Whenever I am considering something new, I like to look up reviews to see what other people are experiencing, and I’ll bet you do too. Natasha and I have been looking at online comments and sometimes our good friend CoolSculpting is getting a bad rap. And like I would for any friend, I think it’s time I come to CoolSculpting’s aide and speak up.
Our office was a rather early adopter of this technology, and with seven years of experience we can definitely say that this is an excellent technology…when used properly.
[Scroll down to the bottom of the blog for pictures of what I mean.]
But here’s the catch: CoolSculpting is not the right procedure for everyone, and using it on the wrong patient will result in little to no improvement.
The problem that CoolSculpting has run into here in Knoxville is that machines have ended up in the hands of clinics where it is used as the only method of fat reduction, or body contouring for that matter.
Since this is all these folks have to offer, they will often treat anyone whether or not they are a good candidate. As we say, “If all you have is a hammer, the whole world’s a nail.”
It does not matter how great a technology is, applied in the wrong manner or to a problem it can’t treat, it will not give a good result. I suspect that this is the reason some people are disappointed in their CoolSculpting treatments.
Before you spend any money, here’s what you should know.
CoolSculpting uses a process known as Cryolipolysis which refers to the breakdown of fat cells by “freezing” the fat. It is intended to be used for localized areas of fat which are out of proportion to the rest of your body and areas that are resistant to change by diet and exercise. The process works by drawing the fatty area into an applicator which will then cool the fat to several degrees centigrade. After about 45 minutes these fat cells will form fat crystals. These will injure the cell membrane and cause the fat cells to dissolve and their fat excreted. It may take 8 to 12 weeks to see the results of a treatment and in some areas more than one treatment will be needed.
It is not a weight loss procedure.
If you are overweight and hoping that this is a great way to get six-pack abs, you’ll be disappointed. However, there are some areas like the chin and the bra line where you may see improvement.
It matters where your fat is.
CoolSculpting can only reach and remove subcutaneous fat, which is the fat directly beneath the skin. Visceral fat (which is internal fat within the abdominal cavity) can not be treated with CoolSculpting (or liposuction for that matter). If you have an endomorphic pear-shape build with primarily visceral fat, CoolSculpting is not going to help you get a flat tummy.
It helps if you can pinch the area.
There are a few people whose fat is very dense. If it can not be pulled into the CoolSculpting adaptor, it can’t be effectively “frozen”. Usually we can tell this during your consultation and will let you know.
Loose skin will not be tightened with this technology.
While CoolSculpting works well on fat, it has little or no effect on skin. (Unfortunately, there is no truly effective means of non-surgically tightening skin.) Some people with extra skin may think that they can profit from CoolSculpting, thinking that their issue is extra fat. Unfortunately, this can only be properly addressed surgically by removing the loose skin along with the layer of fat underneath.
As you read through these issues that CoolSculpting cannot address, you begin to see why we do not believe CoolSculpting is right for everyone. When I see a negative review, my first thought is that it’s the provider and not the technology.
As a plastic surgeon, I am able to recommend other body contouring operations for people who are not candidates for CoolSculpting, like liposuction or a tummy tuck. And we won’t recommend CoolSculpting to people who need something else. Further, if weight reduction is the primary concern, I may recommend no treatment of any type until an appropriate weight has been achieved.
CoolSculpting will always achieve its best results when applied in the correct manner as a part of a more global approach to body contouring. I think this is why we have had such a good experience with this technology.
Natasha is Knoxville’s most experienced CoolSculpting provider, and has treated thousands of patients in the seven years since we’ve had the machines. She is uniquely qualified to know who is a candidate and who’s not.
Here are some of her patients:
It is my hope that CoolSculpting will have a long future with my practice. It is the best non-invasive method of fat removal that has come to the market. If we ever get a good non-invasive method of tightening skin, we will really have it made.
All the non-invasive procedures should be used working together with you, the patient, as a part of an overall plan. Matching the right method with the right person is the only way to get the best results and to treat patients properly.
David B. Reath, MD