Finding stores of fat around your thighs, belly and even back is a common complaint of many Singaporeans. It is as such since a majority of us spend the better part of our days sitting at a desk in an office. This sedentary lifestyle could result in the pooling of fat at these areas. On the other hand, there exists a sizeable number of individuals who abide by an active lifestyle yet find certain areas where stubborn fat refuses to bulge even after targeted workouts. For the faction of people who refuse to let their body fat get the better of them, they can now turn to medical technology to help them with this body image issue.
One popular treatment known as CoolSculpting has been making waves in the interest of getting rid of stubborn fats and general weight loss. This procedure, which has also been billed as the “lunchtime liposuction”, is a non-invasive body contouring method that removes and eradicates targeted fat cells by the ways of safe freezing. Its greatest advantage is in 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?
As mentioned earlier, the method of 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 frozen dead cells would then be eliminated 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
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.
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 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 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, but additional sessions are ideal to fully attain your goal.
Areas Best Suited for Coolsculpting
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 work out, 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 get rid of 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 BackFat
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 shed the fat through exercise.
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 get rid of all 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 a 21% reduction in 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 built up fat, creating what are called “love handles”. Even with diet and exercise, it can be difficult to get rid of 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 eliminate 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
- Minor swelling
- Pinching sensation
- Muscle cramping
- Skin sensitivity
- Mild to moderate pain
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 fats that refuse to be eliminated by exercise and diet, CoolSculpting has been discovered as a scientifically proven means to obliterate and remove these fat cells permanently from the body. Here are five main benefits why you should opt for this treatment.
1. Rid Excess Fat in Specific Areas
This technique is a wonderful way to rid 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, fat-freezing 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. Minimal Recovery 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 following each session. But of course, after a few weeks of regular sessions, the gradual change would be natural and easily observable.
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. From this, the procedure would gift individuals with a renewed sense of confidence and self-esteem. 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. Long-lasting Effects
Research has suggested that the fat-freezing procedure is highly effective and there was even an increase in fat reduction two months after treatment with massage. While more evaluative research with a longer duration is needed, it still suggests that CoolSculpting has the potential to destroy fat cells in the targeted areas and those cells would not return. However, the destruction of the existing fat cells do not flat out suggest that new fat cells would not appear. Thus, the advice would always be to pair the treatment with a consistent workout routine and a balanced diet.
The Bottom Line
The information that is available on CoolSculpting suggests that this fat removal technique is a safe and efficient alternative towards getting rid of 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 fat-freezing 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.