CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis, is a cosmetic treatment that removes excess fat in stubborn areas. It works by freezing fat cells, killing and breaking them down in the process.
CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure, meaning it does not involve cuts, anesthesia, or instruments entering the body. It was the most used body sculpting procedure in the United States in 2018.
CoolScuplting is a fat reduction method that targets fat in body areas that are more challenging to remove through diet and exercise. It carries fewer risks than traditional fat reduction methods such as liposuction.
CoolSculpting is a branded form of fat reduction method called cryolipolysis. It has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
As with other forms of cryolipolysis, it uses freezing temperatures to break down fat cells. Fat cells are more affected by cold temperatures than other cells. This means that the cold does not damage other cells, such as 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 site, and some people report feeling a cooling sensation.
Most CoolSculpting procedures take around 35–60 minutes, depending on the area a person wishes to target. There is no downtime 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. Others report stinging, firmness, mild discoloration, swelling, and itchiness.
After the procedure, it may take around 4–6 months for the fat cells to leave a person’s body. In that time, the area of fat will decrease by an average of 20%.
CoolSculpting and other forms of cryolipolysis have a high success and satisfaction rate.
However, people should note that the effects of the treatment only apply to the targeted areas. It also does not tighten the skin.
Moreover, the procedure doesn’t work for everyone. It works best on people near the ideal body weight for their build with pinchable fat on stubborn areas. A 2017 studyTrusted Source notes that the procedure was effective, especially in those with lower body mass.
Lifestyle and other factors may also play a role. CoolSculpting is not a weight-loss treatment or a miracle cure for an unhealthy lifestyle.
A person who continues with an unhealthy diet and remains sedentary while undergoing CoolSculpting can expect less fat reduction.