Coolsculpting: Does It Work and is It Safe?

Finding stores of fat around your thighs, belly and even back is a common complaint of many Singaporeans. Individuals who abide by an active lifestyle yet find certain areas where stubborn fat refuses to go away even after targeted workouts can now turn to medical technology to help them.

One popular treatment known as CoolSculpting has been making waves in the interest of removing stubborn fats. This procedure, which has also been billed as the “lunchtime liposuction”, is a non-invasive body contouring method that specifically targets fat cells by the ways of cooling it. Its greatest advantage is the fact that the procedure does not bring about side effects and does not carry the risk of imposing any damage on your nerves, muscles or skin. Read on to find out more about this revolutionary procedure.


How Does CoolSculpting Work?

Cryolipolysis hinges on the idea that fat is temperature-sensitive. What that means is that the fat under our skin reacts to cold temperatures negatively. When placed under duress of extremely cold temperatures, the fat cells would be crystalised and the little remaining fragments would then leave the body through the immune system’s processes.

During the CoolSculpting session, you will see applicators of different sizes that will suck your skin and fat just like how a vacuum would. The roll of fat would then be subject to a freezing temperature controlled by the specialist, and that would kickstart the crystallisation process of your fat cells. Following a series of 45-minute sessions, the targeted fat cells would then be flushed out from the body by the liver as the immune system starts its work.

Because of how the fat cells are more sensitive to the cool temperatures than your skin, it would not cause any damage to your nerves, muscles or skin. On average, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to target each body part, but some aesthetic centres are able to utilise multiple applicators at different areas to maximise the time spent in the treatment room.


Comparing Liposuction & Coolsculpting

1. Liposuction

Anyone who has seen or undergone liposuction will tell you it is not a gentle procedure. Doctors commonly exercise a procedure called suction-assisted liposuction, requiring them to manually loosen the targeted fats with a tube before sucking it out. Another alternative is powered liposuction, where the suction tube vibrates rapidly back and forth, almost like a jackhammer. In addition, the post-procedure pain, bruising, numbness and swelling can typically last for several weeks, not to mention other potential risks such as infection, bleeding and problems associated with anaesthesia.

2. Coolsculpting

While it is a relatively new technique and research surrounding it is limited, this treatment is generally perceived to be a safer alternative as compared to conventional procedures such as liposuction. Apart from the occasional tugging sensation due to the device’s cooling panels that sandwich the skin, most people who have opted for the treatment to remove their stubborn fats have reported that they do feel a cold, numbing sensation and mild pinching pain throughout the entire treatment. Moreover, seeing that the technique is a non-surgical procedure that does not involve any anaesthesia, tissue manipulation, cutting or penetrating the skin, most, if not all, patients require zero recovery downtime and are able to resume their routine activities almost immediately. The only noticeable side effects of this treatment appear to be the cold bruises around the area of treatment, which in any case, is minor.

In Summary

In contrast, CoolSculpting returns you with no surgical risks and little to no recovery time. This convenient procedure takes only 45 minutes to an hour and most people who went through the treatment usually resume their routines, even returning to their exercise regimens and work on the same day as the procedure. Results can be noticeable after just one treatment.


Areas Best Suited for Coolsculpting

1. Chest

This may come as a surprise to the ladies but it is really common for the men who seek to sculpt their “man boobs”. Let’s face it, no matter how often you hit the gym or workout, there are definitely some areas that just do not shape up the way you hope they would. This is where the CoolSculpting treatment comes in handy to target the pseudo gynecomastia (fat cells) that is one of the two tissues that cause the lumpy dough appearance at the chest.

2. Bra Line and Back Fat

Back fat is an issue for people as they age due to the multiple layers of different muscles in the back that begin to sag and loosen over time. Fat fills the new space, which causes bulges to appear. It tends to be more prominent in your lower back because of the proximity to your stomach and hips, which also accumulate fat more than most body areas. Unlike your stomach and waist, however, it is more difficult to remove this through exercise.

3. Belly

The abdominal area is one of the main areas where body fat can accumulate for men and women of all ages. For men, it’s the beer gut – for women, it’s post-pregnancy fat. It can be difficult to target and remove body fat in your stomach area by yourself, but thankfully it is one of the best body areas for CoolSculpting and one of the most popular requests. It helps people achieve flatter abs that they can really sculpt through further exercise. After 8 to 12 weeks, most people who receive treatment see around 21% removal of stomach fat.

4. Waist and Hips

The waist and hips are similar to the stomach, in that they are a common place for your body to deposit fat, creating what are called “love handles”. Even with diet and exercise, it can be difficult to remove fat cells in this area, especially for women and people whose bodies can’t handle insulin properly. If you want a slimmer waist, it is arguably the best part of your body for CoolSculpting treatments to remove body fat.

5. Inner and Outer Thighs

The thighs are another commonly requested area for treatments but are generally not the best part of the body. That’s because your thigh tends to have more muscle and other tissue than the areas around your torso mentioned above. However, the inside and to a lesser extent the outside of your thighs are areas that can be effectively treated with CoolSculpting. It can help give you a thigh gap you haven’t had in years, and trim down your thighs so they look more cut and toned.

