Liposuction has traditionally been the only way to reliably get rid of stubborn fat cells. While the procedure is both safe and effective, not everyone frustrated by a lack of results from diet and exercise is ready to make the choice for surgery. Anyone looking to address stubborn pockets of fat without incisions or sutures can choose CoolSculpting®. San Francisco Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Stanley Jacobs added the popular treatment to their menu of services to accommodate a growing population that wants the benefits of fat reduction without the drawbacks of surgery.
The FDA-approved CoolSculpting® device is entirely noninvasive. It works by cooling down tissue in areas where unwanted fat cells collect, triggering a process known as “cryolipolysis,” which is marked by the death of fat cells and their subsequent removal from the body by natural processes. Patients do not have to follow any special recovery protocols, but can return right away to physical activity and typical daily tasks.
Fat cells have a unique freezing point, which is higher than the skin, muscle, and other tissues around them. The CoolSculpting® device is designed to pull tissue for treatment between two cooling panels or sit flat against the skin, quickly lowering the temperature to the point that numerous fat cells are damaged by crystals that form inside them. These cells are no longer viable, so the body removes the unwanted material from the area, after which it is broken down.
The result is a reduction in volume where CoolSculpting® is applied. Because only a certain percentage of fat cells are impacted during a single treatment, multiple sessions are typically required in order to create the slimmer look a patient is seeking.
The CoolSculpting® device is versatile, with different hand-held applicators to be used on different areas of the body where fat reduction is desired. The most common regions targeted for a treatment are the abdomen, flanks, thighs, upper arms, back, and submental area, where a double chin can form.
Though downtime is not necessary after a nonsurgical CoolSculpting®session, the treated area will be sensitive and may be bruised, red, numb, or tingly. These effects and sensations are expected and should naturally resolve.
Because the cell death and clearing process take time, results will not be noticeable right away. A reduction in volume should start to be visible in the weeks and months following a session, especially if further sessions provide even more fat-reducing benefits.