What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a body contouring procedure by Zeltiq. It utilizes cryolipolysis to freeze fat in those hard to lose places and allows the body to metabolize it naturally. It is non-invasive and has a relatively quick operating time that lasts roughly one hour for each area treated.

How does CoolSculpting work?

This procedure works by bringing adipose cells (fat tissue) to just above freezing. This makes them experience apoptosis and shrink in size. The body can then take the cells that have been affected and remove them through normal metabolic processes. Unlike other procedures, there will be no need for removal of the fat through aspiration or incisions of any sort.

What areas of the body does CoolSculpting treat?

This procedure is mainly for the back, abdomens, hips and love handles. As this new technique is further researched, more areas may become possible as well.

What are the advantages of CoolSculpting over other similar treatments?

The biggest advantage of CoolSculpting, as opposed to similar treatments, is that there is no need for anesthetics. Another advantage is that there is no melting or other violent disruption of the fat cells. This aids in the reduction of cholesterol or triglycerides reentering the body. Other perks are the reduced recovery time and the short time required for the procedure. This makes it ideal for anyone who does not want to spend hours at the doctor’s office.

Who is a candidate for CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is ideal for people who are close to their target weight, exercise regularly, eat right, but still have trouble with those difficult areas.

How is CoolSculpting performed?

The procedure is performed in a medspa, dermatology or plastic surgery office setting. The physician will begin by putting a gel pack on the area to be treated. This protects the skin from the freezing temperatures and ensures no unwanted damage. After this, they will put a suction cup over the site and it will suck the area up between two cold plates. The plates will freeze the fat and, after about an hour for each area, the procedure is complete. During the hour many people have been known to take a nap, read a book or magazine, or watch television.

What is the recovery like?

Since there is no need for incisions, recovery time is very swift. There are no bandages or drainage tubes, and the majority of people return to their normal activities immediately after having the procedure.

What will the results be like?

Generally there will be significant loss of fat from the treated areas. The results will not be immediate, but will take approximately two months to be truly noticeable. After four months, the majority of the results will be visible and slimming down of the treated area will be obvious.

What are the risks?

Since this is a non-invasive procedure, there is very little risk. The main side effects are redness at the treatment site or mild cramping. If the redness continues for more than a few hours, please consult with the physician.

Is CoolSculpting approved for use in the U.S.?

CoolSculpting has been in use in Europe and has recently been approved in the U.S. by the FDA for use in body sculpting procedures.

Is CoolSculpting covered by insurance companies?

CoolSculpting, like other cosmetic procedures is not normally covered by private insurance companies. Many of the specialists who perform the procedure have billing options if you would like to consider one. Please contact the office where the procedure will occur to see if their billing specialist has an option that is right for you.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By OnlineSurgery Staff
Updated: October 12, 2010

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