There are many procedures available for what is called body sculpting or body contouring. These are non-invasive, non-surgical medical procedures that are used to change the shape of an area of your body. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies them as changing the circumference of an area on your body (such as your waist), changing your body’s silhouette by reducing small areas of fat, and improving the tone and firmness of specific muscles. One of these methods is called cryolipolysis or fat freezing, and it is used to get rid of stubborn fat in certain parts of the body. Most people know it as CoolSculpting®.

Let’s Talk About CoolSculpting®

CoolSculpting uses the process of cryolipolysis to help patients remove fat from specific areas of the body. In 1999 two Harvard scientists were inspired by research on a phenomenon called popsicle panniculitis, which talked about how some children that frequently ate popsicles developed dimples from the cold, damaging the fat cells near that area. They spent years developing a technology that would destroy small areas of fat without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue. It was approved by the FDA in 2010. It is a safe and effective treatment for the following areas:

  • Fat bulges in the thigh, abdomen, and flank
  • Bra fat
  • Back fat
  • Underneath the buttocks
  • Upper arms
  • Under the chin and jawline
  • Above the knee

In 2022 there were over 13 million treatments performed worldwide, which gives you an idea of the popularity of CoolSculpting. To be clear, though, this is not a weight loss treatment. It is best suited for patients near their ideal weight who need help with those stubborn areas of fat that will not budge with exercise and diet. Our highly qualified Providers at Vitalogy Skincare will meet with you to discuss goals and expectations, review your medical history, and devise a plan specifically for you.

How does CoolSculpting work?

Cryolipolysis applies cool temperatures externally to areas of unwanted fat and freezes the fat cells without damaging the outer skin. These subcutaneous fat cells then die, and your body eliminates them over a period of time. Most patients begin to see results within 14 to 90 days after treatment, with maximum results seen within three months. The procedure involves securing the area to be treated with a removable gel pad and a handheld device to cool the fat cells through a vacuum-like suction. The freezing temperature cools the fat cells enough to freeze them. Your Provider will typically leave the paddles in place for about 35 to 60 minutes, depending on the area treated.

Patients will initially feel an icy-cold feeling that normally numbs within 5-10 minutes. You may also feel sensations that can include tugging, pulling, pinching, tingling, and aching or cramping at the site. Post-procedure, you may have some temporary redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness, or skin sensitivity. If you are treating the chin or jaw areas, you may also experience a feeling of fullness in the back of the throat.

How much fat does CoolSculpting remove?

What we all really want to know is – what kind of results can I expect from a CoolSculpting treatment? One session can typically remove 20-25% of fat in the targeted area. Multiple treatments can increase this number, with results varying by patient. Treatments are spaced out 30 to 90 days after the previous session. Results are permanent since the fat cells are destroyed and disposed of by the body. However, if you gain weight after CoolSculpting, you may gain fat back in the areas you have already treated. A healthy diet and exercise are the best way to maintain your results.

It is possible to treat more than one area at a time. Treating the upper and lower abdomen in one session or the inner and outer thigh is a good example.

Things to Consider Before Getting CoolSculpting

When scheduling a consultation with a Provider, it is important to select someone with the experience necessary to give you optimal results in a safe environment. We always recommend that you get this type of procedure done in a medical setting with a trained professional overseen by Board-Certified Dermatologists who can review your medical history and ensure you are suited for CoolSculpting. This treatment should be avoided if you have the following:

  • cryoglobulinemia
  • cold agglutinin disease
  • paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria
  • cold urticaria

Getting CoolSculpting on areas with varicose veins, nerve issues, rashes, or lesions is not recommended. You should also avoid it if you are pregnant or nursing. Always be upfront with your Medical Provider about your conditions, medications you are taking, if you have recently had surgery, have a pre-existing hernia, or have any sensitivities or allergies.

Advantages of CoolSculpting Treatments

There are other more invasive procedures, such as liposuction and tummy tucks, that can give you more noticeable results when it comes to changing your body. However, CoolSculpting does have several advantages over these procedures. The most obvious ones are that it is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that diminishes your risks of complications. For this same reason, there is little to no downtime, allowing you to immediately return to your daily activities. When it comes to these hard-to-get-rid-of areas of fat, it is a more cost-effective solution than surgery. And you won’t need to have someone drive you home!

For more information on CoolSculpting, please schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled Aestheticians at our Georgetown, Harker Heights, or Cedar Park locations. Vitalogy Skincare is the area’s premiere Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Dermatology Provider. We are experienced in diagnosing and treating skin cancer, as well as a wide range of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. Our Cosmetic Dermatology services include injectables, fillers, facials, microdermabrasion, and more. We also have locations in Bastrop, Burnet, Marble Falls, San Marcos, and Southwest Austin. Call us at 512.930.3909.