CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is a cosmetic treatment to remove areas of body fat. It works by freezing the fat cells from specific parts of the body.

Similarly to liposuction, plastic surgeons and other therapists use CoolSculpting to target areas of the body where it is more difficult to remove fat by diet and exercise.

CoolSculpting is noninvasive, meaning it does not involve surgery, cuts, or anesthetic, so it carries less risk than liposuction. The procedure is mostly safe, but people should be aware of some potential side effects.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a branded, FDA-approved form of fat reduction called cryolipolysis.

CoolSculpting and other forms of cryolipolysis use freezing temperatures to break down fat cells. Cold does not damage other cells in the way it does fat cells, and so there should be no damage to the skin or underlying tissue.

During the procedure, the practitioner vacuums the skin above the area of fatty tissue into an applicator that cools the fat cells. The cold temperatures numb the area, and some people report feeling a cooling sensation.

Most CoolSculpting procedures take around an hour. There is no recovery time because there is no damage to the skin or tissue. Some people report soreness at the site of CoolSculpting, similar to that they might have after an intense workout or minor muscle injury.

After the procedure, it may take around 4–6 months for the fat cells to leave the body. In that time, the area of fat will decrease by an average of 20 percent.

Does CoolSculpting work?

CoolSculpting and other forms of cryolipolysis have a high success rate. They are effective for removing areas of fat from the body, and have fewer side effects than other procedures, such as liposuction.

Though this procedure can remove areas of fat, it is not a miracle cure, and people should not expect to see a complete removal of fat. The procedure will not work for everybody, and some people may experience worse side effects than others.

Lifestyle and other factors may also play a role. A person who continues to eat an unhealthful diet and remains sedentary while undergoing CoolSculpting can expect less fat reduction.

Likewise, CoolSculpting cannot tighten loose skin. If the skin has stretched around fatty buildups, a person may have excess skin after the procedure to remove the fat.

How long does CoolSculpting last?

CoolSculpting destroys fat cells, and those particular cells will not return.

However, science knows little about the long-term effects or effectiveness of CoolSculpting. Most studies have followed subjects for only a few months after treatment.

Destroying existing fat cells will not prevent new fat cells from appearing. Hence, why a healthy lifestyle is vital to preserve the results of CoolSculpting. A person who does not exercise or who eats an unhealthy diet may soon see the fat return.

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