Greater Washington Plastic Surgery Associates | Vineet Mehan, MD, | Earl M. Johnson, Jr., MD,

Does CoolSculpting Work?

You have seen the ads, not cool ways to lose stubborn fat. And, the cool way to lose stubborn fat:

Freeze the fat away, little to no downtime, results may vary. We are all onboard until the fine print and the results may vary part. Are the disclaimers there just to keep the corporate lawyer employed? Or does CoolSculpting actually work?

YES it works!

Now you can get back to your screaming kids, instagram or HGTV, whichever you prefer. Keep reading if you want to know how we know it works and the science behind freezing the fat away.

Before we get started, take the ice pack off of your stomach and set your thermostat back to 72 degrees, you’re going to hurt yourself.

Like most great discovers freezing the fat all started with a popsicle and some really smart guys at Harvard University. They noticed that kids who loved popsicles (I thought all kids loved popsicles) would sometimes lose a little bit of fat in their cheeks. It was the cold temperature of the popsicle that was causing this fat loss and after a little bit of tinkering they figured out how to control the cold and help patients freeze their fat away without damaging the skin.

The controlled cooling targets the fat cells alone and causes them to die. Thankfully the other tissues, most importantly the skin are spared, otherwise, you’d end up with frostbite like this poor fellow.

Once those frozen fat cells die they are gone forever! Forever, ever!? Forever, ever!

Now you do need some fat cells to keep you warm, store energy and vitamins etc, so we can’t freeze every fat cell. But those stubborn, diet and exercise resistant fat cells are gone. The remaining fat cells are still alive so…they can still grow and divide just as they would if you started an all ice cream diet. Most patients will begin to see results after 3-4 weeks and the results are most impressive at around the 2 month mark. Results are more dramatic with multiple treatments. At your consultation, our providers will go over a detailed and personalized treatment plan with you including target areas and the number of sessions recommended. Check out some of the questions our patients often ask below and when you are ready to freeze those last few stubborn fat cells away call our office at 703-544-8971. If you want more information check out our CoolSculpting webpage too!


Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good candidate for CoolSculpting?
Good candidates have noticeable bulges in certain areas they’d like to get rid of. The CoolSculpting fat freezing procedure is specifically designed for those who have unwanted fat that resists diet and exercise. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, the CoolSculpting procedure is not a weight loss solution for people who are obese. It is, however a non-surgical alternative to liposuction. Request a one-on-one consultation with us to determine if the CoolSculpting procedure is right for you.

How much does the CoolSculpting procedure cost?
The price for CoolSculpting procedures varies depending on your areas of concern, the number of sessions needed, and your ultimate goals. We will help create a customized treatment plan, in person, that’s tailored to your body, your goals, and your budget.

How long is each session? How many sessions will I need?
We will help you create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific goals. The length of your CoolSculpting session can be as short as an hour or less, but will vary depending on the number of areas being treated during one visit. We may schedule additional sessions in order to meet your goals.

Where does the fat go? Are the results permanent?
Once the treated fat cells are crystallized (frozen), your body processes the fat and eliminates these dead cells. Once the treated fat cells are gone, they’re gone for good.

What does it feel like?
As the cooling begins during the first few minutes, you will feel pressure and intense cold. This soon dissipates. Many people read, watch videos, work on their laptop, or even take a nap during their treatment.

Is the CoolSculpting safe?
The CoolSculpting procedure is FDA-cleared for the flank (love handles), abdomen, and thigh. With over one million CoolSculpting treatments performed worldwide, it is proven to be a safe and effective treatment for non-surgical fat reduction.

Are there any side effects?
During the procedure you may experience deep pulling, tugging, pinching, numbness or discomfort. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary numbness, redness, swelling, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging and pain. Rare side effects may also occur. The CoolSculpting procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting procedure is not a treatment for obesity. As with any medical procedure, ask us if the CoolSculpting procedure is right for you.

Can I return to normal activities after my treatment?
Yes, you can. The CoolSculpting procedure is completely non-surgical, so typically you can return to normal activities immediately. Often times, patients return to work after their CoolSculpting session is over.

When will I see results?
You may start to see changes as quickly as three weeks after your treatment and will experience the most dramatic results after two months. But your body will still flush out fat cells and continues doing so for up to four to six months after treatment.

Do I need to take special supplements or follow a strict diet and exercise program?
No supplements or pills are required and you do not have to adopt new diet and exercise habits. Many patients feel more motivated to take care of themselves after their CoolSculpting treatment. It is as if they get a second lease on their body and want to start anew again by taking even better care of themselves.

What happens if I gain weight down the road?
Many people, after seeing the results from their CoolSculpting procedure, take even better care of themselves. However, if you do gain weight, you may gain it evenly all over your body, not just in the treated areas.1

1. Data on file. ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc.


Posted in: CoolSculpting, Non-Surgical Procedures

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