New Year’s resolutions always include not spending too much money, being more healthy and getting into shape. The first two you’ll have to manage on your own, but there’s good news about getting into shape and it’s called Coolsculpting™. Until now, there was no easy way to lose unwanted fat, especially from those difficult to target areas like saddle bags, flanks and tummy.
A major breakthrough in non-surgical body contouring was reportedly inspired by the observation that children given ice blocks to suck over a prolonged period of time lost fat in their cheeks.
This led to the discovery that, under carefully controlled conditions, subcutaneous fat cells are more vulnerable to the effects of cold than the surrounding tissue.
Once a certain level of cooling has been achieved, a natural ‘cascade’ of fat destruction begins and the body then expels the destroyed cells over a two to four month period through its normal metabolic processes.
This discovery, called selective cryolipolysis, led to the development of the body contouring system CoolSculpting, which can target those areas of the body prone to fat deposits, and can help achieve smooth contours and a more proportionate physique.
This technology is revolutionary as it offers a completely non-invasive option for body contouring, without the need for invasive surgical options.
The treatment works by cooling the fat subjacent to the skin to an almost- freezing temperature, killing fat cells without causing any trauma to the surrounding tissues or harm to the skin. This very low temperature kills fat cells one by one so there is an even distribution of fat cell loss.
CoolSculpting is designed to contour the shape of the body by targeting areas of fat that are impervious to diet and exercise.
The most suitable candidate for this treatment is of average weight but has stubborn pockets of fat that create an unbalanced or disproportionate silhouette. Areas such as tummy rolls and ‘love handles’ respond particularly well to cryolipolysis.
Patients require no specific preparation prior to the CoolSculpting non-surgical body shaping procedure and are made to feel comfortable throughout the treatment, being able to read a book or watch a DVD, for example. A gel drape is placed onto the target area to protect the skin before the applicator head is placed onto the fat pocket. The applicator acts like a vacuum to suck the area into position so that the cool temperature is directly delivered to the underlying fat cells. As the applicator cools the patient might feel as if they’ve put the area into iced water but this subsides as the body gets used to the change in temperature.
The initial suction may be uncomfortable, depending on the laxity of the skin, but any discomfort should subside about 10 minutes into treatment. A treatment usually takes 35 minutes. Generally two or three sessions are required, performed six to eight weeks apart, although some people see fantastic results after just one treatment. It depends on how much volume needs to be reduced.
The skin and underlying fat layers feel stiff and cold post-treatment but this typically dissipates after around 30 minutes as the treated area warms up again to its normal temperature.
The main advantages of this new technology are the minimal recovery time, lack of anaesthetic needed and the largely predictable results. Generally, patients can return to work and resume normal activities immediately after the treatment.
The results are gradual, usually taking at least a couple of months to appear, depending on the size of the area treated, so it is important not to expect immediate results.
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment, which does not breach the skin. Liposuction is a more-surgical procedure where fat is actively broken down and sucked out from under the skin.
After the applicator is removed, the treated area looks a bit red and stands up like a block of butter. A vibration/shock wave treatment is applied for 5 minutes to increase the fat loss effect. The block look will have flattened. The skin can be treated as normal afterwards.
The ideal candidate for the CoolSculpting™ procedure is seeking to decrease specific areas of fat, such as abdominal fat, love handles (flanks), double chin, saddle bags (bulky thighs) and/or back fat areas, where you can grab hold of a roll. The procedure is not intended for weight loss or obesity; nor is it a substitute for liposuction procedures that remove large volumes of fat. A good candidate should be relatively fit and have modest-size fat bulges in areas that are not easily reduced through diet or exercise.
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