What is a cool sculpting procedure?
Cool sculpting or cryolipolysis is an FDA-approved procedure that uses controlled cooling to destroy unwanted fat cells. It is also called fat-freezing. Cool sculpting is a nonsurgical procedure for body contouring. The process involves a specialized applicator being applied to the skin of the treatment area before it transmits freezing cold temperatures into the subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin). As fat cells are particularly vulnerable to cool temperatures, they naturally die off. This process is known as cryolipolysis. This innovative procedure uses advanced cooling technology to selectively reduce fat layers. Research has shown that subcutaneous fat cells are more vulnerable to cold than surrounding tissue, enabling the cool sculpting procedure to effectively reduce and destroy fat cells in a process involving gradual disintegration. Once the fat cells are destroyed, the body naturally clears and eliminates them. This process is called induced apoptosis and leaves adjacent tissue undamaged.
During the procedure:
- The patient may lie down or sit in a comfortable chair while an external applicator delivers carefully calibrated cooling to the treatment area, designed to target only fat cells.
- The extreme cold triggers a natural removal process that gradually eliminates unsightly areas of fat, smoothing bulges, and rolls.
- The patient may feel pressure and intense cold as a series of applicators of different sizes and shapes are used to carefully sculpt each area.
- Depending on the size and amount of areas to be treated, the procedure may last from 1-3 hours or more.
The benefits of the procedure are far-reaching and long-lasting
- Noninvasive and quick procedure
- Clinically tested and proven to eliminate fat permanently
- Effectively reduces fat in target areas by 20-80%
- No recovery time necessary
- Can treat many areas on the body
- Results are realized within 8 to 12 weeks
Most people have relatively little discomfort and many return to work the same day.
- After the procedure, the patient may have redness and tingling at the treatment sites.
- A few patients complained of some burning, itching, pain, cramping, or bloating.
- Numbness can persist for up to several weeks. There may be a sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental (under chin) treatment.
- Though rare, some additional side effects, such as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (increase in the number of fat cells in the treated area), late onset pain, freeze burn, vasovagal symptoms (may include dizziness, sweating, fast or slow heart rate, nausea, pallor, etc.), subcutaneous induration/hardened tissue, hyperpigmentation, and hernia may also occur.
What does the research say about the cool sculpting procedure?
Clinical trials have observed over 5,500 study participants across the globe, and time and time again the same results were demonstrated: a high patient satisfaction rate, scientifically and clinically sound technology, and consistent results. The researchers also found no significant side effects or adverse events, and the procedure was well-tolerated with 89% of respondents reporting a positive perception of treatment duration and 96% reporting minimal to tolerable discomfort. In addition, these researchers found that with proper patient selection, it is a safe, well-tolerated, and effective treatment method for the reduction of subcutaneous fat.