All About CoolSculpting Sessions
During these appointments, we expose a specific treatment area to freezing temperatures. This is the premise behind CoolSculpting: the application of cold is a proven way to break down fat. We don’t mean that walking outside on a brisk winter day will help you lose weight; instead, this process works much like frostbite.
The difference is that we use a highly controlled system with regulated temperatures just cold enough to kill fat cells without damaging other tissues. Because of their chemical composition, fat cells freeze at lower temperatures than skin cells. This keeps you safe throughout therapy at Peachtree Dermatology.
Prepare for Treatment
While CoolSculpting doesn’t require preparation prior to treatment, you can take a few steps to ensure your own comfort. Start by wearing loose clothing to your appointment. This allows the treated area to breathe without causing irritation.
You might also want to pack a small snack to have during treatment. Cheese, fruits, or nuts can keep your blood sugar level stabilized and prevent you from getting a woozy stomach. Eating a bit will also help pass the time.
Know What to Expect
Each session plays out a little different, but we begin by placing a molded cup over the treatment area and pulling the excess bulge into carefully-positioned paddles. It is here, inside the paddles, where the fat cells are frozen. Once their walls are damaged – or, in this case, brought to temperatures well below their survival threshold – those cells crystallize and gradually start to die.
Cells routinely go through cycles of death and elimination, so your body is highly equipped to recycle, absorb, and/or remove them. In the case of fat cells, the body recognizes they are frozen and works to slowly remove them. Visibly, you see a smoother, more sculpted area free of bulges and wobbles.
When Do Results Become Visible?
It generally takes about three weeks to begin seeing changes after treatment. During this time, the body is not only recognizing cell damage but also adjusting to a reduction in fat cells. As this process begins to build in pace, results will continue to show for between two and four months. In total, you can expect to lose 20 to 25 percent of fat cells in your treatment area.
The Guide to Waiting Between Sessions
Before going further, you should know that multiple CoolSculpting sessions will likely be necessary for you to achieve the results you desire. The 20 to 25 percent range we gave just a moment ago is at the upper end of what you can expect to lose after all sessions are completed. After just one treatment, you’re more likely to lose around 15 percent of fat cells in a given area.
This variability becomes smaller as your number of sessions increases. However, some spots – like under the chin – only need one appointment because the treatment area is so small. Other areas – like the stomach or buttocks – may require three or four sessions simply because they are larger in size.
Another factor in determining how many sessions you need is your weight. Generally speaking, if you are within your ideal weight by 20 to 30 pounds, you may need just one or two sessions. Patients who are more than 30 pounds away from this weight will need additional treatments.
How Long Do You Need Between Sessions?
On average, it’s best to wait at least one month between CoolSculpting sessions. This allows your body time to start showing results so you can gauge where you are in relation to where you want to be. Keep in mind that in order for the treatment to work, the system’s paddles must be able to grip a bulge of fat. If you have no fat to hold, additional sessions are no longer necessary.
Conversely, people who are farther from their target weights may need to wait several months between sessions. This allows the treatment to take effect and provide visible results so we know how to proceed.
Consistency Is Key
You can expect better results when less time passes between treatments. With this, we mean that completing treatments in a concise and regularly-scheduled manner can help you achieve satisfactory results.
If our office recommends four treatments with one every four months, following this plan is the best way to get the body you want. Now, having said that, we must remind you that rushing treatment is not a good idea either. On average, most patients need a full 16 weeks to see the results of each session. Hence, taking your time but remaining diligent is crucial to your success with CoolSculpting.
What All This Means
The bottom line is – as we said earlier – that you need to wait at least one month between sessions. This ensures a safe and practical approach to treatment. Because different factors go into determining the number of sessions you need, we’ll be able to provide you with a more comprehensive time table during your consultation, after we’ve evaluated your area of concern and discussed your treatment goals.
