CoolSculpting technology is based on the science of cryolipolysis, which involves cooling excess fat cells to the point of crystallization. The system precisely delivers this cooling energy through an attachment that is secured onto the area being treated. As this begins to lower the temperature of the area, the targeted fat cells freeze while the nearby skin and soft tissues remain unharmed. Over the course of several weeks, these damaged fat cells break down and are gradually removed from the body via metabolic processes.
CoolSculpting is an exciting treatment option that has quickly gained popularity, due its ability to produce noticeable results without surgery. Although results will vary for every patient, those who make good candidates for CoolSculpting can look forward to experiencing the following benefits from their treatment:
More details about the pros and cons of CoolSculpting will be discussed with you during your consultation with Dr. Zemmel. In most cases, a series of treatment sessions is recommended to provide the optimal amount of fat reduction.
Take a look at the progress other patients have been able to achieve with CoolSculpting. Seeing before and after pictures can be a useful tool for visualizing what you may be able to accomplish with your own CoolSculpting treatment plan. Keep in mind, however, that everyone responds to treatment differently. Dr. Zemmel will help you understand what you can realistically expect in your CoolSculpting results during your consultation and throughout your series of treatments.
CoolSculpting utilizes different applicator shapes and sizes to precisely target each area of concern. These specially made tools allow Dr. Zemmel to effectively treat stubborn fat pockets in a variety of locations around the body, while ensuring the best possible outcome. See below to learn about the different CoolSculpting applicators and how each is typically used.
To begin your CoolSculpting procedure, a gel pad and applicator will be placed on the area being treated. A gentle suction is applied as the controlled cooling begins. For the first few minutes, you may notice an intense coldness, but after about 5 to 10 minutes, the area should start to go numb. Throughout treatment, you can relax in a sitting or lying position, and many patients choose to read, watch videos, or even nap while the CoolSculpting system is at work.
At the end of your treatment session, the applicator will be removed, and the area will be massaged for about 2 to 3 minutes, which may result in some tingling as the tissue warms back up. The entire CoolSculpting process takes about 35 to 60 minutes to complete. Most patients are able to return to their normal daily activities, including going back to work, right after leaving our office.
Side effects from CoolSculpting are typically minimal and gradually fade. During treatment you may feel pulling, intense coldness, stinging, and cramping at the target area, all of which should subside as the tissue becomes numb. After your session, you may experience temporary side effects such as redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness, and itching. These sensations should resolve over the course of days or weeks. Although not common, there are other side effects that can occur, which you will be informed about during your consultation.
You may begin to see your CoolSculpting results as soon as 3 weeks after treatment, but the most noticeable improvement is typically seen after 2 months. As your body continues to dispose of the damaged fat cells, you may see additional sculpting for as long as 4 to 6 months following your CoolSculpting session. Although the fat that is eliminated through CoolSculpting will not regenerate, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure the remaining cells do not fluctuate in size. By doing so, you can prolong your body contouring results for the long-term future.
CoolSculpting typically costs between $2,000 and $4,000, but this range may vary based on the physician you choose and the details of your treatment plan. Factors such as the size of your target area, how many sites you would like treated, and the number of treatment sessions you need will all contribute to the total amount you can expect to pay.
Although CoolSculpting can be the ideal treatment option for many patients, some people may be better candidates for an alternative procedure. Dr. Zemmel offers multiple surgical and non-surgical solutions that are designed to target excess fat cells around the body. When considering which alternative is right for you, it can help to understand the similarities and differences to CoolSculpting.
CoolSculpting and liposuction can both target fat in virtually any body area, but as a non-invasive option, CoolSculpting has its limitations. Liposuction offers the most dramatic results when it comes to fat removal. This is because the surgery involves the use of small tools called cannulas that are inserted into the area of concern to strategically extract the excess fat cells.
While liposuction can provide more significant fat removal, the procedure does have its cons compared to CoolSculpting, such as the need for anesthesia and downtime after surgery. That said, liposuction can be a transformative solution for many men and women who desire more substantial body contouring results.
