Since it was approved by the FDA in 2010, six million people have had stubborn fat removed by a nonsurgical procedure called cryolipolysis. But the big question is: can ‘freezing’ your fat off really work? The fat-freezing procedure formally called cryolipolysis was first discovered after (According to rumor) , doctors noticed that children who ate a lot of ice pops experienced fat degradation in their cheeks.
In 2010, CoolSculpting was first approved by the FDA. It gained attention when it was rebranded from minor spot treatment to a noninvasive alternative to liposuction. It promised to eviscerate love handles and bra bulge with the wave of a cooling paddle. Recently, the non-surgical fat reduction tool was cleared to tackle loose skin under the chin, a smaller area that is more difficult to alter through natural means like diet and exercise.
HOW DOES COOLSCULPTING WORK?
CoolSculpting procedures use rounded paddles in one of four sizes to suction your skin and fat pretty much like a vacuum, while you sit in a reclined chair for up to two hours, cooling panels set to work crystallizing your fat cells with a mild discomfort that people seem to tolerate. You experience suction and cooling sensations that eventually go numb. As a matter of fact, the procedural setting is so relaxed that patients can bring laptops to work on, enjoy a movie or simply nap while the machine goes to work.
A 2009 study looked at the clinical efficacy of Cryolipolysis and the researchers found that Cryolipolysis reduced the treated fat layer by as much as 25 percent. Also, the results were still present six months after the treatment. Frozen, dead fat cells are excreted out of the body through the liver within several weeks of treatment, revealing full results of fat loss within the space of three months.
Some people who do CoolSculpting often opt to treat several parts of the body, usually:
- lower back
It can also reduce the appearance of cellulite on the legs, buttocks, and arms. Some people also use it to reduce excess fat underneath the chin, a very stubborn area that is difficult to lose fat.
It usually takes an hour to treat each targeted body part and of course, treating more body parts requires more CoolSculpting treatments to see results. Larger body parts may also require more treatments than smaller body parts.
Some likely side effects of CoolSculpting include:
- tugging feeling at the treatment site when the doctor places the fat roll between the panels
- sensations of pain, stinging or aching at the treatment site two weeks after treatment that tend to go away on their own without any additional treatment
- short-term redness, swelling, bruising, and skin sensitivity at the treatment site
In extremely rare cases, CoolSculpting can lead to an increase in the volume of fat cells in treated body parts. The cause of this is not known but it appears to be more common in men than women. It’s seen in less than 1 percent of cases. While rare, it’s worth being aware of this possible side effect. Most people who experience this effect, called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, choose to pursue alternative fat-removal treatments, such as traditional liposuction.