By Jana Bounds
You exercise, you eat right (well most of the time!) and you still can’t get rid of those love handles or tummy bulge! We are born with the majority of our fat cells and genetics play a part in where those fat cells are concentrated. As we gain or lose weight, the fat cells are not necessarily multiplying , but rather decreasing or increasing in size. Where you have the most concentration of fats cells is where they will be the most noticeable. Sometimes, they can be very hard to eliminate through exercise and diet alone.
CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is a new non-invasive body contouring technology that can help you get rid of those stubborn areas of fat. It is a safe procedure cleared by the FDA that gently cools unwanted fat cells in the body to induce a natural, controlled elimination of fat cells. CoolSculpting uses Cryolipolysis. Cryo meaning cold, and Lipolysis meaning destruction of the fat cell. It is based on the concept that fat cells are more susceptible to cold than water based tissue. The device can precisely cool down any pocket of subcutaneous fat to the point that the fat cells freeze and die without affecting any of the surrounding water based tissue. Think about putting a stick of butter in the refrigerator. It’s affected (gets hard) more than your milk, soda or tea. The best candidates are those who aren’t significantly overweight but have some localized areas of fat that they’d like to get rid of on the abdomen, hips, or thighs.
We sat down with a patient who recently had the CoolSculpting procedure at Derm SA and get her take on it. Here’s what she said:
Q: What made you decide to do CoolSculpting?
A: Despite the fact that I’m at a healthy body weight, I’ve got a little stomach pouch right under my belly button that runs the length of my lower abdomen—a permanent remnant of my two pregnancies. While I’d love to have a tummy tuck like other women I know, I don’t want to deal with the risks and pain of surgery for something cosmetic. CoolSculpting offered me an alternative to liposuction or other more invasive procedures.
Q: What happened during the procedure?
A: I sat in a chair (no anesthesia) while a technician used an applicator to apply a cooling suction device to my target area. The cold temperature— which is above freezing—gave me a numbing sensation as it destroyed my fat cells. The best part was that there was no damage to my surface skin tissue.
Q: Did you feel any discomfort during the procedure?
A: No pain – I only felt a firm pull and pressure sensation is a firm pull and pressure. There was no numbing required and it was totally non-invasive. I actually read a book on my Kindle during the whole procedure!
Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: I was told each area takes about one hour. I was only tackling my lower stomach and stayed for about an hour – a quick procedure with such great results. I was amazed.
Q: How long did it take you to recover from the procedure? Can I return to normal activities after the procedure?
A: I returned to my normal activities immediately following the procedure. I had a little redness, but it went away a few hours after the procedure. I actually returned to work after my procedure was complete.
Q: When did you see results?
A: I saw results three weeks or so after my procedure. I was told that I would continue to see results after one to three months. And that my body is still flushing fat cells and will continue doing so for up to four to six months after I received the treatment. I honestly can say I look better in my clothing without my unwanted belly fat. I am very satisfied.
Q: Would you recommend CoolSculping to your friends?
A: Yes! I was so tired to eating the right things and exercising but still holding on the fat around my belly. Derm SA was very professional and I am happy with the results!