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CoolSculpting® is an FDA-approved procedure that uses targeted cooling technology in order to eliminate stubborn pockets of unwanted fat. Furthermore, unlike many traditional fat reduction treatments, it is a non-invasive, non-surgical method that requires no needles or incisions. Our board-certified plastic surgeon Mary Ann Contogianis, MD has extensive experience using CoolSculpting® to help patients obtain leaner physiques with improved contours.

CoolSculpting® vs Liposuction

Both CoolSculpting® and liposuction can produce permanent fat reduction results for patients wishing to obtain a slimmer, smoother physique. However, there are a number of differences between the two treatments, beginning with the fact that liposuction is a surgical procedure while CoolSculpting® is not. Liposuction is performed using thin tubes called cannulas, which are surgically inserted into the treatment area(s) through small incisions. The cannulas are then used to loosen and suction out fat cells directly from the target area(s). CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes the precise, external application of cold temperatures to break down excess fat cells while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed. The affected fat cells are then naturally filtered out of the body over time. Unlike liposuction, CoolSculpting® does not require anesthesia, incisions, or downtime. 

Another key difference is the amount of excess fat that each procedure can treat. While neither option is designed to produce significant weight loss, liposuction is typically able to remove larger volumes of excess fat than CoolSculpting®. Furthermore, since liposuction removes the fat cells directly at the time of treatment, the results of the procedure are typically more immediately noticeable. By contrast, the results of CoolSculpting® can take months to become apparent, as the destroyed fat cells take time to filter out of the body.

Ultimately, both procedures offer significant aesthetic benefits for patients interested in fat reduction. Dr. Contogiannis will review your goals for treatment during your consultation, and she can further discuss the pros and cons of each option with you. 

How Does CoolSculpting® Work?

CoolSculpting® utilizes Cryolipolysis (fat freezing) technology to reduce the accumulation of unwanted fat in specific areas of the body. It can be performed on a number of different areas of the body, including the thighs, abdomen, flanks, arms, and even under the chin. The CoolSculpting® procedure involves using a specialized device to draw up the fat layer and apply controlled cooling technology. The targeted area is exposed to temperatures cold enough to destroy the fat cells without harming the skin or surrounding tissues. The dead fat cells are then naturally filtered out of the body over time, ultimately producing a slimmer, more contoured figure.

Who Is a Good Candidate For CoolSculpting®?

Ideal CoolSculpting® candidates are healthy adults who wish to reduce stubborn deposits of fat in targeted areas of the body. You will need to have enough fat on your body that the treatment can be effectively performed. Generally, if you can grab an inch of fat on your body, you have enough for CoolSculpting® to work.

Please note that CoolSculpting® is not a weight loss treatment, and patients should ideally already be within at least 20 to 30 pounds of their goal weight. In most cases, the procedure can help you reduce the fat in each area treated by about 20-25%. To further enhance your results, CoolSculpting® can be paired with endermologie® cellulite treatments.

CoolSculpting® is not recommended for those who are either pregnant or planning to get pregnant. It is also not recommended for those who have conditions that may be exacerbated by exposure to cold temperatures.

For patients who are not good candidates for CoolSculpting® but are still interested in fat reduction options, Dr. Contogiannis also offers traditional liposuction and BodyTite radio frequency (RF) body contouring. During your consultation, she can go over the different options with you and make recommendations based on your unique needs and goals.

What Are the Benefits of CoolSculpting®?

CoolSculpting® has many possible cosmetic benefits and patients are typically very happy with their results. Some of the most common benefits include:

  • Permanent, natural-looking body sculpting results
  • Quick, non-invasive, non-surgical treatment
  • No needles, no scars, and no downtime
  • A reduction in stubborn fat in troublesome “problem areas”
  • Enhanced self-confidence
  • Leaner body appearance
  • Better definition and body contours

What Can I Expect From the CoolSculpting® Procedure?

During the procedure, Dr. Contogiannis will apply the specialized CoolSculpting® device to the treatment area(s). Two panels will surround the targeted fat layer and cold temperatures will be applied for a set duration, during which time around 20-25% of the excess fat cells in the area will be destroyed. You may feel some intense cold for a few moments, but this sensation typically dissipates fairly quickly and the area becomes numb. Most patients can then sit or lie down comfortably for the remainder of the session. The process typically takes one to two hours, although this can vary depending on the specifics of your treatment plan. Many people choose to bring a book or use their cellphone during this time.

Once your session is complete, the body’s natural processes for eliminating dead cells will take over. Within a few weeks, the destroyed fat cells will be flushed from the body, and you should begin to notice the treated area(s) becoming slimmer and more defined. The full results of treatment typically become apparent after around two months.

What Is Recovery Like After CoolSculpting®?

There is typically little or no downtime needed following CoolSculpting®, and many patients choose to resume normal activities the same day as their procedure. Some people report experiencing minor tingling, numbness, redness, itchiness, bruising, and/or swelling after treatment. These side effects are normal, and they typically fade within a few days to weeks.

Treatment results will not be immediately noticeable in most cases, but you should start to see a difference in about three weeks. The most dramatic changes will be visible after about two months.

How Much Does CoolSculpting® Cost?

The precise cost of CoolSculpting® will vary depending on several factors, including the size and number of the areas being treated as well as the number of sessions required to implement the customized treatment plan Dr. Contogiannis develops for you. A personalized price quote can be discussed during your initial consultation.

Many cosmetic treatments are not covered by insurance, so it’s best to contact your provider to find out which procedures they will or will not provide coverage for in advance.

At The Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery & Wellness, we try to keep our procedures affordable for all of our clients. We’re pleased to offer financing as an option through Alphaeon® or CareCredit®.