Many people choose CoolSculpting because of its ability to sculpt trouble areas without the need for much, if any, downtime—a benefit that also relates to a treatment with KYBELLA. Unlike CoolSculpting, which uses cooling energy to damage fat cells, KYBELLA is an injectable composed of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule that works in the body to break down dietary fat.
KYBELLA is FDA-approved to reduce submental fat (or fat underneath the chin). As a result, it can be a great option for those wanting to treat a double chin caused by fatty tissue. CoolSculpting is also designed to target this area through its specially made CoolMini applicator. While both can provide noticeable contouring in one’s upper neck profile, the better option will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
If you are looking for a CoolSculpting provider in the greater Richmond and Charlottesville area, consider choosing our team at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery and the Dermlounge. Our medical professionals are known for providing safe and effective solutions with the most compassionate care. We value clear doctor-patient communication and always providing honest recommendations for our patients. Our goal is to ensure you understand the pros and cons of treatments like CoolSculpting, so you know what to realistically expect in your outcome. Dr. Zemmel has undergone specialty training and is certified to perform CoolSculpting, helping patients like you obtain the beautiful contouring results they desire. In addition to his experience as a CoolSculpting provider, Dr. Zemmel has been recognized by several media outlets for his excellence in plastic surgery, including being named a “Top Doc” by Richmond Magazine. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Zemmel and learn if we are the right providers for your CoolSculpting journey, please contact us to get started!
After the targeted fat cells are frozen during your CoolSculpting treatment, they will die and be naturally processed out of the body. Once they are eliminated, these cells cannot grow back. Keep in mind, however, that the remaining fat cells can increase with weight gain or decrease with weight loss.
Most of our patients report feeling only mild discomfort before and after treatment. This is due to the tissue cooling down and warming back up. Throughout the majority of your treatment, the area being treated will be numb, allowing you to relax comfortably.
Swelling is a normal side effect of CoolSculpting, but this usually subsides within the first few days or weeks of recovery. While most patients experience minimal swelling after their treatment, some may feel especially bloated or swollen for several weeks. Everyone responds differently from CoolSculpting, but it is important to be patient, as it can take months to see your final results. To help control swelling in the meantime, you can wear a compression garment in the treated area. If you are concerned about any side effects from your CoolSculpting treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
To get the best results from CoolSculpting, you may be recommended to undergo a series of CoolSculpting treatments. Remember that every patient has different contouring needs and will respond to treatment differently. This is why Dr. Zemmel will discuss your expectations during your consultation and monitor your progress to determine the optimal number of sessions you require to reach your desired outcome. For those with larger areas of excess fat that may not be sufficiently reduced with CoolSculpting, Dr. Zemmel may recommend a more in-depth procedure such as liposuction.
CoolSculpting is considered a safe and effective treatment for reducing excess body fat. Since the procedure is non-invasive, there are fewer risks compared to surgical options. The system has built-in safety features to ensure the controlled cooling process never reaches a dangerous temperature that may cause burns or harm the surrounding tissue. If the sensors detect that the skin is getting too cold, the device will immediately shut off. CoolSculpting is designed to gently treat fat cells through a precise crystallization process. As a certified CoolSculpting provider, Dr. Zemmel is committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety.
Though designed to remove fat cells, CoolSculpting is not a weight loss treatment. Instead, the procedure is intended to reduce isolated fat deposits that have not responded to diet and exercise. When you lose weight, you are shrinking the size of fat cells around your body. With CoolSculpting the targeted cells (and only these cells) are completely eliminated. About 20% to 25% of fat cells in the treated area are reduced. As a result, CoolSculpting should be viewed as a spot treatment for stubborn fat pockets that have not been affected by traditional weight loss methods.
CoolSculpting works through a process known as cryolipolysis, which sends extremely cold temperatures to the target area to destroy excess fat. While this may sound like a simple process, it is actually very complex. Certain devices may be sold as DIY versions of CoolSculpting for at-home use, but these are typically not safe and/or effective. Cryolipolysis requires added safety precautions to ensure the surrounding area is not damaged as fat cells are targeted. Dr. Zemmel strongly advises against at-home CoolSculpting devices, as they are not FDA approved and may end up doing more harm than good.