CoolSculpting fat removal: the skinny on this new technique.

CoolSculpting has been prominent in the media recently, you may have recently read or heard about it as a new fat removal technique and wondered what it was. Could it be something that might be beneficial? Well it may be. If  you have muffin top bulges or other fatty bulges that you’d like to get rid of this article may be of help. If you have specific body contours that you don’t like the appearance of and haven’t been able to get rid of them with diet and exercise, are within 5 – 10kg of your ideal weight range then CoolSculpting might be an option worth considering.

CoolSculpting is the registered trademark for a process called Cryolipolysis and it is owned by a company called Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc. It is a technique that was developed by scientists in Harvard USA, the same scientists who developed techniques for laser hair removal and tattoo removal amongst other things. The CoolSculpting process relies on the controlled cooling of targeted fat deposits that are located just below the surface of the skin. This fat is called subcutaneous fat and is the fat that we typically measure with body fat callipers. If you have unwanted body contour lumps like muffin tops then these are caused by soft subcutaneous fat deposits. Other areas on your body where this fat might reveal itself as body contour bulges are the inner thighs, the back and the abdomen.

Coolsculpting freezes targeted cells which are then absorbed by the body.

The doctor treats the fat cells in the area that is being targeted by freezing them with a hand held machine. This causes them to die. The body then absorbs the frozen cells over a period of time. Visible results appear after approximately 3 weeks and then continue for 12 – 14 weeks. Importantly, healthy body and skin cells are not affected by the process. There is no anaesthesia or pain medication required and the process is completely non-invasive. Sessions typically last about 1 hour after which you can go about your normal activities. After treatment patients normally experience redness, tingling or numbness and possibly minor bruising over the treated area but this disappears after a short time.

The treatment is not a remedy for obesity, nor is it a way to achieve quick weight loss because it removes only small areas of fat at a time. And whilst you can have any number of procedures depending on how much your budget can tolerate, the indications are that these additional follow up treatments do not yield the same results as the initial one. The benefits from CoolSculpting are also not as immediate as from other procedures such as liposuction. Also I have not been able to source any literature on the long term lasting benefits of the procedure however a review of blog postings by people who have had it seems to indicate positive results, at least in the short term. As with anything, it cannot be viewed as some sort of quick and painless solution to fat bulge problems unless it is accompanied by long term healthy eating and exercise.

If you have any of the symptoms described above then CoolSculpting is definitely worth considering. For details on the CoolSculpting procedure, including risks and benefits see the Coolsculpting (Cryolipolysis) feature.


Bruce currently heads up a team of researchers and writers who are challenging the way people perceive plastic surgery, aiming to break down the stigma and judgments that still exist in the wider community. He also brings a male perspective to the discussions surrounding plastic surgery and in particular the growing trend for males to undergo procedures.

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