6. Lower Bottoms

The butt is another area that is commonly requested for CoolSculpting, but for the most part, is not the best area for treatment due to the amount of other tissue and muscle it holds. However, the underside of your bum is usually one of the areas that CoolSculpting treatment is most effective. This is a popular treatment for women after giving birth when they want to shed the lingering fat tissue. Treatments can help cut down the saggy, loose fat so your bottom looks more rounded, smooth and toned.


What Are The Possible Risks of Coolsculpting?

Most minor side effects normally subside or disappear completely within a few days or a couple of weeks following the procedure. However, it is normal for one to experience a loss of sensation or numbness in the affected area for approximately a month due to the applied freezing technique in the treatment. The common side effects for this treatment include

  • Bruising
  • Minor swelling
  • Numbness
  • Firmness
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Tingling
  • Stinging
  • Pinching sensation
  • Muscle cramping
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Mild to moderate soreness

Individuals have been reported to have experienced these side effects for up to a couple of weeks following their procedure before these symptoms subside or fully disappear. Other side effects that an individual may experience during the initial few weeks after undergoing Coolsculpting include diarrhoea due to the fat cells leaving the body, irritation or skin discomfort the first few days after treatment and a feeling of fullness in the oesophagus (only if the procedure involves the chin or neck region).


Who Should Avoid Coolsculpting?

1. Not a Route to Deal With Obesity

While many experts consider Coolsculpting a safe and efficient method to lower the number of fat cells in a specific area of the body, it is not a recommended route to deal with obesity as this treatment is hardly a form of weight loss. In contrast, Coolsculpting is designed to further aid the break up of fat cells that more often than not only shrink through regular exercise and proper diet.

2.  Not For Those Who Have a Weak Immune System

In addition, individuals who are prone to sickness and have a weak immune system are not suitable candidates for fat removal procedure of this sort. This is because people who are down with certain health conditions that alter or wane the body’s ability to adjust and accommodate to the cold during the freezing treatment may result in acute medical complications.


Benefits of Coolsculpting

In the case of fat that refuses to go despite exercise and diet, CoolSculpting has been discovered as a scientifically proven means to remove these unwanted fat cells. Here are five main benefits why you should opt for this treatment.

1. Remove Fat In Specific Areas

This technique is a wonderful way to remove smaller fatty deposits in the body. It is also an excellent option for those who would rather avoid going through surgery from their personal preferences or their fear of complications that surgery might bring. Due to its non-surgical nature, this treatment is a low-risk procedure that does away with side effects like scarring and infection since the skin barrier is not compromised. On top of that, CoolSculpting helps those who are at a healthy weight range and would like to target those excess fats in specific areas like their buttocks.

2. Zero Downtime

Reports of adverse outcomes or reaction associated with this procedure have been few and far between. Similarly, most are able to get on with their daily activities almost immediately afterwards. Apart from the minimal recovery downtime, some results can be observed after a session.

3. Low Risk of Skin Dimpling

This fat removal technique has been found to return patients with a low risk of skin dimpling as their fat cells are evenly decimated across a specific spot of the skin’s surface. This would be more so when it is combined with weight loss achieved via a healthy regimen that includes regular exercise and a nourishing diet.

4. Relaxing from Start to Finish

You might think that with ice-cold temperatures involved, it could get rather uncomfortable for you. But in reality, most who sit in the treatment chair does not feel much of a discomfort. This is because our body fats are much more temperature-sensitive than our skin. For some, they might start feeling numbness in the target area from the suction and coldness, but most are able to look past it. Because of how relaxing it can be, some clients even catch up on an episode of their favourite television dramas or take a nap during the session.

5. Highly Effective Result

Research has suggested that this treatment is highly effective and there was even an increase in fat removal two months after the treatment with massage. While more evaluative research with a longer duration is needed, it still suggests that CoolSculpting has the potential to remove fat cells in the targeted areas. Our treatment paired with a consistent workout routine and a balanced diet is the best combo to achieve your dream body shape.


The Bottom Line

The information that is available on CoolSculpting suggests that this fat removal technique is a safe and efficient alternative towards removing stubborn fat that refuses to go away even with a proper diet and exercise regime. While it shouldn’t be looked on as a sole weight-loss method, it could help motivate and kickstart a fitness and exercise streak that you can take charge of.

If you are still hesitant on the effects of our treatment and what it could do for your figure, run your research or speak to the experienced specialists at aesthetic centres like Geo Aesthetics. These specialists would have adequate knowledge and know-how to advise you on the best method towards your weight loss goals. Weight loss should typically be seen as a gradual process, if you are looking to lose weight at an accelerated rate, it could bring about potential health risks. Thus, it is good to consult a doctor beforehand for a proper medical assessment before your decision. Only then will you be sure that your chosen method is a viable alternative option in removing your unwanted fat.