The Process Details
Before your first session, we will hold a pre-treatment consultation with you. This is a great opportunity to ask us all the questions you can think of, and in return, we’ll do the same. Specifically, we want to know:
- Your medical history
- List of current medications
- What you want to achieve with CoolSculpting
- Your weight management skills/goals
Sessions Are Quick and Easy
Many patients express surprise once they learn how easy each session is. It can even be relaxing, providing you with some much-needed quiet time to read, rest, or watch a movie on your mobile device. While exact session lengths vary, each commonly lasts between 30 to 60 minutes.
You will feel some cold after treatment begins. This is perfectly normal and is the only sensory component of CoolSculpting. What we mean is that it’s truly non-invasive and doesn’t use needles, pricks, or other painful instruments.
The Need for Massage
We will massage the treated area once therapy is finished. We do this to enhance your results; massaging can improve your outcomes by up to 68 percent in the first 60 days. The kneading helps break down treated cells so the body expels them more quickly.
Massage times vary for each patient and with each body part treated. For some patients, we may also recommend continuing massages at home for 10 or 15 minutes each day over a two-week period. We can discuss this in more detail during your consultation.
CoolSculpting sessions do not require a recovery period, so you’re free to leave immediately after therapy. However, if you feel some slight tenderness in the treatment area, give yourself a break from going to the gym or working that body part.
Also, when showering or bathing, keep water temperatures tepid so you don’t disturb the treatment area. Gently pat it dry, and spend the evening in comfortable clothes that don’t rub the skin. Last but not least, drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day in the days and weeks immediately after treatment to stay hydrated; this also helps flush dead cells so the treatment can work more quickly.
Scientific Proof It Works
Studies show that CoolSculpting is a great way to eliminate difficult fat pockets in the:
- Flanks/love handles
- Back/bra bulge
- Under the chin
The efficacy of this therapy is comparable to liposuction when used with multiple treatment cycles and proper treatment planning. Additionally, because of the biological nature of cells, we know that freezing actually does work to kill them.
Studies reveal that patients lose about 25 percent of fat cells in a treatment area. This figure isn’t plucked arbitrarily for promotional purposes but is instead the average result most people can expect to see. Using a proven medical technique is a smarter way to improve your appearance than beating your head against the wall trying to find another diet or exercise technique that might finally work.
You Cannot Target Fat Loss
That brings us to an interesting point, which is you cannot spot reduce fat. As you work to lose stubborn bulges in your stomach, thighs, or elsewhere through diet and exercise, you simply cannot tell the body where to lose fat.
During exercise, the body burns fat on the basis of overall fitness. It does not look at small muscle fatigue or specific body areas that need to be addressed. While it is possible to gain muscle in a specific area – such as the biceps – you cannot perform an activity that spot treats fat. Only therapy like CoolSculpting can do this.
Commit to Success
Your commitment to weight management doesn’t stop with treatment. CoolSculpting cannot guarantee that you won’t gain weight at some point down the road. With weight gain comes an increase in the size of your individual fat cells. This means that you can re-acquire fat in the treatment area if you don’t take the proper precautions.
Essentially, this boils down to eating nutritious foods and keeping to a regular exercise schedule. At mealtime, be sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Similarly, try to cut back on processed foods, refined sugars, and simple carbs. As for exercise, engage in that which makes you happy. A simple regimen of 30 minutes per day can help you keep your therapy results.
Take the Plunge
The cold plunge, that is. You already know that CoolSculpting, unlike some treatments, is rooted in science. You can be assured that your results – although they may start slowly – will help you achieve the toned body you want. Simply have patience, and you’ll like what you see.
Even the trimmest of patients often need help losing extra padding in the buttocks or thighs. That’s why we’re here. Our staff understands the methodology of CoolSculpting and can develop a plan that delivers safe and effective treatment. Call Peachtree Dermatology in Atlanta, GA, today and book your appointment. You’ll soon see why patients can’t stop talking about this exciting therapy.