- What kind of research did you perform before deciding to offer Coolsculpting and fat removal treatment? I really researched it a lot before obtaining the Coolsculpting device and being trained on it and starting to use it, as I wanted to determine if was effective and if it was safe. It was pretty quickly demonstrated to be safe so then the efficacy part was the question, because number one, it’s very expensive equipment and charge to the patient is also expensive. You don’t want to waste money on something that doesn’t work and I have seen lots of different devices that claim to slim your body or help you lose unwanted fat that really do not work. I was a little bit skeptical and definitely did my due diligence in researching. After a few years, there have been lots of clinical studies and lots of anecdotal reports from other surgeons, that I know and trust, who were claiming to have very good results. I then decided to offer it to my patients.
- What happens during a fat removal and body shaping treatment session? We have a private room that’s totally dedicated to CoolSculpting. There’s TV and Netflix and other streaming options as well as Wi-Fi because you need something to occupy your time. You can read. You can sleep. You will be wearing a robe and one of our nurses prepares you. The nurse will get you comfortable and then prepares you to put on the applicator. The way the applicator works is there’s always a thin layer of film that’s placed over the skin to help protect it from frostbite. That’s very important. The applicator goes on top of the film and the area being treated for body shaping and a vacuum sucks in the area being treated making a good seal. The apparatus has a built-in timer and it starts counting down the cycle. Once that cycle is over, the nurse is paged and the nurse will remove the applicator and will repeat the cycle on a different part of the body.
- How long does a treatment session for body shaping and fat removal take? With some noted exceptions, the treatment time for body shaping is one hour per area. If the outer thighs or posterior thighs are being treated, it will be two hours. Usually, no one is going to come in for treatment fat removalon just one spot. It’s either going to be bilateral, meaning both sides so it’s automatically two spots or it’s multiple throughout the body.
- How long does a treatment session of body shaping and fat removal take? With some noted exceptions, the treatment time is one hour per area. If the outer thighs or posterior thighs are being treated, it will be two hours. Usually, no one is going to come in for treatment on just one spot. It’s either going to be bilateral, meaning both sides so it’s automatically two spots or it’s multiple throughout the body. For example, typically the most common thing we see is abdomen and flanks or abdomen, tummy and love handles. The patient will usually need six to eight treatment cycles because you’re going to use your applicator about four times in the front and about two times per side. Eight treatment cycles equate to eight hours of actual treatment. It can be done all in one day. For something that long, most people will split it up into two days. There’s a little bit of turnover in between cycles. We always add time on because of that. Although you might be only doing four hours of treatment, you could end up being here in the office for five hours or more.
- What does the patient experience during treatment for body shaping and fat removal? Is there pain involved? For most parts of the body being treated, you’ll feel a squeeze. It’s like a tight pressure as the vacuum sets in and initially suctioning that fatty part into the applicator. It’s going to feel tight and squeezed for about two or three minutes before you get used to it and also the cold kind of numbs that part of the body, so then you end up feeling nothing for the remainder of your treatment. Then when it’s taken off, the area is massaged for a few minutes to help with circulation and just restore it to a normal shape because it’s kind of deformed as it’s suctioned up into the applicator and it might feel a little bit like pins and needles or like the skin is asleep still in that area. That feeling could persist for a week or so. There’s never really a true pain involved. There are very few reports out there of patients who’ve experienced any pain. No one that I have ever treated has actually had significant post-treatment pain or needed any prescription pain medications or anything like that. It’s usually the skin feels a little bit asleep or tingly or pins and needles for few days. Then it’s back to normal.
- Is there any recovery time for the patient after body shaping and fat reduction treatment? With CoolSculpting there really is no recovery period. You can go to work right after treatment. You can go to the gym. You can do absolutely any kind of physical activity that you want immediately after the treatment, five minutes after if you wanted to. You don’t feel any pain in that area. There’s no swelling. There are no limitations. That’s really the great advantage to the non-surgical technique. Even with a very non-invasive liposuction procedure, you’ll still have some type of recovery with some type of soreness or bruising although it might not really keep you down. You aren’t going to be at one hundred percent right immediately after a liposuction procedure.
- Are there any other side effects of body shaping and body slimming treatment? Occasionally, there could be a bruise from the suction. That resolves within a couple of weeks for sure. There could be changes in the skin sensation, which are temporary. The only unwanted side effect that I’ve ever seen personally was a very faint darkening in the skin. It just looked like a very mild suntan in that area of the outer thigh that lasted for several months. That’s not very commonly reported and the only time I’ve ever seen anything other than the other two mild side effects. It truly is very safe and CoolSculpting has a very good long history of treatments both in studies and also in practice.
- How long does it take to see results from CoolSculpting? Are the results permanent? Patients will start to recognize results at around one to two months. You really don’t see the true final result until about three months. The results, just like liposuction, are considered permanent because we have permanently removed those fat cells, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a recurrence because of change in lifestyle. You have a recurrence because of change in lifestyle. You have to make the distinction. The fat cells that we treat are permanently gone because you’re only born with a certain number of fat cells. Whether the fat cells are removed mechanically through liposuction or they’re removed non-invasively through CoolSculpting, they’re gone for good. You’re never going to make more fat cells; however, if your lifestyle changes or your diet changes, and you start to consume more calories and you’re less active you may gain weight. This is because the fat cells in your body, including the ones left over in the treated areas, can expand in size. Fat cells are like a reservoir and they can grow or shrink.
- Does the typical patient need multiple treatments or is one body shaping treatment sufficient? Both scenarios happen. Usually, when it’s very obvious that they’re going to want a result that can’t be obtained with one treatment, we’ll plan for at least two at the beginning. Then you can have your second treatment as early as one month after the first. A lot of people will not be sure and will do one treatment and wait and see what the result is before deciding about a second body shaping treatment. In that case, we will wait the full three months to make a decision based on the actual end result of the first treatment. A lot of people will choose to go through with another one and some people are pleased enough with just one treatment and they stop there.
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