,” says Sophie. “In fact, most people can read a book or watch TV during the procedure – some even fall asleep. When the applicator is removed, a deep massage is performed which can occasionally be uncomfortable, but this doesn’t last for long. Some patients may need pain killers for a few day’s post-treatment, but this isn’t usual, it’s more likely you’ll feel very mildly swollen and a little numb, but it soon passes.”

How Long Does The Treatment Take?

“The procedure itself takes anywhere from 35 to 60minutes – depending on the areas being treated. The Cosmetic Skin Clinic in both London and Buckinghamshire offers ‘DualSculpting,’ which put simply, means we can use dual machines at the same time to speed the process up,” confirms Tracy. “Plus, with the recent addition of the revolutionary CoolAdvantage applicators, we are now able to sculpt two areas in one go in an average of 35 minutes, so you really are in and out.”

Where Does The Body Fat Actually Go?

“The dead fat cells are processed as waste by your body, and excreted as waste through your lymphatic system,” confirms Sophie. “This isn’t immediate, and the process takes several weeks with full results visible after 3-4 months. Unlike liposuction, you don’t tend to develop a new problem area, as you’re only shrinking the fat pocket by around 25% - once the cells are crystallised, they’re gone for good.”

Do The Results Really Last?

“Should you continue to retain a healthy lifestyle after your whole treatment, your results will remain stable as the fat cells have now been permanently eliminated from your body. Once a fat cell is gone, it’s gone, it’s impossible to grow a new cell unless you become morbidly obese” says Tracy. “CoolSculpting has 73% patient satisfaction at three-months post-treatment, so the results really do speak for themselves.”

Finally, Just How Safe Is CoolSculpting?

“When done and used properly, it’s incredibly safe technology,” explains Sophie. “Obviously freezing to -11 degrees could cause frost bite if the skin wasn’t protected properly but in any good treatment, a gel or gel pad will be used to protect the skin while still freezing the fat. Bruising is possible, but in the minority of patients. Delayed pain is reported, where after a few days’ pain increases, but this can be treated with the correct painkillers very easily. Finally, there are a very small number of cases where the treatment has caused something called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, which makes the area become a little bigger. But it’s worth noting this is incredibly rare, and Allergan do support corrective treatment if needed.”

Keen to give it a go? SL recommends the following clinics…

The Cosmetic Skin Clinic, Buckinghamshire & London, CosmeticSkinClinic.com 
The Smart Clinics, Brompton Cross, TheSmartClinics.co.uk 
Dr Rita Rakus Clinic, Knightsbridge, DrRitaRakus.co.uk
Dermaspa, Milton Keynes, Dermaspa.co.uk
Illuminate Skin Clinics, Illuminateskinclinic.co.uk 

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