CoolSculpting: Your Questions Answered by a Certified Allergan Faculty Trainer
At Kalos Medical Spa in Fort Worth, we have offered CoolSculpting for years and have successfully treated many happy patients with targeted fat reduction using this non-surgical method. When patients first hear that they can freeze fat away, they want to know more!
To help you learn what to expect, we asked physician assistant Marianita Vela—one of our CoolSculpting providers and an Allergan Medical Institute (AMI) CoolSculpting Faculty Trainer—to address these 7 questions about CoolSculpting.
- Where does my fat go after CoolSculpting?
- Which areas do most people have treated with CoolSculpting?
- Could fat return after CoolSculpting?
- Why do some people see no effects from CoolSculpting?
- Doesn’t CoolSculpting hurt?
- I have fat that has persisted through years of yo-yo dieting—can CoolSculpting also remove that?
- What are the facts about paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), like Linda Evangelista had?
Where does my fat go after CoolSculpting?
Your body eliminates treated fat cells as waste over the course of several weeks to months after your session. To begin this process, the CoolSculpting applicator brings areas of stubborn fat to a specific cold temperature that signals fat cells to undergo “apoptosis,” or the natural cell death process.
Which areas do most people have treated with CoolSculpting?
At our Fort Worth Kalos Medical Spa, the abdominal wall is the most commonly requested area for CoolSculpting. However, CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared to treat many areas of the body, and we treat all of them on a regular basis:
- Below the chin (double chin)
- Upper arms
- Bra rolls
- Back fat
- Below the buttocks (banana roll)
- Love handles (flanks)
- Thighs (inner, outer, and above the knee)
Could fat return after CoolSculpting?
Fat cells that are eliminated with CoolSculpting are gone for good. However, any remaining fat cells may still grow and shrink with weight gain and weight loss. You will need to keep a steady weight to preserve the appearance of your CoolSculpting results.
Why do some people doubt the effects of CoolSculpting?
If someone finds that they do not see results from CoolSculpting, it is possible they were not a good candidate for the procedure in the first place, or did not undergo enough treatments to see their desired results. Weight gain over the course of their fat loss can also disguise the treated fat cells. In some rare cases, a PAH complication occurs, but this is quite uncommon with the newer applicators and devices.
With a single treatment, the results are often subtle. It may be difficult to see the difference after a treatment if the provider did not take accurate before and after photos. More commonly patients report feeling the results after a single treatment. It is important to understand that CoolSculpting results appear gradually, so patients may be surprised by how much fat CoolSculpting has removed when seeing their “after” photos for the first time.
We take high-quality before and after photos of all CoolSculpting patients to allow you to see just how much fat you lost over the course of treatment.
Remember that one treatment results in an average of 20% (up to a 25%) fat reduction in the treated area, and multiple treatments achieve a more pronounced reduction in the area. When you visit us for CoolSculpting, we will recommend a treatment plan (2-3 sessions on average) that we believe will meet your goals. We will also be honest with you up front if we believe you are not a good candidate for CoolSculpting, or if your desired outcome exceeds the possibilities of this non-surgical technology. In this scenario, you may request a referral to Dr. Kirby for a surgical consultation, if you are interested.
We also take before and after photos with consistent lighting and multiple angles, and we share these with you through our TouchMD account and at your follow-up appointments. Our patients are able to easily visualize their full results in this photo series.
Does CoolSculpting hurt?
Most patients find that CoolSculpting is briefly uncomfortable, but not painful. The applicator gently vacuums your skin to the cup, which is key to achieving a smooth and consistent outcome. You will feel an intense cold, mild pinching beneath the applicator, and sometimes a tingling or stinging sensation that lasts for several minutes, after which the area becomes numb.
To help you relax, we provide a blanket, optional TV, and a quiet, private space for you to enjoy during your treatment. Our patients like to read, check their email, or catch up with friends during this time. You will be able to return to work or other responsibilities immediately after treatment.
I have fat that has persisted through years of yo-yo dieting—can CoolSculpting also remove that?
Yes. CoolSculpting is an ideal treatment for addressing stubborn fat deposits in areas where it seems difficult to lose weight through diet and exercise.
What are the facts about paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), like Linda Evangelista had?
Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) is a rare reaction to CoolSculpting in which a patient’s treated area gradually enlarges rather than shrinks. PAH has also been called the “stick of butter” side effect, as it may create a bulge that is similar to a stick of butter in shape. PAH is not thought to go away on its own but can be treated with surgical liposuction.
Luckily, PAH is quite rare: a 2021 study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found PAH to occur in between 0.05% to 0.39% of the time. The same study reported that newer models of CoolSculpting applicators dramatically reduce the number of PAH instances. (The fashion model Linda Evangelista says that she received her CoolSculpting treatments between 2015 and 2016.)
While the best technology is critical, there is no substitute for the extensive experience and training with CoolSculpting that our professionals at Kalos Medical Spa offer our patients. Their nuanced technique and understanding of the device is critical to safely achieving symmetrical and pleasing results.
Schedule your consultation with the CoolSculpting experts at Kalos Medical Spa
The highly qualified team of professionals at Kalos Medical Spa has over 15 years of collective hands-on experience. The team is led by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Emily Kirby, a renowned Fort Worth plastic surgeon and the first female Chief of Plastic Surgery at Texas Health Resources Harris Methodist hospital. To schedule your consultation and learn if CoolSculpting is right for you, call 817-292-4200 or contact us online today.