Fat freezing or cryolipolysis is a newly U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved technology with the same goal as liposuction—to get rid of unwanted body fat. There is usually a 20 percent to 25 percent fat reduction with each fat freezing session. The colloquial brand name for this innovative body contouring option is CoolSculpting.
Fat Freezing Defined
Interestingly, fat freezing uses temperatures above the actual freezing mark.
The steps involved in the fat freezing process are as follows:
- The procedure freezes fat cells or lipocytes under the skin’s surface
- The frozen fat cells die
- Dead fat cells dissolve and release their liquid fat contents
- The lymphatic system and the liver then absorb the treated/dead fat cells
Fat freezing freezes only the fat cells below the skin’s surface. This treatment does not freeze the skin’s surface.
Why is Fat Freezing Popular?
Fat freezing or CoolSculpting has become a popular elective procedure. Recently, there have been about 7,000 procedures done throughout the world. It is effective and popular for both men and women.
The cosmetic procedure treats muffin tops, the front abdomen area and love handles in the flank area. Fat freezing costs $500 to $700 per one-hour session. Each problem area takes about 2 sessions for effective treatment.
The best candidates for the procedure include:
- Those who are not significantly overweight
- Patients only 10 to 20 pounds over their ideal body weight
- Those who live an active lifestyle
- Patients who have localized areas of fat on the abdomen, thighs or hips
Fat freezing works especially well on men since their areas of concern are usually more fibrous and vascular, which makes them tough to treat with the more commonly performed liposuction procedures.
What to Expect during a CoolSculpting Procedure
Each fat freezing session takes one to two hours. The procedure is performed by a technician while the patient is seated in a chair.
Two cooling panels “grab” the skin folds that have fat cells below the surface. The treatment is mildly uncomfortable during the freezing sequence. Patients often read, nap or watch TV during the session. The treated area is massaged after the panels are removed.
There can be light bruising and redness at the treated area for several days. Patients return to their usual activities immediately.
Several fat freezing sessions are needed to achieve the desired outcome. It can take 3 to 6 months before you will see a noticeable difference.
What Are the Benefits of CoolSculpting?
The benefits of having CoolSculpting include some of the following:
- It's a non-invasive procedure
- Requires no anesthesia
- Causes minimal discomfort
- Entails no downtime
- Procedure is affordable, compared to liposuction or a major surgical procedure like a tummy tuck
- Noticeable results remain stable if the patient maintains an optimal body weight
Fat freezing is becoming an increasingly popular cosmetic treatment for getting rid of unwanted fat. It is important to seek the care of a trained and experienced care provider to achieve the best results.