Unless you run a marathon every week or two, odds are you have a least a couple areas on your body with stubborn pockets of fat. It’s just an unfortunate fact of the human body — certain areas such as the abdomen, upper thighs, flanks, bra line area, and the neck tend to collect fat and it is very hard to do anything about.
But Dr. Petropoulos offers CoolSculpting® as a non-invasive option for removing 20-25 percent of the fat cells in a treatment area. This revolutionary process uses controlled cooling to freeze and kill fat cells without any downtime.
What is CoolSculpting®?
You’ve probably heard of CoolSculpting®. It is the invention of two Harvard scientists who had been researching the effect that eating popsicles seemed to have on children. Kids who ate lots of popsicles developed dimples. The scientists thought the cold somehow affected fat in the area, hence the dimples.
They applied this thinking to fat on the abdomen and CoolSculpting® was the born.
The core concept is that human fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than skin and other tissue cells. The CoolSculpting device delivers controlled cooling by vacuuming the excess fat in the treatment area into the CoolSculpting® device and freezing the fat cells while leaving everything else unharmed. This freezing kills around 20-25 percent of the fat cells in the treated area. The body then breaks down and flushes these dead cells from the body over the course of the next few months. With less fat, the patient’s contour slims.
How Does CoolSculpting® Work?
When you arrive at Dr. Petropoulos’s office for your appointment, you sit in our angled treatment chair and we explain the process. There isn’t any need for local anesthetics or other pain relievers. Next we position the CoolSculpting® head units over the target area. These head units create suction that draws the skin, underlying tissue, and fat up between into the head unit. You’ll feel a pulling sensation, but it isn’t painful. We then set the cooling temperature and the CoolSculpting equipment delivers cooling into the drawn-up tissue. At first you’ll feel a serious cooling sensation, but then the area numbs, and the cooling freezes the fat cells. We repeat this process across the treatment area. Each session takes only 35 minutes per area. With dual CoolSculpting® the treatment time is cut in half. While the procedure is ongoing, you can read, watch videos, work on your laptop, or even take a nap!
After your procedure, your body gets to work eliminating the frozen/dead fat cells. This takes a few months, but you’ll end up with 20-25 percent less fat in the treatment area and a slimmer contour to show for it. The best results are seen after 90 days.
Would I be a good candidate for CoolSculpting®?
Some people think CoolSculpting® is a weight-loss procedure. It’s not. This is a body-contouring procedure. CoolSculpting® isn’t an overall fat remover; it is intended to remove stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet or exercise. Dr. Petropoulos wants her CoolSculpting® patients generally to preferably be within 10 percent of their ideal body weight or have a BMI between 22 and 30.
The FDA has approved CoolSculpting® for treating these areas:
- Back fat
- Bra line fat
- Underneath the buttocks
- Double chin
Does CoolSculpting® hurt?
CoolSculpting isn’t painful. You’ll feel a pulling sensation when the head units apply suction and draw up your tissues. Then you’ll feel an intense cooling sensation for a few minutes when the fat freezing is initiated. Most people say this is very cold, but not painful. After a few minutes the area becomes numb and you don’t feel anything for the duration of the session.
Is there downtime with CoolSculpting®?
This is completely non-invasive. We don’t even need to apply topical anesthetic! When we remove the cooling panels, we massage the area for two to three minutes to alleviate the numbness. But then you’re free to immediately get back to whatever you do.
How many CoolSculpting® sessions do I need?
Most CoolSculpting patients have a single session on each treatment area. You can have additional sessions on the same area later, but the fat reduction is less than the original 20-25 percent.
What is DualSculpting?
Most patients have more than a single area they’d like to target. For instance, a person could want to treat the abdomen and the outer thighs. Dr. Petropoulos offers DualSculpting for this very reason — we use two CoolSculpting® machines to treat two areas at once! This allows you to treat two areas in a single appointment, saving you time and starting the slimming results on two areas concurrently. The areas may be complementary, such as the love handles and the lower abdomen, or the inner and outer thighs.
CoolSculpting® doesn’t deliver instant results. This is because, while the fat cells have been frozen and are dying, it takes time for the body to remove them. Some patients say they begin to see changes in around three weeks, but the most dramatic results will show themselves after two months or so. And these results keep improving for up to six months!
Is the fat gone permanently?
CoolSculpting kills the fat in a process called cryolipolysis. Once these cells are passed from the body they are gone for good. The fat reduction is permanent. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, your results will last forever. If you do gain weight, it usually tends to build elsewhere first.
Are there any side effects with CoolSculpting®?
This is totally non-invasive. Patients usually have some temporary redness, swelling, bruising, and skin sensitivity at the treatment site. There can also be stinging. These sensations are caused by your skin reacting to the intense cold, but they pass within a week or so. CoolSculpting® is very safe and very effective.